Love triangle? White House backs EVs, dwindles on phase-out date for petrol
The Biden administration wants to spend $174 billion to boost electric vehicles and charging stations but its 2030 climate emissions reduction pledge released on Thursday does not include a firm date to phase out gasoline-powered vehicles.
"These autos are coming. We know it. It is the future," White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy said of EVs at an event in Washington promoting administration efforts to boost EV charging.
She added that the administration would make EVs and charging "affordable and accessible to everyone."
McCarthy said the administration had not determined how much it wanted to see emissions reduced from the vehicle sector by 2030 or what percentage of zero-emission vehicles must be on the road by then.
The United States pledged at a global climate summit on Thursday hosted by President Joe Biden to reduce emissions 50% to 52% by 2030, compared with 2005 levels.
"We're not making any promises and we're not making any demands right now because this is about basically using the market to generate the kind of reductions we need, " McCarthy said. "We have a whole lot of ways to get to 50 to 52."
This week, a dozen governors from states including California, New York and Massachusetts urged Biden to endorse banning new passenger gasoline-powered vehicle sales by 2035.
General Motors Co has said it aspires to end sales of all gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035, but has not made a firm commitment.
White House climate envoy John Kerry noted at a White House briefing that Tesla Inc was the highest-valued automaker. "Why? All it makes is one product - electric vehicles. ... That is the market saying: 'Here we are, this is going to happen.'"
Biden also has not backed a firm date to ban U.S. government purchases of gasoline-powered vehicles.
California said in September it planned to end sales of new gasoline-powered passenger vehicles by 2035. Biden's campaign said last autumn he did not support California's phase-out plan.
Biden's plan calls for 500,000 new EV charging stations and $100 billion in new consumer rebates for electric vehicles. But McCarthy declined to answer on Thursday if the administration would boost the current $7,500 credit or restructure it.