Biden administration, auto leaders want ‘seamless’ EV charging station use

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WASHINGTON — Senior officials in the Biden administration and major automotive leaders agree that electric vehicle charging station infrastructure should provide an interoperable experience based on any car model.

The White House said Wednesday that a virtual meeting had been held with major auto leaders including Tesla Inc Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk and General Motors CEO Mary Barra to discuss electric vehicles and charging.

The administration said in a statement “there was broad consensus that charging stations and vehicles should be interoperable and provide a seamless user experience regardless of which car you drive or where you charge your EV.”

Musk was often at odds with the White House and often fired harsh tweets directed at President Joe Biden. In February, Biden publicly acknowledged Tesla’s role in US electric vehicle production after Musk repeatedly complained that he was being ignored.

Congress approved $7.5 billion in government funding for EV charging stations last year, but legislation has stalled for new tax incentives to buy and build EVs.

Biden wants at least 50% of new vehicles to be EVs or plug-in hybrids by 2030.

Jim Farley, CEO of Ford Motor, Carlos Tavares, CEO of the Chrysler parent, Carlos Tavares, CEO of Lucid, Peter Rawlinson and Nissan Americas chairman Jeremie Papin included auto leaders who attended Wednesday’s meeting, which announced US funding. discussed to “create a national network of 500,000 chargers.”

On Thursday, Farley posted a tweet praising the meeting’s focus on charging, including for commercial vehicles.

Also in attendance were Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy and Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu.

Granholm said on Twitter on Thursday that it was a “very productive meeting – as we roll out EVs and charging infrastructure, the CEOs were very candid about the government’s role as a partner in electrifying the transport sector.”

Executives from Hyundai Motor America, Subaru of America, Mazda North America, Toyota Motor North America Mercedes-Benz USA and Kia Motors America also participated.

Each car manager was given approximately 90 seconds to discuss their EV plans and spoke about a wide range of issues surrounding EVs, including concerns about the battery supply chain, a company executive told Reuters. Biden last week invoked the Defense Production Act in an effort to boost U.S. production of minerals needed for electric vehicles.

Last week, automakers supported the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s new, stricter vehicle emissions regulations in a lawsuit filed by some states and ethanol groups.

Corn Growers, a subsidiary of Valero Energy and other ethanol producers, said the new EPA rules that revise emissions requirements through 2026 “effectively mandate the production and sale of electric cars rather than cars powered by internal combustion engines.”

(Reporting by David Shepardson; editing by Jacqueline Wong, Bradley Perrett and Bernard Orr)