Detroit’s Big Three automakers will be at the White House with President Joe Biden at 3 p.m. today to announce their shared aspiration to increase sales of battery electric, fuel cell, and plug-in hybrid vehicles in the U.S. to 40-50 percent of annual volume by 2030.
“When I say electric vehicles are the future, I’m not joking,” Biden wrote in a Wednesday Twitter post. “Tune in for big news tomorrow.”
The aim of the news conference, according to the companies’ joint statement, is “to move the nation closer to a zero-emissions future consistent with Paris climate goals.”
“Our recent product, technology, and investment announcements highlight our collective commitment to be leaders in the U.S. transition to electric vehicles,” reads the statement from General Motors Co. in Detroit, Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn, and Stellantis in Auburn Hills.
“This represents a dramatic shift from the U.S. market today that can be achieved only with the timely deployment of the full suite of electrification policies committed to by the Administration in the Build Back Better Plan, including purchase incentives, a comprehensive charging network of sufficient density to support the millions of vehicles these targets represent, investments in R&D, and incentives to expand the electric vehicle manufacturing and supply chains in the United States.
“With the UAW at our side in transforming the workforce and partnering with us on this journey, we believe we can strengthen continued American leadership in clean transportation technology through electric vehicle innovation and manufacturing. We look forward to working with the Biden Administration, Congress and state and local governments to enact policies that will enable these ambitious objectives.”
Still, numerous challenges persist before broader market adoption occurs. EV range anxiety, slow charging times, a lack of a national charging network, multiple apps that are not standardized, and a steep drop in resale values challenge the market. The batteries, once they reach their end life, also are difficult to recycle.
UAW President Ray Curry said in a statement released Wednesday, that the union supports Biden’s efforts to expand EV production, but its focus “is not on hard deadlines or percentages, but on preserving the wages and benefits that have been the heart and soul of the American middle class.”
In a statement of its own, GM reiterated its commitment to a zero-emissions, all-electric future “and has charted a path which aspires to eliminate tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035.
“We are pleased to join in today’s joint statement of a shared aspiration of achieving 40-50 percent of annual U.S. sales volumes of electric vehicles by 2030. For GM, that means battery electric vehicles. To reach the high end of this range, we will continue to work with the Biden Administration, Congress, and state and local governments for implementation of supportive policies for the benefit of our workforce, our dealers, our customers, and their communities.”
According to Stellantis, “Our path to a cleaner future is defined by our $35 billion investment in vehicle electrification, which includes four flexible BEV platforms, a scalable family of three electric-drive modules and solid-state battery development. This activity also serves to echo the Administration’s commitment to safeguard employment for American workers.”
Ford Executive Chair Bill Ford says, “It has been said that this generation is the first to feel the impact of climate change, and the last that can do something about it. I am proud that Ford is leading the electric revolution and standing for stronger standards that protect people and the environment as we progress towards a zero-emissions transportation future. Ford has always been a leader in sustainability and our employees continue their tremendous efforts to leave our children and our grandchildren with a cleaner planet.”
Ford CEO Jim Farley says the company is on an ambitious trajectory. “Being the only full-line American automaker to side with California in favor of stricter greenhouse gas emissions, to electrifying our most iconic and popular vehicles, like the F-150 Lightning, Mustang Mach-E, and E-Transit.
“Customer demand has exceeded our expectations,” says Farley. “So, we expect to be well positioned to have fully electric vehicles account for 40 to 50 percent of our U.S. sales by 2030. We’re counting on strong cooperation among the Biden Administration, Congress, and state and local governments, and are doing our part by developing high-quality, zero-emission vehicles that customers want.”
Battery electric vehicle sales accounted for 2.8 percent of U.S. vehicle registrations in 2020, according to IHS Markit. The information and analytics company, which has an office in Southfield, predicts EV sales will increase to 3.5 percent this year and be more than 10 percent by 2025.