The Joe Biden government has provided $12 billion in grants and loans to automakers and their suppliers to adapt their plants to produce electric and advanced vehicles.
It will also provide $3.5 billion in funds to expand domestic electric vehicle battery manufacturing and the national grid, in addition to battery materials and components currently imported from other countries.
The subsidy is part of a Department of Energy (DOE) plan that seeks to retool existing plants for the transition to making electric vehicles, as well as encourage them to create quality jobs in the sector, according to a White House statement.
He noted that the DOE money will modernize the country’s existing auto manufacturing facilities, expand and retain well-paying auto manufacturing jobs, and strengthen national supply chains.
“As we transition to electric vehicles, we want to make sure that workers can move where they are, and that no worker or community is left behind,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said on a call with reporters.
is reading: This young Yucatecan is key in sending new electric cars from China to Mexico
Accelerating grants and other subsidies to fund the conversion of existing plants to electric vehicles could help the White House mitigate sharp criticism from automakers and the United Auto Workers (UAW) over environmental standards and proposals to help usher in the electric vehicle age.
The UAW warned that the rapid change could put thousands of jobs at risk in states including Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Indiana.
Last week, UAW members voted overwhelmingly to allow the three Detroit automakers to strike if an agreement on wages and retirement plans is not reached before the current four-year contract expires, on September 14.
What are the means of support for electric cars?
Specifically, $2 billion in grants and up to $10 billion in loans will be made available to businesses to support transformation projects that retain high-quality jobs in communities that are currently home to vehicle manufacturing facilities.
And the White House indicated that for these subsidies, companies will receive a score that will be higher for those who have projects that maintain collective bargaining agreements and for those who have high-paying workers, a few days before the country celebrates the Labor Party next Monday. day.
“I don’t know if this will have an impact on collective bargaining,” Granholm said, adding that the administration has spoken with automakers, auto workers and local communities.
“Building a clean energy economy can, and should, provide a win-win opportunity for the auto companies and unionized workers who have helped build the American economy for decades,” President Biden said in a statement.
UAW President Shawn Fain campaigned to save the Jeep plant in Belvidere, Illinois, which Stellantis closed. The automaker left the door open for the factory to come up with a new product with the help of the government.
When asked about the chances of grants keeping that plant open, Granholm said that plants built around communities are “the best to take advantage of these funding opportunities.”
There will be no specific business requirements for companies to obtain financing, but projects with better working conditions will be more likely to get them, an Energy Department official said on a call with reporters Thursday.
The shift in the United States towards less polluting cars
This plan adds to the efforts of the Biden government to promote a shift towards less polluting vehicles, and among its goals is that by 2032, 67% of cars and 46% of vans sold in the country will be electric.
In April, the US government announced new measures to reduce polluting emissions from transportation, new rules that would make it more difficult to produce gasoline-powered vehicles and boost the sale of electric cars, one of the president’s big bets to combat the climate crisis.
In August 2021, Biden announced measures aimed at having 50% of all vehicles (including cars, SUVs, vans, and vans) sold in the United States to be electric by 2023.
According to data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), sales of electric cars have tripled and the number of models available has doubled since Biden entered the White House in January 2021.
In addition, there are already more than 130,000 public electric chargers on American roads, 40% more than there were in 2020.
With information from Reuters and EFE