Biden looks to make electric vehicles half of all new vehicle sales by 2030

Yahoo Finance’s Rick Newman reports details on President Biden setting a new national target on Thursday for the adoption of electric vehicles.

Video Transcript

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KRISTIN MYERS: Let’s head over to Michigan, where Rick Newman is standing by in Traverse City with more details on President Biden calling for 40% to 50% of all new auto sales in the next decade to be from electric vehicles. Hi, Rick. Give us the scope.

RICK NEWMAN: Hey. What’s up, Kristin? Well, if you think back to what President Obama tried to do, he just said the auto industry needs to meet these new standards. Back in 2012, those were miles-per gallon-standards. And it was kind of like, you just have to do it. You have no choice.

Well, what Biden is doing is somewhat different. He’s saying, first of all, this is a target, not a requirement. So he wants to see, of all new vehicles sold the United States by 2030, 40% to 50% will be electric. But again, just a target. And of course, what Biden also want to do is pour tons of federal money into this part of the economy so that there would be a lot of new federal subsidies if Biden gets his way.

That’s a lot of money for new charging stations. He wants to subsidize battery production here in the United States. That’s a very important part of the equation here, get fleets of trucks and school buses and things like that electrified. And if we can start to build all of that infrastructure and the supply chain around that, that makes it a lot easier for the automakers to use all of those resources to actually build the cars to get us to 40% to 50% target by 2030. So Biden is offering quite a lot to the auto industry at the same time he’s saying, could you all please get on the EV bandwagon here?

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Yeah. You know, I know, Rick, that you have a story out on our site outlining why automakers like Biden a little bit better than Obama. Is it because they’re going to be offering so many of those incentives this time around, something we didn’t see happening during the Obama years?

RICK NEWMAN: Yes. If you go back to when Obama first put into place his new rules, that was 2012, and we just weren’t there yet on electric vehicles. Tesla was struggling to survive. It was certainly not the powerhouse it has become. There were a lot– some of the automakers were still skeptical about electric vehicles, range anxiety, you know, what if you run out of juice, that was considered a big problem.

And this has just really taken off. There’s been some federal support for this. There have been those tax credits for people who buy an EV. But Tesla has moved the industry, and just about every automaker now is rushing electric vehicles to the market.

So the industry has really reached a new plateau on electric vehicles. At the same time, Biden says this has now become essential to reaching his climate goals, which is stop emissions from coming out of tailpipes, and then, at the same time, deal with the electrical grid and get more clean sources of energy there.

KRISTIN MYERS: Now, Rick, we should mention that you’re not just in Traverse City for fun. You actually are there working. There is an electric vehicle conference going on. Give us some details about the conference, some of the biggest takeaways. What are some of the hottest new trends that we’re going to be seeing coming out?

RICK NEWMAN: Well, I am having fun, Kristin, even though I am working really hard. So this is a conference sponsored by the Center for Automotive Research. This year’s theme is electric vehicles, very timely. You know, I think there are a couple of very interesting themes here.

First of all, Bank of America analyst John Murphy this morning, he said that auto tech is the new biotech. And I think what he means by that is this is suddenly a sector that’s got some hot new startups and SPACs. I think somebody said 45 new IPOs and SPACs during the last year. Some of those are going to be spectacularly successful, and some of those are going to be spectacular flops. So there’s a lot of money to be made in this industry all of a sudden.

But there’s a lot more risk than there probably was before. And I think other thing is the United States is actually pretty far behind China and Europe on electric vehicles. And that’s not just automakers building them, but it’s building the charging stations, all the infrastructure that you really need to make this work.

Of course, we have a very large country, and states differ and sometimes the states and the federal government disagree. But it does look like the industry and the government are finally starting to coalesce around the same set of priorities. So this is looking like a very interesting space for the next 10 years.

KRISTIN MYERS: Absolutely. And it’s better for the environment. So I’m looking forward to maybe buying an EV vehicle once I can figure out where to charge it–

RICK NEWMAN: You will one day, Kristin.

KRISTIN MYERS: –one day. I know. I’m going to be forced. I’m going to have no options. All right.

RICK NEWMAN: Me too.

KRISTIN MYERS: Thank you so much. Rick Newman joining us–

RICK NEWMAN: Bye, guys.

KRISTIN MYERS: –from Michigan.