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Biden’s Win Means Help for Automakers Selling Electric Vehicles

The president-elect wants to restore a tax credit and build 500,000 charging stations.
relates to Biden’s Win Means Help for Automakers Selling Electric Vehicles

Photo Illustration: 731; Photos: General Motors (1); Getty Images (2)

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Although President Obama threw a lifeline to U.S. automakers after the financial crisis, many in the industry were unhappy that his administration also was responsible for fuel economy rules that pushed carmakers to their limits. But the inauguration of former Vice President Joe Biden, who worked hand in hand with Obama to set the tough regulations, will be a welcome event for the industry. That’s because Biden will bring something that manufacturers from Volkswagen to General Motors to Tesla badly need: help selling electric vehicles.

Major automakers and startups alike will collectively spend $230 billion before the end of Biden’s first term to bring dozens of EVs to market, according to Alix Partners. That’s risky, because sales of these clean, plug-in vehicles make up less than 2% of the U.S. market, and most of those are made by Tesla Inc. President Trump has let a tax credit program for EVs fade and did little to build out a charging network, relying instead on the largesse of states to promote clean cars.