字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント As climate change is increasingly central to everything from personal health to big business, can the Biden administration's policies to clean up emissions also jumpstart America's effort to beat Europe and China as the world leader in electric vehicle production? His two trillion dollar infrastructure plan offers a possible roadmap for how the U.S. can lead and grow its economy. Creating good-paying jobs by leading the world in the manufacturing and export of clean electric cars and trucks. Electric vehicles, also referred to as EVs, are not new. The U.S. began experimenting with them in the late 1800s, and by the turn of the century, they accounted for a third of all vehicles in the country. But the discovery of new domestic oil sources and the rise of Ford's more affordable, mass-produced Model T eventually squashed the electric car market. And in the century that followed, gas-powered cars took over the roadways, contributing to skyrocketing global carbon emissions. Modern EVs can help clean up the transportation sector. Electric vehicles do reduce overall CO2 emissions, both from a tailpipe point of view and also from a life cycle point of view. It does vary depending on where the vehicles are being used and the electricity grid mix in that country or region, and it also varies where you make the battery and the type of battery chemistry you're using. Even factoring for these variables, EVs almost always mean lower carbon emissions than their gas-powered counterparts. At the moment, U.S. EV sales are still pretty small, accounting for only about two percent of all vehicles sold in 2020. Somewhere around five percent of sales is where things really start to take off. Experts say it will take government policy to reach that five percent. There are already some U.S. tax credits that make EVs cheaper for consumers but nothing like what's available in Norway, where 54% of new cars sold in 2020 were electric. In addition to exempting EV drivers from certain taxes and road tolls, Norway's government has also built a massive charging infrastructure and subsidizes free parking for EV owners in many parts of the country. China has similar incentives. In China, there are substantial subsidies. They're supporting electric vehicle companies. Automakers get larger subsidies the farther their EVs can go per charge, and that incentivizes the production of better batteries. They have done so much to try to build out the charging infrastructure. Like this massive charging station in Shenzhen, which can charge up to 15,000 vehicles each day. The government investments seem to have paid off. China is home to about half of the world's electric vehicles as well as more than 400 companies building EVs for global consumers. In January, Wuling's Hong Guang Mini, which costs just 4,500 dollars surpassed the Tesla Model 3 as the world's best-selling electric car. Generally the U.S. has been behind, but there's a lot of things that might make you think that's about to change. The president and his team haven't been shy about their electric vehicle ambitions. We're going to look at the opportunities that electric vehicles provide to actually make our air cleaner and address our climate challenge. One of their key priorities is expanding the nation's charging infrastructure by more than quadrupling the number of publicly accessible charging plugs in the country. Building a nationwide network of 500,000 charging stations. Another priority is making EVs more affordable for everyday buyers. We're going to provide tax incentives and point of sale rebates to help all American families. And the White House wants to lead by example. The federal government also owns an enormous fleet of vehicles, which we're going to replace with clean electric vehicles. Currently only 0.6% of that fleet of 650,000 is battery powered. Even 100% of the fleet makes up only a small portion of total American vehicles, but electrifying it can still have a big impact. The procurement tool is particularly powerful because it gives us a way to pull on the entire supply chain and bring it here into the United States. Biden has said that he wants a federal fleet that is made and sourced by American union workers. But as of now, he may have trouble finding EVs that match his wish list. Three large American automakers currently sell fully electric vehicles: Tesla, GM and Ford. None of their EVs on the market are made by union workers with enough American-made parts to meet Biden's goals. GM, however, recently announced a number of upcoming EVs, opened a plant exclusively for their assembly, and is investing in a massive supply chain shakeup. Doing our own battery and cell production and battery assembly allows for all the key elements of the supply chain to be right here in the U.S. with American workers doing the doing the manufacturing for us. The U.S. Postal Service operates a third of the federal fleet. The problem is that the USPS is run more like a corporation than a typical federal agency. It's funded through payments for its services rather than federal funding, and how it spends that money is determined by a board of governors rather than the president and Congress. The current board is made up of Trump appointed holdovers, and Biden is hoping to fill three vacancies with nominees of his own. The USPS recently awarded a long-term contract for new postal delivery vehicles, and so far, only 10% of them are committed to be electric. I think it's a missed opportunity. Look, vehicles that go small distances on predictable routes, those are the easy wins. But Oshkosh Defense, the company that won the contract, says that all of its vehicles are built for flexibility. If there's a use case today that needs an internal combustion system, a couple of years from now it can be retrofitted that exact vehicle to a battery electric vehicle. And the USPS says it's open to ordering more EVs if it can get Congress to offer a funding lifeline. A group of House Democrats recently introduced legislation that would provide an additional six billion dollars of funding for the Post Office. Experts point out cleaner cars are only one part of the overall climate change puzzle. Certainly increased demand for electric vehicles will put more strain on the U.S. grid, which is still largely powered by fossil fuels. But for an American industry coming to terms with its role in helping to clean up the planet, some clear government policy may help it become a leader in an electric vehicle revolution.