Nov 20, 2020 - Energy & Environment

How Biden's win could juice electric vehicle growth

Animated illustration of an electric car trailed by a lightning bolt

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President-elect Biden's win could juice electric vehicle sales in the U.S. by a lot, per an analysis from the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The big picture: Biden, who talks a lot about electric vehicles, is expected to try to scuttle Trump administration regulations that weakened the Obama-era auto mileage and emissions rule. And go even further.

Why it matters: The CSIS primer offers some not-previously-public projections from the research firm BloombergNEF...

  • If the U.S. simply reverted back to the Obama-era standards, "by 2023, electric vehicle sales would jump to 15 percent of total car sales and by 2026, to 25 percent." That would be roughly 4 million cars that year.
  • Under the Trump administration's less aggressive rules, electric vehicles would not break 5% by then, per BloombergNEF's analysis.

Yes, but: Rewriting regulations is time-consuming and legally fraught, while other Biden proposals — including expanded consumer tax incentives for electric vehicles — face stiff headwinds in Congress.

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