President Joe Biden skimmed over critical aspects and oversimplified the facts in his boast about backing from the United Auto Workers (UAW) union for his campaign to expand significantly sales of electric cars by the end of the decade.
Biden omitted to mention in his speech on Wednesday that the UAW does not support the EV objectives he established in an executive order issued last month. The union’s backing is also contingent on strong government support for the union-made automobiles in the kind of tax credits in forthcoming legislation in Congress, which is far from certain.
Let’s have a look at the assertion:
“The main ‘Big Three’ (automakers) have decided, along with the assistance of those unions, on constructing, going electric, so we possess that market,” Biden said, praising the job of UAW members.
The facts show that this is not the case. While the UAW has voiced overall support for increased EV sales, it has consistently refused to endorse goals pushed by Biden as a portion of his elaborate plan to tackle climate change, such as the 40 percent to 50 percent target agreed upon by the top manufacturers.
Last month, Biden proclaimed his strategy to “possess” the EV industry over foreign rivals, signing an order establishing an objective for 50 percent of all new cars sold in 2030 to be zero-emissions cars, which environmental organizations say is required to decrease greenhouse gas emissions significantly. In the United States, this would be a massive change from internal combustion engines (ICE) to battery-powered automobiles. Transportation is indeed the single largest cause of climate change in the United States.
Indeed, the United Auto Workers union has expressed worries about rushing an EV transition due to the possible impact on industry jobs. Electric vehicles require fewer personnel to assemble since they have 30 to 40 percent less parts and are easier to construct. Workers who used to make engines, transmissions, and other elements for gas-fueled cars will have to move to electric motors and batteries, undoubtedly resulting in employment reshuffles.
The UAW did not endorse a target at the signing of Biden’s order, instead stating that it continues to stand behind the president to “support his ambition to expand not only electric cars but also our ability to produce them internally with good wages and benefits.”
Both the UAW and “Big Three” automakers – Ford, GM, and Stellantis, previously Fiat Chrysler – have stated that a “dramatic shift” can only occur with government incentives for electric car purchases, adequate funding for charging stations, and money to broaden electrical vehicles manufacturing and the parts supply chain.
There is $7.5 billion in bipartisan infrastructure legislation awaiting legislative approval for subsidies to create charging stations, which is about half of what Biden suggested. He also sought $100 billion in tax breaks and refunds to encourage people to buy electric cars. At least some of the money was supposed to be included in a $3.5 trillion budget plan currently being debated in Congress.