He proposes incentives for buyers and manufacturers alike.
The democrats have their first big bill under their collective belts with the Covid-19 relief plan, and now Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is getting back to an idea he proposed in 2019 that would incentivize every American to trade in their ICE car for a healthy rebate on an EV like the Volkswagen ID.4 or Chevy Bolt EUV.
"It's a bold new plan designed to accelerate America's transition to all electric vehicles on the road, to developing a charging infrastructure, and to grow American jobs through clean manufacturing," Schumer told The Verge. "And the ultimate goal is to have every car manufactured in America be electric by 2030, and every car on the road be clean by 2040."
Schumer didn't say how big of a discount, but reps said that it would be more generous than the current $7,500 federal credit.
Cadillac, Bentley, Jaguar and many others have already pledged to phase out most of their gasoline engines, but Schumer wants to incentivize even further. For Biden's next $2 trillion infrastructure deal "Build, Back, Better," some of that money would go to manufacturers, some would go to property owners for installing EV chargers and some would go to local governments to improve the public EV charging network. Schumer says the plan would cost about $454 billion over 10 years.
The chances of the bill actually passing are looking better every day. Biden has already signed an executive order to replace the governments fleet of 650,000 ICE vehicles with EVs. "I haven't sat down and discussed the whole thing with them," Schumer said of the White House, "but yes, I think it is going to be part of the infrastructure plan."
Support is also coming in from the unions. Specifically the AFL-CIO, UAW and IBEW. That improves the chances of grabbing the 10 or so republicans he would need to pass the bill without blowing up the filibuster. If Biden does kill the fil, he would only need a simple majority of 50 votes to pass the bill.
Criticism is coming from mass transit advocates, who say that money should be spent on public transportation, which has lost a huge amount of cash in lost ridership during the pandemic. The Verge notes that ARP, the Covid rescue plan, includes more than $30 billion for transit already.
And then there's our electrical grid, which is outdated, underpowered and still fills EVs with 61 percent coal and natural gas energy. Only 17 percent comes from wind, solar and hydroelectric.
Schumer doesn't support a complete ban on the sale of ICE vehicles like some nations, but he does have support for another deal that would address the grid. It's called the Thrive Act and he does have support. He thinks that unlike the very progressive Green New Deal, the Thrive Act has a chance of getting through congress.
"Our proposal will do the most that can be passed," he said. "My goal is to pass into law the boldest change, and I think this is sort of the sweet spot where that is."