The electric vehicle revolution is gaining ground, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is looking to accelerate it. In a recent interview, Schumer noted that he is planning to include an ambitious proposal to President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill–one that would replace every gas car in the United States with an electric car.
The Senate Majority Leader’s proposal is ambitious, and it is one that he initially suggested in an op-ed at The New York Times in 2019. Back then, Schumer’s idea seemed incredibly challenging, but with the political landscape changing in favor of the Democrats following the 2020 presidential elections, the Senate Majority Leader’s EV ideas now seem feasible.
“It’s a bold new plan designed to accelerate America’s transition to all electric vehicles on the road, to developing a charging infrastructure, and to grow American jobs through clean manufacturing. And the ultimate goal is to have every car manufactured in America be electric by 2030, and every car on the road be clean by 2040,” Schumer said in an interview with The Verge.
Schumer’s proposal would provide anyone who trades in their gas cars for an electric alternative a substantial point-of-sale discount. The Senate Majority Leader did not share exactly how much of a discount will be given, though a spokesperson later noted that the proposed rebates would be “more generous” than the current $7,500 federal EV tax credit.
Apart from substantial point-of-sale discounts, Schumer is also looking to provide direct incentives for automakers to phase out their production of internal combustion cars. The proposal also aims to offer tax breaks for property owners to install electric vehicle charging facilities in their homes or apartment buildings. Schumer proposed sending direct subsidies to local governments to improve and expand the country’s electric car charging infrastructure as well.
Details about the Senate Majority Leader’s proposal are still being worked out, such as the discount given to each person trading in a gas-powered car for an EV, but Schumer estimates that the initiative would cost about $454 billion over ten years to implement. Biden’s infrastructure and climate proposal is expected to cost about $2 trillion.
Considering Biden’s support for EVs, as evidenced by his efforts to replace the government’s fleet of nearly 650,000 vehicles with American-made all-electric cars, the Senate Majority Leader believes that the US President would likely be supportive of his ambitious proposal. “I haven’t sat down and discussed the whole thing with them. But yes, I think it is going to be part of the infrastructure plan,” he said.