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Why This Matters: The investments in electric vehicles are clearly market-driven, but it cannot hurt to have Presidential frontrunner Joe Biden on the campaign trail talking about using the federal purchasing power to transition the federal fleet to electric vehicles. Ironically, even the mining industry sees a silver lining in all the talk about EVs and renewable electricity — they expect their industry to grow along with the demand for minerals needed for batteries to power EVs and homes on renewable electricity. So while some might worry about Biden’s emphasis on transitioning off fossil fuels, many in business are starting to plan on it.
EV Manufacturing Ramps Up
CNN Business reports that GM’s Factory Zero will run on 100% renewable energy, such as wind and solar power, by 2030, as will all of GM’s factories. Better yet, the plant also includes a 16.5-acre wildlife habitat that is home to foxes, wild turkeys, and monarch butterflies, GM told CNN. In addition, GM last week announced plans to invest $150 million into five Michigan plants, including Orion Assembly for electric production, and $2 billion into its Tennessee plant for the production of electric Cadillacs. GM wants to produce 20 electric models by 2023, but ironically to do that it will have to have a successful lineup of pickups and SUVs to support the electric vehicles until they are profitable. GM also announced last week that reservations for the first year of a special edition Hummer EV, which runs $112,595, immediately sold out. At the same time, GM’s stock price rose nearly 5% after that, according to CNBC.
Mining Also Looking Ahead
Rare earth minerals, as well as lithium, copper, and nickel, are key to the ability of the U.S. to develop batteries for the future. And one of the key issues is procuring these minerals from domestic suppliers, which Reuters reports is also a top priority for Vice President Biden because the United States currently imports them from China and other countries. For example, “executives at Glencore Plc, which controls PolyMet Mining Corp, view its Minnesota copper mine project as a long-term investment and have no plans to scale back if Biden wins, a source familiar with the company’s thinking told Reuters.” In addition, Reuters reports that “ScotiaBank analysts project the Biden plan will spark a multi-year boon for copper, one of the best electrical-conducting metals. EVs use twice as much copper as internal combustion engines.”
To Go Deeper: Read this interesting Medium post about the need to educate Americans about EVs — for example, 42% believe EVs need gasoline to run.
By Lew Milford With its recent executive orders on environmental justice, the Biden administration has put energy equity at the front and center of its domestic policy agenda. The challenge now is to put these principles into practice. That job has been made much more critical with the massive power outage that just crippled Texas. […]
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer As the domestic electric vehicle market in the United States continues to hit its stride and new competitors vie in the race to electrify, Lucid Motors has emerged as an ultra-luxury competitor to EV darling Tesla Motors. This week, Lucid went public through a SPAC with Churchill Capital Corp […]
The Texas freeze and subsequent blackouts have given the Biden administration the chance to show the country how it will handle natural disasters, and they’ve already done one thing much differently than the Trump administration: acknowledged the role of climate change. And now, due to surge pricing, Texans are facing utility bills in the thousands of dollars for what little heat they got.
Why This Matters: The Biden administration wasted no time declaring an emergency and stating it would review preparation for future storms.
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