State of the EV Industry

Albert Gore
Albert Gore
Albert Gore
March 12, 2024

Last Thursday, President Biden delivered his 2024 State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. During the speech, he highlighted the growing domestic electric vehicle (EV) industry and the impact of his marquee legislation—the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)—on the clean energy economy. 

These two pieces of legislation are having a monumental impact on communities around the country. Manufacturing facilities are breaking ground and creating thousands of new American jobs, new electric vehicle charging stations are being installed along our nation’s highways, and EV sales are surging. Due in large part to these bills, the United States is transforming its transportation sector.

While the president covered a lot of ground during the address, more can be said about the EV sector’s growth. I’d like to lend additional context to some of his statements and underscore what continued investment in the electric vehicle industry means for American global competitiveness.

President Biden: My policies have attracted $650 billion of private sector investments in clean energy and advanced manufacturing, creating tens of thousands of jobs here in America! Thanks to our Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, 46,000 new projects have been announced across your communities—modernizing our roads and bridges, ports and airports, and public transit systems. 

The EV industry has been a significant source of these investments. Since President Biden took office, the EV supply chain has announced more than $161 billion in investments. Innovators across the country are using this money to create or retrofit facilities— in turn, these EV and battery development hubs are projected to employ thousands of Americans. 

But EV investments go beyond building cars and batteries. The president highlighted the impact of the BIL, which includes the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program. NEVI is investing $5 billion to deploy a national network of 500,000 public EV charging stations along our highway system. During the past few months, we have seen the first of these stations go into operation in Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, and Hawaii. At the same time, the private sector is forging partnerships among private industry and local governments to install additional DCFC and Level 2 stations to serve on-street parking and retail destinations

The BIL is also helping to deploy other zero-emission vehicles, particularly electric school buses. As of March 5, the World Resources Institute’s Electric School Bus Initiative has tracked 8,652 electric school buses that have been awarded, ordered, delivered, or are in operation in the United States. Already, this new technology is protecting our children from the harmful effects of air pollution. 

President Biden: A great comeback story is Belvidere, Illinois. [It was] home to an auto plant for nearly 60 years. Before I came to office, the plant was on its way to shutting down. Thousands of workers feared for their livelihoods. Hope was fading. … Instead of an auto factory shutting down, an auto factory is reopening and a new state-of-the-art battery factory is being built to power those cars. Instead of a town being left behind it’s a community moving forward again! 

The Belvidere plant President Biden mentioned will be refocusing in part on manufacturing EV batteries, propelled by the intensive market growth of electric transportation. Beyond Illinois, investments in the EV supply chain are creating jobs in communities across our country. This includes historic auto towns in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana, but also new opportunities in the Southeast and Southwest. Analysis by the Wall Street Journal has found that a significant amount of these investments are benefiting conservative-leaning states. As the president mentioned during his speech, many opponents of the BIL and IRA have made appearances at the groundbreaking of facilities made possible by the BIL and IRA. After seeing the gains their communities are already experiencing, we hope more policymakers will begin to see the significant economic, public health, and environmental potential of the EV industry.

President Biden: We are also making history by confronting the climate crisis, not denying it. I’m taking the most significant action on climate ever in the history of the world. I am cutting our carbon emissions in half by 2030 [and] creating tens of thousands of clean-energy jobs. 

Achieving 100% EV sales in the United States is key to meeting the president’s carbon reduction goals. Transportation is the number one source of greenhouse gas emissions in our country, and the vast majority of these emissions come from trucks and personal vehicles. Over the lifetime of an EV, carbon emissions are reduced by at least 64% compared to gas-powered alternatives—even in communities where the majority of electricity production comes from fossil fuels. As the grid continues to get cleaner and more efficient, EVs will become even better for the environment and public health—and electricity providers are more than able to meet the growing demand that comes with EV adoption.

So, what’s next?

While there is much to celebrate, a lot of work remains. We must educate more drivers about the benefits of EVs, expand our public charging infrastructure, and increase our supply of domestic critical minerals to address challenges at the beginning and end of the supply chain. All of this is possible, and we can do it with the technology available to us today. 

Let’s get to work.

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About ZETA

National policies to support 100% electric vehicle sales.

The Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA) is a federal coalition focused on advocating for 100% EV sales. Enacting policies that drive EV adoption will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, secure American global EV manufacturing dominance, drastically improve public health, and significantly reduce carbon pollution.