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New cash-for-clunkers proposal to speed electric-car adoption

July 24, 2020
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on July 14 shared his goal for a climate change plan, a large part of which involves electric vehicles and what Biden believes can make the U.S. the leader in electric-vehicle development.
 
Replacing gas with electricity
The piece that would impact drivers the most is a plan to offer incentives or rebates for people to swap their older, less fuel-efficient cars for EVs made in America. It essentially sounds like the 2009 Cash for Clunkers program under which people could replace their vehicles with more fuel efficient ones.
 
During his rollout speech, Biden didn’t share details of the idea such as how much the incentives would be or what constitutes bad fuel efficiency.
 
The plan seems rooted in a proposal from Sen. Chuck Schumer (D–New York) that would cost $454 billion over 10 years to offer incentives for people to trade in their gas car for an electric, hybrid, or hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle.
 
Government’s own fleet
Biden did announce that he would also push forward a plan to replace the enormous fleet of U.S. government vehicles to electric vehicles that — like those in the rebate program — would be made and sourced in the U.S. He stated that the government would provide the demand and grants to retool factories so that automakers and suppliers step up to expand capacity, "so that the United States — not China — leads the world in clean vehicle production."
 
As for infrastructure, the plan also includes building 500,000 new EV charging stations across the country. That boom in charging points would alleviate some of the range anxiety that continues to stunt EV adoption.
 
Biden said his plan would produce 1 million good-paying jobs in the automobile industry.
 
 

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