The primaries have begun and the 2020 Presidental election is really starting to heat up. This election started with 26 Democrats and 3 Republicans (not including President Donald Trump). As time went on, we witnessed that number dwindle down and down, however, there are still so many candidates to choose from. With electric vehicles rising in popularity, it is important to know what these candidates’ plans are to promote and facilitate the transition to a zero-emission America.
Joe Biden, like many of his fellow candidates, has voiced his support for electric vehicles proudly. However, Biden happens to be the only candidate to voice his support for other alternatives as well. Biden has also backed advanced biofuels and hybrid cars. Biden has also promised to restore the federal tax credit and expand on infrastructure, calling for 500,000 new public charging outlets by the end of 2030.
Bloomberg has issued a specific strategy on transportation to combat climate change. Bloomberg’s plan hopes to have all new vehicles be only electric by 2035. His plan also includes switching to electric buses and trucks, creating a high-speed rail, and improving public transportation. Bloomberg also plans to incentivize moderate to low income communities to switch to EVs by offering rebates for trading in their old cars for electric ones.
Pete Buttigieg was supporting electric vehicles long before he began his attempt at the presidency. As mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Buttigieg promoted initiatives to further EV infrastructure in an attempt to improve the city’s air quality. As a presidential candidate, Buttigieg’s plan is to all newly manufactured cars be electric by 2035 and all heavy-duty trucks by 2040. If he wins, Buttigieg also plans to expand the EV tax credit to $10,000 and re-structure the phase-out plan to be based on the percentage of EVs
Bernie Sanders has one of the most ambitious plans as far as electric transportation goes. Sanders hopes to have all newly manufactured vehicles be all-electric by 2030, one of the earliest deadlines of any of the candidates. Sanders also hopes to spend $16 trillion on revamping transportation. This money would go towards infrastructure, incentives, updating fleets, and phase out programs of internal-combustion vehicles. Sanders also has a plan to incentivize citizens to switch over to EVs, offering a trade-in program for people to exchange their gas-powered cars for electric vehicles made in the US.
Elizabeth Warren’s strong stance on electric vehicles has been apparent from the start. Warren plans to expand the federal tax credit through her clean-energy plan. She has also said that by the end of her first term, the entire federal fleet would be electric. Under a Warren administration, the deadline for all EV manufacturing is 2030 for light and medium-duty vehicles Similar to Bernie, Warren has a trade-in program planned out. Her “Clean Cars for Clunkers” program would also use financial incentives to push citizens into turning in their fuel-inefficient vehicles for zero-emission vehicles. Link Sanders’ plan, Warren’s recovery and replacement plan will only exchange cars for EVs made in the US.
The current president of the United States seems to have gone back and forth on his position on electric vehicles. Donald Trump has stood in the way of expanding the federal EV tax credit and last year and has expressed his skepticism in the idea of an all-electric future for the automotive industry. However, he has also gone on to suggest that investing in electric vehicles is a smart business move for car manufacturers. Despite voicing this opinion, it appears that Trump has made no moves to actively promoting the EV industry.
Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, and the Republican candidate Bill Weld have yet to take a strong stance on the topic. They have not come out with a transition plan or included EVs in any of their main talking points. Tom Steyer recently came out to say that he thinks the best plan of action for transitioning to an electric vehicle America is to use a “Cash for Clunkers” plan to buy Americans’ cars in exchange for means for them to purchase cleaner and greener cars.
Keeping up with so many candidates can be overwhelming, but having such an expansive group of politicians who care should give you hope. So do your research and find the candidate who inspires you and reflects what you believe in. Most of all, keep the planet in mind as you head to your polling station on election day.