President Biden’s plan to transition 645,000 federal cars and trucks to electric vehicles is a great step in contributing to positive climate change and a global clean energy climate. Those of us in the electric vehicle industry in Europe are excited that the U.S. is now formally recognizing the essential part electric vehicles play in climate change, and that the country has rejoined the Paris Accord.
Looking at EV adoption in the EU, the good news is electric vehicles are selling very well in many EU countries, despite the pandemic. A key reason is the financial incentives that make EV purchase a compelling proposition. For example, in Germany a privately owned EV registered until the end of 2020 will have a 10-year tax exemption and EVs with a sales price below €40,000 will qualify for a €9,000 subsidy until December 2021.
Widespread promotion of similar tax incentives and subsidies could certainly help to further advance the development of electromobility in the U.S. and make it more attractive to the general population. However, based on our EU experience, we know it takes more than tax incentives. A functioning infrastructure must also be ensured. President Biden’s plan of 500,000 new EV charging stations is a superb start but expanding the public charging infrastructure alone is not enough. To create a comprehensive charging network, which is ultimately essential to a complete mobility transition, charging options must also be available where the vehicle is parked most of the time: at home or at the place of work.
Another key factor in increasing EV adoption in the U.S. is the availability of a range of models to appeal to different consumer tastes and budgets. We applaud General Motors’ announced plan to switch production entirely to EVs by 2035. As more major OEMs in the U.S. further embrace EV with new models, and have economic incentives to do so, you will see a stronger shift to EV as the new standard of travel.
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