Will the US infrastructure plan enable mass adoption of electric vehicles? Rebecca liebert

CLEVELAND – As the country begins to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, America’s infrastructure poses a glaring obstacle to our recovery. In fact, the American Society of Civil Engineers recently published its Review of American infrastructure and gave the United States a C.

Released every four years, the report represents an average score of 17 categories, including transport, drinking water, energy and inland waterways. The transit segment received the lowest score in the 2021 report.

This year’s overall C score is an increase from the D + received in 2017, and it is the first time the average has been above D since the report was launched in 1998. Despite this, scores consistently below the average underline the desperate need for legislation and investment to improve the country’s infrastructure.

A well-functioning infrastructure is key to the success of various stimulus proposals, which aim to get the country back on its feet after the pandemic. Fortunately, our leaders recognize that infrastructure today is a pillar of opportunity for the America of tomorrow.

Beyond meeting current needs, infrastructure improvements are essential for mass adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and for the United States to meet its sustainability goals. Global demand for electric vehicles continues to increase, with BloombergNEF estimating that electric vehicles will account for 58% of new passenger car sales worldwide by 2040 and 31% of car fleets. Policymakers must act now to prepare for this massive change.

A new study from MIT focuses on identifying the necessary infrastructure improvements that will have the greatest impact on increasing the number of EVs on the road. EV drivers must have reliable access to recharge batteries. Currently, many consumers experience “range anxiety” given the 250-mile average range of EVs, which could be a barrier to large-scale EV adoption.

There are approximately 41,000 Charging stations for electric vehicles in the United States, according to the Department of Energy, with less than 5,000 fast chargers, CNBC reports, compared to more than 115,000 service stations. Public planning must increase access to charging stations to reach a larger part of the population. These dwellings are needed in residential and rural areas, not just in urban areas where these facilities are often readily available.

Rebecca Liebert is Executive Vice President of Pittsburgh-based PPG, which leads the company’s global industrial and automotive coatings business.

An essential part of the current infrastructure plan is job creation, including an investment of 174 billion dollars This will help automakers boost domestic supply chains from raw materials to parts, retool factories to be globally competitive, and help American workers make batteries and electric vehicles. The proposal also includes rebates and tax incentives to purchase electric vehicles made in the United States. It will establish subsidy and incentive programs for state and local governments and the private sector to build a network of 500,000 EV charging stations by 2030. Finally, the plan also includes replacement targets of 50,000. diesel transit vehicles and electrification of at least 20% of yellow vehicles. bus fleet.

Without drastic improvements in U.S. infrastructure, the speed of innovation and development in the transportation industry – from mass transit to electric vehicles to autonomous vehicles – will be slowed down to exploration by currently failing infrastructure. tragic state. Local, state and national officials from all political parties must work together to create bipartisan legislation that generates the change that America’s infrastructure desperately needs.

The roadmap for reinvigorating the U.S. economy, meeting sustainability goals, and strengthening manufacturing now and for future success begins with improved infrastructure. As an industry, we watch history unfold and we cannot take a back seat as we work to accelerate a new era of safe mobility.

Rebecca Liebert is Executive Vice President of PPG, a global manufacturer of paints, coatings and specialty materials. She was recently recognized by Automotive News as one of the 100 Women Leaders of the North American Automotive Industry. Based in Pittsburgh, PPG employs more than 2,400 employees in Ohio at nine facilities, including its automotive OEM research lab in Cleveland.

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