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Axios' Joann Muller (L) and Sec. of Transportation Pete Buttigieg (R). Photo courtesy of Axios Events

President Biden's proposal to put $174 billion into zero-emission transportation is a type of "market-making investment" that would kickstart the nation's EV industry, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Friday during a virtual Axios event.

Why it matters: Biden's American Jobs Plan aims to invest in EV charging stations and consumer incentives to make EVs more marketable.

  • "[W]e're definitely continuing to communicate the economic potential as well as the climate potential of this ... We've just got to make sure we convey why it's important that we have an expanded view of infrastructure that isn't just building it the way we would have built it in, say, 1950," Buttigieg said.
  • Buttigieg said the administration is also "looking into" converting some of the federal government's vehicle fleet into electric vehicles.

The secretary said investing in EV development could create jobs, stating, "We're talking primarily about blue-collar jobs, not jobs that demand a college degree in order to do them."

Between the lines: Biden's pitch for EV charging stations in his infrastructure package is drawing pushback from conservatives who argue EV development is a private sector issue.

  • Buttigieg told Axios Events, "Electric vehicles can't be a luxury item if we really want to recognize that they're the future of car transportation and critically position the U.S. to be leading the world in manufacturing them with American workers with access to union jobs."

Go deeper

Apr 22, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans unveil $568 billion infrastructure counterproposal

Sens. John Barasso and Shelley Moore Capito. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senate Republicans formally rolled out the framework for their $568 billion counterproposal to President Biden's $2.5 trillion infrastructure plan on Thursday.

Why it matters: The package is far narrower than anything congressional Democrats or the White House would agree to, but it serves as a marker for what Republicans want out of a potential bipartisan deal.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Apr 21, 2021 - Economy & Business

The jobs of the future are getting back on track

Expand chart
Data: Cognizant; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

While digitally enabled "jobs of the future" are still below their pre-pandemic level, new data suggests they are on the way back.

The big picture: The U.S. labor market is recovering faster than expected thanks to a so-far successful vaccination program and massive stimulus spending. Future-focused jobs suffered even more during the pandemic than employment as a whole, but the category is set to take off later this year.

Norway's prime minister on her country's love of EVs

Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg gestures speaks during the Government's press conference on reopening society after the coronavirus Covid-19 lockdown on May 7, 2020. Photo by Fredrik Hagen/NTB Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images)

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg says electric vehicles have become a status symbol in her country, with widespread adoption spurred by government policies.

Why it matters: As shown in the viral Super Bowl commercials starring Will Ferrell, Norway is a potential model for implementing policy incentives that other countries might choose to follow to increase the adoption of electric vehicles.