Auto Alliance Outlines EV Charging Infrastructure Plan, Asks for Help

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
auto alliance outlines ev charging infrastructure plan asks for help

This week, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation (the largest automotive lobby in existence) released a set of principles relating to the EV charging infrastructure that it believes will be absolutely necessary to spur consumer adoption of electric and alternative energy vehicles in the United States.

“For the auto industry’s transition to electrification to be successful, customers will need access to affordable and convenient charging and hydrogen fueling, easy-to-understand utility rate structures that reward off-peak charging, and improved charging times,” John Bozzella, CEO of the alliance, said on Wednesday. “And we must also work together to grow EV sales without leaving low-income, rural or disadvantaged communities behind.”

That’s corporate-speak for “we need to stop catering to wealthy buyers and the government needs to pay for as much of this as possible.”

Unless you’ve been in a coma since the Bush administration, you’re likely aware that people are paying to support electric vehicles via taxes and the bill just keeps getting bigger. Joe Biden has made EV advancement one of its primary goals, as the U.S. House of Representatives is prepared to move on the $1 trillion infrastructure bill that’s already been passed by the Senate. While the current version doesn’t set aside quite as much money for charging stations as originally envisioned, it’s still ready to dole out $7 billion for the cause. This is on top of multi-billion dollar investments from automakers, prior infrastructure bills, state-backed initiatives, and a decade of subsided EV sales.

While the discourse tends to focus on how alternative energy vehicles are going to be the saviors of this planet, manufacturers frequently gloss over some of the less-than-ideal environmental aspects of battery production. They also never bring up how swapping their production lines over to electric cars will require a fraction of their existing workforces, fewer mechanical components, and allow them to more easily utilize connectivity services that lock product features behind digital paywalls while mining consumer data. If automakers (or the lobbying groups) were as concerned about the environment as they claim, they’d probably shut down operations and recommended everyone ride bicycles. But the reality is that they see electrification as a potential goldmine in savings that simultaneously paves the way for new sources of revenue.

That said, if we’re seriously going to try and engineer the electric revolution — rather than letting the market gradually decide what works — then the AAI is correct in stating that we’ll need to pour cash on the problem.

The alliance wants general support for a widespread EV charging infrastructure. This includes scaling up public and utility investments for chargers (level 2) and hydrogen fueling stations while finding a way to ensure energy prices don’t explode through the roof or electrical grids fail as millions of EVs are plugged in every single evening. The AAI is also pushing for new building codes that would require EV chargers in all residential parking areas and any newly constructed homes.

How can this daunting task be accomplished? According to the alliance, only via strengthened partnerships between public and private entities. The group has said the automotive industry will have invested more than $330 billion by 2025 and the path ahead will require more money from serious partners and “expanded roles for utilities, energy regulators, and other stakeholders to create opportunities for new and existing businesses to participate in this clean transformation.”

Frankly, it sounds like there will be too much central planning — leaving your author concerned about the potential for corruption and roadblocks as decision-makers make unilateral decisions that don’t work for all markets. There’s also a lot here that’s not being considered, particularly the chip shortage that it’s absolutely demolishing industrial productivity right now and the heightening demand for hard-to-source materials required for battery production. Though, if we’re to keep to the tight EV timelines that everyone seems to want, there may be no alternative but to adhere to most of what the AAI is proposing.

[Image: Imagenet/Shutterstock]

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  • Dartdude Dartdude on Sep 03, 2021

    It now time for Americans to grow up. You want something you work for it. Your wants ARE NOT for your neighbor to pay for. Govt has NO money It steals money from productive people to get it. You want free stuff then go door to door and ask your neighbors for money. If they are going to finance the EV boom, then they may as well make gas free to make it fair.

    • See 3 previous
    • Arthur Dailey Arthur Dailey on Sep 05, 2021

      @Dartdude: your understanding of history is very limited. The implementation of universal free schooling via government legislation was a major step in creating modern society. 'Massachusetts passed the first compulsory school laws in 1852. New York followed the next year, and by 1918, all American children were required to attend at least elementary school.' The GI Bill provided American servicemen from all classes/areas/walks of life to attend university. This helped create the middle class that represented American prosperity circa 1946 to the end of the 20th century. Various Homestead Acts enticed immigrants into the American west. Under the protection of the US Army. You seem to advocate for some Dickensian society, which thankfully was only in vogue in North America for a limited period.

  • JD-Shifty JD-Shifty on Sep 05, 2021

    dartdude is the perfect example of the low education citizen the GOP wants.

  • Probert Sorry to disappoint: any list. of articles with a 1 second google search. It's a tough world out there - but you can do it!!!!!!
  • ToolGuy "We're marking the anniversary of the time Robert Farago started the GM death watch and called for the company to die."• No, we aren't. Robert Farago wrote that in April 2005. It was reposted in 2009 on the eve of the actual bankruptcy filing.The byline dates are sometimes strange/off with the site revisions (and the 'this is a repost' note got lost), but the date string in the link is correct (...2005/04...). Posting about GM bankruptcy in 2005 was a slightly more difficult call than doing it in 2009.-- The Truth About Calendars
  • Kat Laneaux Agree with Michael500, we wasted all that money just to bail out GM and they are developing these cars in China and other countries. What the heck. I understand the cheap labor but that is just another foothold the government has on their citizens and they already treat them like crap. That is pretty disgusting to go forward to put other peoples health and mental stability on a crazy crazed, control freak, leader, who is in bed with Russia. Thought about getting a buick but that just shot that one out of the park. All of this for the greed. They get what they lay in bed with. Disgusting.
  • Michael500 Good thing Obama used $50 billion of taxpayer money to bail them out and give unions a big stake. GM is headed to BK again with their Hail Mary hope of EVs. Hopefully a Republican in office will let them go BK the next time, and it's coming. The US economy is not related/dependent on GM and their Chinese made Buicks.
  • MaintenanceCosts "Rural areas hardly noticed COVID at all."I very much doubt that is true in places like the Navajo Nation or the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska, some of which lost 2% or more of their population to COVID.No city had a death rate in the same order of magnitude.Low-density living is a very modern invention. Before cars, people, even in agricultural areas, needed to live densely to survive.