With electric vehicles (EVs) set to become the favored mode of transportation in the near future, it is surprising that the United States – the country that fueled the mass production of the global automotive sector – seemed to lag behind other nations in terms of EV development and manufacturing.
As of last month, all 50 US states are on the path towards a nationwide EV charging network whose development is being funded under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA.) At the same time, individual automakers are putting their money into constructing domestic EV manufacturing plants, component processing zones, and even battery production hubs, all of which will generate well-compensated employment for a new generation of skilled workers.
The industrial/commercial incentives of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the recent proposal of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding new emission standards across all forms of vehicles have also spurred the industry into action.
However, the challenge for the further progress of the industry lies in how well the electrification of the transportation sector will go and how smoothly the transition from fossil fuels to renewable power will be.
According to Thomas Boylan, regulatory director for the Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA,) the most crucial thing is permitting reform in the automotive sector and national transportation, economic, and environmental policies. This is especially necessary, given how economic incentives are already in place for the EV sector, and the industry is gaining momentum.
Boylan went on to say that, with regard to the new EPA regulations on vehicular emissions, the agency is tackling the challenge of improving air quality, particularly in densely populated areas, head-on. But he added that there are a number of areas where the EPA can go further; that said, it will still take some time before the United States becomes a much greener country in terms of transportation.