President Biden unveils game-changing infrastructure plan
The Biden administration continues to make waves, unveiling an infrastructure spending plan which could prove to be a significant game-changer for the US.
Under the American Jobs Plan, the Biden administration intends to spend $2.25 trillion, improving crumbling infrastructure and bolstering the US EV sector. Dubbed a once-in-a-generation investment in America itself, the plan follows on from a sweeping American Recovery Plan intended to help the US recover from the pandemic, also worth trillions of dollars.
If we act now, in 50 years people are going to look back and say: ‘This was the moment that America won the future– President Biden, during the infrastructure proposal in Pittsburgh
The EV sector looks set to benefit immensely from $174 billion worth of investment over the coming years. Under a variety of projects, automakers will be encouraged to boost production of EV components including batteries. President Biden has set a goal of ensuring the creation of 500,000 charging points across the US by 2030, creating the necessary infrastructure to make increased EV uptake viable.
An electrifying start
President Biden has been in office for barely 100 days, and yet has given a firm sign of approval for further development of the US’ EV sector unlike any US President before him. In the official statement unveiling the American Jobs Plan, the White House revealed that the US market share of plug-in EV sales is just one third of Chinese sales.
While production will be boosted by timely government-led investment over the coming decade, consumers will be encouraged to join in on the action. President Biden intends to use generous sweeteners such as sales rebates and tax incentives to lure consumers to splash out on their first EVs.
The federal government intends to lead by example when it comes to electrification, with services such as the US Postal Service having their entire fleet of vehicles switched to 100-per-cent electric models. Meanwhile, those distinctive yellow school buses which transport millions of American children to school each week will be brought into commission in the 2020s.
That’s because President Biden has set a target of at least 20 per cent of them becoming electric-only in the coming years, as part of the Clean Buses for Kids Program.
Once in a generation
Money is clearly no object when it comes to the Biden administration. Previous administrations refrained from investing in infrastructure on such a scale for fear of escalating a row between the Democrats and the Republicans over the mounting US public debt. Now, the culture of lean budgets and allowing the private sector to step in is beginning to change to one of greater interventionism.
One of the more sweeping parts of the American Jobs Plan includes ideas to reinforce the US power grid. Outages are estimated to cost $70 billion per year using existing sources of energy. By 2035, President Biden intends for the US to generate 100 per cent of its electricity in a carbon-free way. Nuclear and hydropower look set to benefit especially, as existing low-carbon solutions which are set to be enhanced by further research and development.
This sizable investment package addresses two major concerns – the US is attempting to reassert itself as a major player in seeking to tackle climate change, while also seeking to eclipse the likes of China economically and gain greater market share, especially in the thriving EV market. Relations between the two superpowers are frosty at best, and the 2020s will determine not only the fate of our environment, but the geopolitical balance of power over the coming decades.