FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 10/20/2021
Washington, D.C. – A new analysis from the Rhodium Group determined that the United States has a chance to achieve its commitment under the Paris Climate Agreement, but only if Congress, the Biden Administration, state and local governments, and private industry take urgent action. To meet our commitment, President Biden pledged to reduce domestic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50 to 52% below 2005 levels. Congressional action through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the Build Back Better Act (BBBA) is especially critical. In addition to spurring clean energy deployment and cutting emissions, the climate provisions in these bills will lower the costs of state and local programs, and they will drive technological innovation to accelerate emissions reduction in the future.
The Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA) has vigorously advocated for Congress to include electric vehicle (EV) provisions in the IIJA and BBBA because these provisions will significantly cut GHG emissions—along with improving public health, creating jobs, and generating cost-savings for consumers. The transportation sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., and it is the only part of the economy in which emissions continue to increase. Diesel and gasoline-powered vehicles emit not only carbon dioxide but also other pollutants like particulate matter and NOx from their tailpipes that are particularly harmful to frontline communities living along traffic corridors and in urban centers.
“EVs are among our most powerful tools for fighting climate change and preventing pollution-caused illnesses and premature deaths,” said Joe Britton, the Executive Director of ZETA. “EVs are also creating millions of good-paying jobs and injecting billions of new dollars into local economies across the country. Congress has an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate the deployment of EVs, which will ensure that these public benefits are delivered to all Americans—even those who never end up sitting behind the wheel of an EV.”
An analysis from Energy Innovation found that the EV provisions in the IIJA and BBBA could achieve 115 million metric tons of GHG reductions per year by 2030, depending on the percentage of EVs that the BBBA ultimately makes eligible for consumer incentives. Increasing the percentage of eligible EVs will further reduce emissions. Notably, these EV provisions will also continue to reduce emissions after 2030, unlike some of the bills’ more static climate provisions. After all, EVs will be on the roads for at least 10 to 20 years, so many EVs sold in 2030 will lower emissions through 2050. Furthermore, EVs will contribute to lower emissions each year over their lifetimes because the U.S. electrical grid will continue to get even cleaner. The EV provisions in the IIJA and BBBA are currently ranked as the bills’ third-largest mechanism for emissions reduction, following the power sector incentives and the oil and gas methane fee.
Reducing emissions by 115 million metric tons each year would have drastic life-saving benefits. The International Council on Clean Transportation estimates that there were 22,000 premature deaths attributed to transportation-sector particulate matter and ozone pollution in the United States in 2015. The EV provisions in the IIJA and BBBA would significantly reduce the prevalence of these premature deaths, which disproportionately affect communities of color.
Finally, the EV provisions in the IIJA and BBBA would create jobs, spur economic development, and generate cost-savings for consumers. The EV industry is expected to create more than two million jobs in the United States in the coming decades, depending on federal investment in the sector. Third Way recently published an assessment of the private sector’s vast investment in EVs, spending billions of dollars to build EV and battery manufacturing facilities throughout the country. Mitigating climate change and preventing premature deaths would also save money—coupled with a cleaner electrical grid, rapidly accelerating our domestic EV sales in the coming years could lead to $1.8 trillion in environmental and public health savings by 2050. Finally, the lifetime cost of ownership of an EV is lower than the lifetime cost of owning an internal combustion engine vehicle because EVs have lower operating and maintenance costs. The lifetime cost-of-ownership savings generated for consumers who purchase EVs in 2030 could exceed $60 billion.
EVs are a powerful tool for fighting climate change, preventing pollution-induced illnesses and deaths, and supporting local economies and workers across the country. Congress must pass the IIJA and BBBA with strong EV provisions.
The Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA) is a federal coalition focused on advocating for 100% EV sales by 2030. ZETA is committed to enacting policies that drive EV adoption, create hundreds of thousands of jobs, secure American global EV manufacturing dominance, drastically improve public health, and significantly reduce carbon pollution.