They all share a common goal.
Although it was going to happen eventually, the coronavirus pandemic has played a significant role in the drive towards an electric vehicle future. General Motors recently joined Ford to back the EV goals of California and President-elect Biden. The Golden State's aim is to ban all new combustion-engined passenger and light-duty vehicle sales by 2035. Biden also sees an opportunity to create new jobs in the green energy sector.
Today, Reuters reports the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, a major auto trade association whose members include GM, Ford, VW, Toyota, and a host of other brands, has launched a new effort to push US lawmakers to support EV-related initiatives. These include financial incentives for continued research and development as well as tax credits for consumers.
Biden has already pledged to build 550,000 new EV charging stations and offer tax breaks for automakers who want to upgrade factories specifically for EV production. But building a few pricey models like the new GMC Hummer EV is far from enough. The alliance's leader says that "the future of the industry" is at stake and heavy spending on EVs and autonomous vehicles is a must.
These new technologies, according to the report, "will redefine motor vehicle transportation for decades" and now is the time to act. Automakers also expect to face tougher emissions standards under Biden compared to Trump and this will expedite EV development. To make that happen, the alliance wants to enhance R&D incentives over the next 3-5 years and for the government to purchase EV fleets.
At present, automakers spend roughly $26 million annually in R&D. Another vital point made to lawmakers is that China is ahead of the US regarding an EV battery supply chain and self-driving vehicle advancements. US automakers are already on track to spend $250 billion on EVs by 2023 but additional incentives are required in order to increase their low market share, currently at just two percent.
Last month, Tesla joined forces with Rivian and Lucid, and 25 other companies (none are mainstream automakers) to form a new lobbyist group to push for 100 percent electric vehicle sales by the end of the decade. It doesn't appear alliance automakers are completely against that goal, but they've acknowledged they need the government's full cooperation to not only meet deadlines but also to maintain a competitive edge over China.