Hybrids & Electrics

In 2021 the US Government Will Push You Into Electric Vehicles

There are two recent developments that show 2021 will be the year the US government will push you into an electric vehicle. Or, it will at least incentivize the heck out of the switch to entice you. First, New York has just agreed to spend almost $1 billion to expand electric charging stations in the state. And two, if elected, Joe Biden wants the “Cash For Clunkers” program to return with some extra incentives for EVs. 

New York’s move will add 50,000 charging stations and other infrastructure funded mostly by the state’s utility companies. The buildup will start next year and end in 2025. Almost $50 million comes from a settlement with Volkswagen over the dieselgate scandal. A similar announcement was recently announced by the state of Florida totaling almost $10 million. 

Part of the plan is to offer incentives to help convince them to switch to electric power.

Tesla Charging
A Tesla car is charging in a charging station. | Getty

Now combine that with presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s recent climate change plan. In it, he addresses the need for more electric vehicles to combat climate change. Part of the plan is to offer incentives to those with gas-powered vehicles to help convince them to switch to electric power. Right now, EVs amount to 2% of all vehicles sold in the US.

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Part of the climate plan calls for the replacement of the entire fleet of government vehicles with EV power. The replacements would have to be American-made. He says he wants the US to lead in the development of EVs. By providing the demand and also supplying grants to help factory changeovers he is essentially saying the government will partially bankroll the manufacturing of EVs. 

So what should you make of this? First, while adding EV infrastructure is partially a gamble, we can see how momentum is shifting towards EVs. But if the swing doesn’t have enough juice behind it the plan fails. So, you can only presume that New York doesn’t want to face failure and have egg on its face. It needs to see results from its state-backed program.

There will be plenty of pushing from government organizations to do this

A plug going into an electric car
An electric car about to be plugged in to charge | PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP via Getty Images

And while Biden has a long way to go before taking a victory lap, should he win he wants climate change to be a top priority. So a push through a Cash for Clunkers program and another push from the most populous state in the US signals there will be plenty of pushing from government organizations to do this. 

Plus, GM CEO Mary Barra has said in the past that she favors a return to Cash for Clunkers to help drive an industry rebound and as a move to cleaner air. So a presidential nominee, the largest state in the country, and the head of the largest auto manufacturer in the US have all come together. That’s why starting in 2021 you’ll be feeling the nudge toward getting out of that dirty old car and living life in a shiny new EV. 

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The quicker the manufacturers can crank out EVs the faster they can rake in the dough. That positions them in a much better financial spotlight than they currently have.