Detroit Auto CEOs Meet with Biden to Tout EV Tax Credits

President Joe Biden played host to CEOs of several large U.S.-based companies, giving each a chance to promote part of the Build Back Better Plan that would best support their future efforts. 

Biden meets CEOs two Jan 2022
President Joe Biden met with several U.S. CEOs, including GM’s Mary Barra and Ford’s Jim Farley, to get support for Build Back Better.

General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra and Ford Motor Co. CEO Jim Farley offered testimonials to the impact EV tax credits would have on electric vehicle sales, which are critical components of each company’s plans to head toward carbon neutrality.

“And take clean energy manufacturing: We’re — we’re bringing American manufacturing back — or, I should say, you all are bringing American manufacturing back.  And we’re helping along the way here,” Biden said in his opening remarks.

“The industrial Midwest, believe it or not, is coming back.  I got here when I was 20 — 30 years old, and the industrial Midwest was still going strong. But it’s coming back and doing some of the most sophisticated manufacturing in the world.”

Leading the charge

Each of Detroit-area automakers is committed to investing billions of dollars on the development and production of electric vehicles. However, there’s a price disparity between internal combustion powered cars and trucks and battery-electric models. 

Barra speaks with Biden one
GM CEO Mary Barra said its looking to offer EVs at a variety of price points.

The minimum of $7,500 in EV tax credits in the Build Back Better plan — it can rise to as much as $12,500 under certain circumstances — can cut that price gap and make EVs more competitive on a cost basis. The plan is currently in limbo, hence, the public meeting Wednesday to drum up support.

“We are really working to make sure, as we make this transformation to electric and do the right thing for the environment, that we bring everybody along — meaning that we have products at many different price points and people who participate in this market can — either new or used — are going to have the opportunity to afford electric vehicles,” Barra said during the event.

“To do that, it takes a good public-private partnership. Because for us to make those investments, we need provisions, especially the environmental provisions or the climate provisions that are going to uncap EV credits.

“We see with EV credits that it does stimulate the market. And to get to the aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goals that we have, getting strong demand is very important.

Barra speaks with Biden two
Barra says EV credits do stimulate the market to purchase electric vehicles.

Big investments in EVs

GM is investing $35 billion in EVs and autonomous vehicles by 2025, and as it looks to only produce vehicles with “zero emissions” by 2030. Its nearby rival, Ford, has pledged nearly $30 billion for a similar goal. Ford’s been pushing hard on its electrification product development with the Mustang Mach-E currently on the road and then F-150 Lightning full-size pickup — which Biden mentioned during the meeting — coming in late spring or early summer this year.

“As Ford leads the EV revolution, partnerships with the public sector are critical to our ability to transition quickly to a zero-emissions transportation future, avoid the worst impacts of climate change, and ensure U.S. competitiveness,” said Ford CEO Farley in a statement. 

“Our team is working around the clock to increase production of our exciting all-electric vehicles like the F-150 Lightning pickup truck, Mustang Mach-E SUV, and E-Transit van. But we can’t do it alone. I appreciated the opportunity to discuss the importance of strong consumer EV incentives with President Biden and am hopeful that our government can find a path forward to make them happen.” 

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