Biden’s EV charging push could spur automakers to take on Tesla
June 25 (Reuters) – President Joe Biden’s plan to spend billions on U.S. charging networks could prompt more Americans to buy electric vehicles, giving General Motors (GM.N) and Ford Motor (FN) the much-needed fuel in the battle against Tesla Inc. (TSLA.O).
Biden’s administration on Thursday passed a bipartisan Senate deal to spend $ 1.2 trillion on infrastructure projects, including $ 7.5 billion on electric vehicle infrastructure, including charging stations. Any bill must pass by both houses of Congress, which are tightly controlled by Biden’s Democrats.[nL2N2O60YE]
âConsumers need a better infrastructure to buy electric vehicles and that could be good for General Motors and Ford as well as for Stellantis (STLA.MI),â said Frank Schwope, automotive analyst at NORD / LB .
Previously, Biden had requested $ 15 billion for electric vehicle charging stations. In a 2018 report, consulting firm McKinsey estimated that the United States will need about $ 11 billion in capital investment by 2030 to deploy the 13 million chargers needed for the nation’s electric vehicles.
“Effective legislation should include investments in charging infrastructure, especially in urban areas and along road corridors, which will help give consumers even more confidence to purchase electricity,” GM said in a statement. communicated.
Ford said in a statement it was “encouraging” to see bipartisan progress on overdue infrastructure investments.
“We hope the end product will enable and accelerate this transition” to zero emission vehicles, the company said.
Tesla’s rapid supercharging network gave it a competitive edge. Meanwhile, other automakers have formed alliances or invested in startups for networks as they rush new entrants into the market. Electric vehicle sales accounted for just 2% of total car sales in the United States in 2020.
There are two types of public electric vehicle charging stations: slower level 2 chargers, which take about an hour to charge for 10 miles (16 km) to 20 miles (32 km); and DC Fast chargers which can add 60 to 80 miles of range in 20 minutes of charging.
Volkswagen’s Electrify America unit, which will have 800 charging stations with more than 3,500 super-fast chargers across the United States, said it was encouraged by the spending plans.
Other companies such as Blink (BLNK.O), EVgo and ChargePoint (CHPT.N) are also building charging networks across the country, but at a much slower pace than their counterparts in China, where the government strongly supports electric vehicles.
There were about 884,000 charging stations in China in May, compared to about 42,000 in the United States.
A Cox Automotive study found Americans are reluctant to buy electric vehicles due to concerns over vehicle ranges and high prices, as well as poor charging infrastructure.
âIt (infrastructure) can give people a boost, but you have to differ between people in big cities and people in the countryside,â said auto analyst Schwope.
“In the countryside, you need a lot more mileage than in the city. The push will come especially in the big cities.”
Reporting by Subrat Patnaik, Chavi Mehta and Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru, additional reporting by David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Bernard Orr and Arun Koyyur
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