Biden’s transformative electric car climate plan faces these major hurdles
The Biden administration’s plan to recreate how Americans travel by forcing automakers to quickly A shift to predominantly electric vehicle sales would deal a major blow to global warming — but only if federal officials can pull it off.
There is a lot that stands in their way.
The initiative is launched as the country̵[ads1]7;s electricity grid – which will fuel all these new electric cars – beeps, with destabilizing blackouts and wind and solar project developers often stuck waiting years to connect to transmission lines. It is uncertain how car companies will secure all the minerals needed to build EV batteries, with federal plans to bring supply chains on land facing major hurdles.
The durability of The Biden plan may also depend on Democrats retaining control of the White House in 2024 and defending the vehicle emissions rules against expected legal challenges. Not since the Nixon administration allowed California to write its own tailpipe emissions standards — setting in motion a regulatory regime that would push automakers to build ever more efficient cars — has there been such an aggressive push from Washington to reshape the American auto industry.
And of course, there’s the charging station conundrum: Can enough of them be built and kept functional to help car buyers overcome range anxiety?
All these questions have many transport experts who hedge their bets. The regulatory pressure “could lead to a faster transition to battery electric vehicles than we currently expect,” Matthias Heck, a vice president at Moody’s Investors Service, said in an email. But he also warned: “the risk of this carbon transition is high, if not very high, for the industry.”
The Biden administration brushes off such warnings, at a time that other countries are already rapidly electrifying. In China, electric cars already account for almost a third of new vehicle sales. Norway jumped over 79 percent in 2022, in a country where electric cars accounted for less than 3 percent of total car sales a decade earlier.