Secretary Buttigieg Remarks on the Future of Electric Vehicle Infrastructure
Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg
The Future of Electric Vehicle Infrastructure
Union Station, Washington, D.C.
April 22, 2021
Thanks for being here everyone.
It’s especially fitting that we are gathering at Union Station, which has been the gateway to our nation’s capitol for more than 100 years. We’re surrounded here by some of America’s most significant modes of transportation: Amtrak, public buses, the Metro, and of course, personal vehicles.
The transportation sector is this country’s largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. That means we’re the biggest part of the problem. But it also means we can be the biggest part of the solution. And that solution includes zero emission vehicles and charging stations like the ones you’ve seen here today.
I can’t think of a better way to mark this Earth Day than by talking about the future of electric vehicles.
And I can’t think of a better place to do it than in front of charging stations like these. Charging companies are helping to pave the way for a new era in transportation. And we’re thrilled to see where this road takes us.
The President has said that when he thinks about climate, he thinks about jobs, and vice-versa. And at the Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, we know that electric vehicles and the charging networks that fuel them are good for the planet and will help create good American jobs.
That’s why I’m pleased to share some important news about the future of electric vehicles and the charging infrastructure that makes them possible.
FHWA is announcing our fifth round of new “alternative fuel corridors,”: these designations represent progress toward building out a national network of EV charging and alternative fueling stations to support long-distance travel.
To date, FHWA has designated nearly 166,000 miles of our national highways as alternative fuel corridors, covering 49 states and the District of Columbia. And that includes 59,000 miles of EV corridors.
These routes, which connect communities large and small, signal a clear demand for cleaner, more affordable transportation across the country. It’s our responsibility to help meet that demand.
That’s why FHWA is also clarifying how our existing funding programs can be used to support new EV charging infrastructure.
Already, we have $41.9 billion in federal funding spread across 15 FHWA programs that our state partners can tap into to build EV chargers.
And while some of those programs get a lot of use, others are less widely known. We hope that the report we are releasing today will shed light on the resources that are already available, as we work toward the Administration’s goal of installing half a million new EV chargers nationwide by the end of the decade.
At the same time, if we want to meet this historic goal, our existing resources won’t be enough. That’s where the American Jobs Plan comes in.
Today, the U.S. market share in electric vehicles is just one third the size of the Chinese market. The President’s plan aims to change that, by investing over $170 billion in the EV industry.
That money will help automakers secure raw materials, modernize their factories, and compete on a global stage.
It will create good-paying jobs for American workers, making batteries and vehicles, and building and installing new EV charging stations.
It will provide consumers with new incentives to buy American-made EVs, all while ensuring those vehicles are affordable for the average family.
It will electrify the federal fleet and at least 20% of our yellow school buses, along with replacing 50,000 diesel transit vehicles.
And it will establish grant programs for state governments and the private sector to build a new national network of 500,000 EV chargers by 2030.
The American Jobs Plan is a win-win for workers and for the environment. With your help, we’re going to seize this once in a generation opportunity to spark an electric vehicle revolution and build a new future for American transportation.
To tell you more about exactly how we’re going to make it happen, it’s my pleasure to turn it over to the White House National Climate Advisor, Gina McCarthy.