President Joe Biden has signed a trillion-dollar infrastructure spending bill into law.
It includes $7.5 billion to build out an electric vehicle charging network. It also has money to create four hydrogen hubs, with hydrogen expected to be the clean energy of choice for the trucking and airline industry.
“A lot of people have to stop on the way to Chicago for a refill and they may have to stop for a recharge.” —Kristin Dziczek, Center for Automotive Research
Kristin Dziczek is the senior vice president of research at the Center for Automotive Research. She says the legislation should help the U.S. stay competitive in the mobility sector.
“Japan and the Japanese automakers have made a big commitment to hydrogen,” says Dziczek. ”China and Korea and Japan are leading the way in batteries. So you know it is a game of catchup.”
Dziczek says a second piece of infrastructure legislation still in Congress, known as the Build Back Better plan, would include incentives for electric vehicle sales. In the meantime, she says funding to improve infrastructure will help make electric vehicles a more viable option for driving beyond the daily commute.
“And you know people in Detroit,” says Dziczek, “we think about ‘can I go to Chicago on a tank of gas?’ Well a lot of people have to stop on the way to Chicago for a refill and they may have to stop for a recharge.”
Dziczek says improved battery technology may reduce the burden on a nationwide charging network. However, she says the next generation of electric vehicle power cells is still several years away.