US health lobby criticises $7.5bn electric vehicle funding ‘shortfall’

US health and environmental groups have criticised what they see as a substantive shortfall in funding for electric vehicles, contained  in a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal unveiled this week.

The deal includes $7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging stations.

The White House noted it was the first-ever national investment but still only half of what Biden had called for to build a national network of 500,000 stations.

President Joe Biden had called for $15 billion to build 500,000 electric vehicle charging outlets, but critics have said the $7.5 billion agreed by Congress is not enough and have called for more funding for electric vehicles and charging stations.

The American Lung Association said it wants $20 billion for electric school buses, saying it was “disappointed by the level of funding proposed for zero-emission electric school buses. It is also discouraging to see that the proposal includes funding to perpetuate the use of combustion fuels for new school buses.”

Over the past year, US automotive manufacturers have stepped up their pace with regard to new electric vehicles, spending significant amounts on development.

Some, including General Motors and Volvo, have set goals of selling only electric passenger vehicles by 2035.

Biden has made combating climate change a policy priority, and the broad compromise bill reached after intense negotiations takes some steps toward his goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030.

Widespread availability of electric charging stations in communities big and small is the cornerstone of his efforts to switch America’s car and truck fleet from polluting combustion engines to zero-emissions electric.

Biden has called for $100 billion in government subsidies for electric vehicles overall and that issue is expected to be addressed in a larger separate funding debate in Congress.

In May, a Senate panel advanced legislation to boost electric vehicle tax credits to as much as $12,500 for electric vehicles that are assembled by union workers in the United States.

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