Wednesday, December 1, 2021

APFACT CHECK: Biden touts the impact of the $ 1 trillion bill on EVs

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden, bragging about his $ 1 trillion infrastructure package, exaggerated its reach, saying it would lead to 500,000 EV charging stations and deliver on his promise to push half of U.S. drivers towards electric cars by the end of the decade …

The measure, which received a final congressional ruling late Friday night, cuts in half the money Biden said is needed for the charging stations. Money could start pouring into the states within a month of the signing of the bill, although construction cannot begin until the Department of Transportation approves their spending plans.

Taking a step forward, automakers have made it clear that they will not meet the White House targets that by 2030, half of all new car sales will come from electricity, based on federal investment in that legislation alone.

Take a look at the claims and facts:

BIDEN: “We are going to build the first ever national network of charging stations throughout the country – there are more than 500,000 of them.… So, you can go around the whole damned country, from the East Coast to the West, just like you are now stopping at a gas station. These charging stations will be available. ” – notes Saturday.

FACTS: Not really.

Legislation awaiting Biden’s signature calls for $ 7.5 billion in federal grants to build a national charging station network. That’s less than the $ 15 billion Biden originally named to pay for the half-million charging stations he promised during his presidential campaign.

The money is a good start, analysts say, but not enough to stimulate widespread adoption of electric vehicles.

For example, a research group from the International Clean Transport Council says the United States will need 2.4 million electric vehicle charging stations by 2030 if about 36% of new car sales are generated by electricity. In 2020, there were about 216,000 of them.

New chargers should be placed based on models that predict where they will be needed, such as along corridors for people walking long distances, and in places where people spend a lot of time, such as hotels, parking lots of apartment buildings and even along are public streets, ”says Jessica Tranchik, an MIT professor who studies charging electric vehicles.

DC chargers, which can charge a car to 80% battery capacity in 20–45 minutes, are quite expensive, ranging from $ 40,000 to $ 100,000. So they should be placed where people need to recharge quickly and get back on the road.

Chargers that run on 240-volt electricity, similar to what powers a clothes dryer, are much cheaper, around $ 2,000. But it takes about eight hours to fully recharge the car, which is unrealistic on the highway.

The White House acknowledged that infrastructure bill alone would not be enough, and said it would use “all available tools and resources” to meet Biden’s half-million goal, such as with existing credit and investment programs in the energy and transportation departments.

But pursuing a goal is not the same as the promise Biden reiterated on Saturday.

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BIDEN: “Automotive companies have committed to make 50% of their cars electric by 2030.” – notes Saturday.

JENNIFER GRANHOLM, Minister of Energy: “The automotive industry itself has said it wants half of its fleet to be electric, with new cars sold by 2030.” – An interview on Sunday on CNN “State of the Union”.

FACTS: This is an exaggeration.

While Biden signed an executive order setting a non-binding target in August, major automakers actually agreed only with a target that 40% to 50% of new car sales would be electric, depending on the amount of federal investment.

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Automakers, including the Big Three – Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, formerly Fiat Chrysler – say a significant shift to EVs by 2030 can only happen if there is incentive to buy EVs, adequate government funding for charging stations, and money to expand EVs. production and supply chain of spare parts.

While the infrastructure bill calls for charging stations for electric vehicles, automakers are also betting on a $ 2 trillion Democrats-only spending bill that was delayed in the House of Representatives on Friday as progressives and centrists tackle cost concerns. … This measure is also expected to face changes in the Senate.

On the expense account, consumers will be provided loans of up to $ 12,500 of the cost of an electric vehicle, including $ 4,500 if the vehicle is produced in a unionized plant such as General Motors and Ford. The provision has prompted protests from Tesla and foreign automakers such as Toyota and Honda, which make a lot of their cars in the US but have a non-unionized workforce, saying it will be harder for them to sell electric vehicles.

Edmunds.com estimates that only 2.2% of new car sales in June were all-electric vehicles. This is 1.4% more than in the same period last year.

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BIDEN: “They will see the consequences of the bill – this bill – probably starting in the next two to three months. When we get things – shovels in the ground and – in the ground – and people are told that they are going to work doing the following things. And everything will move. This is a bill that is paid over several years. “

FACTS: He’s on the edge.

Once the bill is signed, for example, about $ 1 billion – the first year of the $ 5 billion out of the $ 7.5 billion allocated to fund electric vehicles over five years – must be immediately allocated to states on a federal formula, which should happen in two to four weeks, ”said Jeff Davis, senior researcher at Eno Transportation Center.

However, according to the law, states will not be able to spend the money until the Department of Transportation sets its criteria for plans to build electric vehicles and approves plans submitted by the states – a process that can take up to six months.

Under this Federal Highway Administration formula, major states will be the big winners of the $ 5 billion federal payment. Texas will receive $ 407 million, California $ 383 million, Florida $ 198 million, New York $ 175 million, and Illinois $ 148 million. In contrast, Vermont’s appropriation is $ 21 million and Puerto Rico is $ 13 million.

Separately, there is a $ 2.5 billion competitive grants program over five years that will give the federal government discretion to allocate money based on strategic needs for an electric vehicle network. The first of this money can be distributed within a year after the creation of the program.

“We want to fill this field so that rural and poorer areas have access to the (electric) fuel they need,” Granholm said Sunday.

Speaking of infrastructure projects more broadly, Davis said that “starting in April 2022 or so, you will start to see many, many official announcements of significant new grant announcements selected by the transport secretary from a group of competitive candidates – Highways, Transit, Railways. road, etc. port, airport, gas pipeline, etc. “

“Most of them will not be able to get started immediately, but these are signs of progress,” he said.

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EDITOR’S NOTE – Look at the veracity of the politicians’ statements.

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Find the AP Fact Checker at http://apnews.com/APFactCheck

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