(Updates Ford’s plan to attend event in sixth paragraph.)
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The Biden administration is hosting a series of events this week to bolster the transition to electric vehicles, in pursuit of a major shift in the US away from gas-powered vehicles.
The “Charging Forward” symposium will include an electric vehicle and charging station showcase, as well as discussions on topics including equitable access to electric vehicles, overcoming supply chain issues, and best practices in charging infrastructure, according to an email sent to attendees by a Transportation Department official. The events are set to take place June 9-10.
“We’re anticipating a great couple of days of demos and discussion that will help lay the foundation for an effective and equitable electric future,” wrote Lynda Tran, senior advisor and director of public engagement at the department, in the June 3 email, obtained by Bloomberg Government. The message was sent before DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced that he tested positive for Covid-19 and is isolating.
The events come as President Joe Biden has set a goal of deploying 500,000 chargers across the country by 2030. The infrastructure law (Public Law 117-58) included $7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging stations to aid in that effort. States need to submit electric-vehicle charging plans by August to access the bulk of those funds.
David Strickland, vice president of global regulatory affairs at General Motors Co., said at a panel last week that GM would be attending and providing vehicles for the event. He said administration officials and attendees plan to talk about deploying the infrastructure law spending.
Zero Emission Transportation Association spokesman Brian Willis also said the group plans to attend the symposium later this week. Artealia Gilliard, a spokeswoman for Ford, said the company is also planning to attend. Tesla Inc. and Rivian Automotive Inc. didn’t immediately comment on their attendance.
Congressional Democrats during a recent House Science subcommittee hearing said more training for electricians and recruiting from a more diverse hiring pool are among challenges facing the nascent electric vehicle workforce. Industry representatives are also asking Congress for more support, such as tax credits, to help the transition to electric vehicles.