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Biden promises to make half of new cars electric by 2030, to combat climate change

In a reversal of Trump-era policies, Biden is making serious attempts to reduce emissions and counter the rise of China's car manufacturing.

Staff Writers
2 minute read
US President Joe Biden. Photo: AP
US President Joe Biden. Photo: AP

US President Joe Biden’s administration said on Thursday it will aim to make half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 electrified vehicles.

It will do so while developing long-term fuel efficiency and emissions standards to advance efforts to tackle the global climate crisis, Kyodo is reporting.

The move is expected to help the US, the world’s second-largest greenhouse gas emitter after China, achieve its goal of cutting emissions roughly in half by 2030, in a shift from the Trump administration that oversaw a rollback of environmental policies.

By signing an executive order, Biden will set an “ambitious new target” to raise the share of sales of zero-emission vehicles, including battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric and fuel cell electric vehicles, to 50% in 2030, a senior administration official said.

The Biden administration is calling for investment in electric vehicle manufacturing, saying that this will not only create well-paid jobs but will better position the country to win “the future of transportation and manufacturing” in the face of stiff competition from China.

“Today, the US market share of electric vehicle sales is only one-third that of the Chinese electric vehicle market. The president believes it is time for the US to lead in electric vehicle manufacturing, infrastructure, and innovation,” the government said in a statement.

According to the statement, automakers representing nearly the entire US auto market, such as Ford and General Motors, have positioned themselves around the goal of electrified vehicles accounting for 40 to 50% of total sales in 2030.

Japan’s Honda, along with Germany’s BMW and other major foreign manufacturers, also said in a joint statement that they remain committed to “leading the industry in fighting against climate change” and they “support the administration’s goal of reaching an electric vehicle future”.

The Biden administration said the latest announcements will put the US on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new passenger vehicle sales by more than 60% in 2030 compared with vehicles sold last year.

In April, Biden vowed to achieve a 50-52% reduction of emissions from 2005 levels in 2030, making the US commitment around twice as ambitious as that earlier pledged under the Paris climate accord.