Biden Presidency Likely to Mean More EVs, Auto-Industry Stability

  • President-Elect Joe Biden is a car guy who has said he sees EVs as the future of transportation.
  • Biden has stated the wish to swap government fleet vehicles with American-made EVs and create a system that offers rebates or incentives for consumers to replace gas cars with electric vehicles.
  • Automakers seem to be onboard with Biden’s plans so far, as they look for regulatory stability in the United States.

    When President Donald Trump took office, some automakers were keen to have him take some of the heat off them when it comes to fuel-economy standards set by former President Barack Obama. Trump obliged but went further than anticipated and triggered lawsuits from California and other states and uncertainty in the industry as a whole. With Joe Biden announced as the winner of the 2020 presidential race, things are likely to settle but also head in the opposite direction, ecologically speaking.

    Back in July, then candidate Biden announced a Cash for Clunkers–type plan to offer incentives or rebates to trade in less efficient vehicles for EVs made in the United States. Biden also wants to replace the government’s fleet of vehicles with EVs. That’s great news for automakers like Ford, Rivian, Tesla, Lordstown, and GM, all of which are building electric vehicles in America.

    Even if the trade-in scheme fails to materialize, migrating government fleets to EVs could be a huge win for EV investments automakers have made in the past few years and plan to make for the future. The Wall Street Journal reports that automotive executives are saying that if the president-elect does follow through to support EVs at a government level, it will help bolster investment in the technology.

    As for internal-combustion engines, Biden plans on working with states on stricter emissions guidelines. That means traditional vehicles will be cleaner but likely also more expensive. It’s also important that it would mean less uncertainty for automakers. If they have a single national plan to work toward, it reduces the anxiety of figuring out a patchwork of regulations.

    Ford, GM Express Support

    Ford told Car and Driver, “We congratulate President-Elect Biden and the newly and re-elected officials across all levels of government. It is our hope these leaders will focus on bringing the country together and pursue policies that encourage U.S. manufacturing, sustainability, and global economic stability.”

    During a call about its battery technology, GM’s vice president of electric and autonomous programs, Ken Morris, said about the Biden win: “We’re looking forward to working with the Biden administration in support of policies that will foster greater adoption of EVs across all 50 states and encourage investments in R&D and manufacturing.”

    Morris continued: “At the end of the day, climate change is a global concern. And the best way to remove automobile emissions from the environmental equation is an all-electric zero-emissions future.”

    The Biden administration will also likely relax at least some tariffs on international parts, which is good news for all automakers considering building a vehicle requires a global supply chain.

    As for concerns that the government might not see the value in older cars and forcibly replace them all with EVs, that’s highly unlikely from a guy who owns a 1967 Corvette Stingray convertible and uses it to rip burnouts and drag race former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

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