Could this possibly work?
The Trump administration drew ire from a number of people in the automotive sector when he wanted to take huge steps backward by reversing the Obama administration's fuel efficiency requirements, increasing US oil consumption by half a million barrels a day. Sure, this would've made it easier for manufacturers to pass big V8s into production, but it undermined the billions of dollars spent on developing EVs, and crucially, it would've killed the environment.
Thankfully, not many people have paid heed to Trump's idea, and numerous states and manufacturers have actively sought to reduce emissions, pushing for harsher legislation and restrictions. Now, another voice has stood in support of electrification, as Chuck Schumer, the top Senate Democrat, proposed a plan to devote nearly half a billion dollars to move the US from gasoline-powered cars over to EVs.
His proposal entailed a ten-year plan of action, key to which would be providing rebates of $3,000 or more to buyers of EVs over the next decade. The goal is to help 25% or 63 million internal combustion vehicles be swapped out in favor of electric mobility, with the total proposed budget estimated at $454 billion. The transportation sector contributes nearly a third of the United States' carbon output, and Schumer is hoping to try and vastly decrease this and reduce the impact of climate change.
All in, $392 billion in subsidies would be granted for owners of gasoline vehicles that are eight years or older and in a decent enough condition to be traded in, provided these are traded in for EVs, plug-in hybrids, or hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles like the Hyundai Nexo. The old vehicles traded in would then be scrapped to ensure they don't cycle back into the used market. Car Buyers would receive between $3,000-$5,000 in rebates, plus a further $2,000 for low-income buyers purchasing US-manufactured vehicles.
According to Schumer, this would "reduce the number of carbon-emitting cars on the road, create thousands of good-paying jobs, and accelerate the transition to net-zero carbon emissions" by 2050, and would follow a similar set of rules as 2009's "Cash for Clunkers" plan that saw $3 billion invested in the stimulation of US auto sales.
Part of the $454 billion, Schumer's proposal would see $45 billion dedicated towards additional charging stations being built, while $17 billion would go towards incentives for manufacturers to build new factories, retool current ones, and assemble emissions-free vehicles. The goal is that by 2040, "all vehicles on the road should be clean."
Several manufacturers have jumped behind Schumer's plan, with Ford and General Motors both stating they appreciate the efforts made by Schumer. Both have invested heavily into electrification, with the Chevrolet Bolt EV being one of our favorite electrics around, while Ford is already making waves with their soon-to-be-unveiled Mach E, the Mustang-inspired electric crossover, which we've learned will be rear-wheel driven.