Decarbonizing transportation provides an enormous opportunity for the U.S. job market—potentially creating 2.3 million jobs by 2035. With the recent enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the United States is well on its way to becoming a leader in the global electric vehicle (EV) industry.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that 12 new jobs are created for every $1 million invested in charging infrastructure; by comparison, internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle manufacturing creates an average of 7.2 jobs per million invested. Notably, the IRA is the single largest investment in the clean energy economy and will power much of the job growth promised by the law’s enactment. It contains:
These investments and policies will serve as key opportunities for industries such as domestic critical mineral mining, battery production, and American EV manufacturing. The battery supply chain doesn’t stop at EV production either: these batteries can serve as second-life applications for stationary energy storage and be recycled by reusing the critical minerals, fostering even more job growth as we expand the domestic industry’s downstream applications.
According to the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), the clean vehicles provisions in the IRA alone will create approximately 422,000 jobs in the next decade and spur even greater innovation in the transportation sector.
Each policy laid out in the IRA incentivizes businesses to invest in this process in the United States, and each one creates a different subsection of jobs for the American public. The same PERI study referenced above projects the following job numbers:
These numbers don’t include the hefty investments in electric vehicle infrastructure—like charging and high speed internet—provided in the IIJA and in separate Congressional appropriations. When coupled with American private sector innovation, these investments and appropriations will create millions of jobs that power the United States through the 21st century.
Most importantly, these job numbers are not purely hypothetical: the EV sector added 6,000 jobs at an 8% growth rate in 2020, while the rest of the auto sector saw a 9% decline due to COVID-19. Spurring on the development of the domestic EV sector will only serve to put more Americans to work, and supporting the growth of the domestic EV industry is a direct investment in our job security and in our future.
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