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Biden administration announces $900 million in grants to fund EV charging infrastructure

Autos correspondent Pras Subramanian reports on President Biden's plans to invest in building out an EV charging network, and Ford's showcasing at this year's Detroit Auto Show.

Video Transcript



- President Biden at the Detroit Auto Show earlier today, testing out the new sports cars and speaking with leaders in the auto industry. He also took to the stage to announce the latest plan to promote EV adoption across the country.

JOE BIDEN: So today, I'm pleased to announce we're approving funding for the first 35 states-- including Michigan-- to build their own electric charging infrastructure throughout their state.


And y'all are going to be part of a network of 500,000 charging stations.

- We have Pras Subramini-- Subramanian, excuse me-- here to discuss more on this. And we just heard from President Biden it's $900 million in grants. What do you make of this announcement? And does it really move the needle here just in terms of EV adoption down the road?

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Yeah. You know, it's the big, kind of, continuation of this plan to spend $7.5 billion building out this whole charging network across the nation's highways. You mentioned 35 states, now, are going to have this-- almost, I think, 53,000 miles of highway is going to be covered by this network. And it's going to cost, Andy mentioned there, $900 million.

So that's-- it's all about a bunch more-- like, $6.5 billion to go, to spend there. So it is part of the White House, kind of, touting their leadership in the EV transformation space. And part of that is building out the network because that is one of the biggest pain points for people when they want to go into the EV kind of lifestyle is where do you charge. So this is part of the White House trying to address those concerns about how you actually can drive your car around the country.

- Yeah, certainly. There has been a pushback from some, just saying that you want EV adoption, yet there simply are not even close to the number of charging stations that are needed to accommodate all the cars that then would need to be charged. So Pras, there's lots of headlines coming from the Detroit Auto Show, lots of big cars on deck. I know Mustang is one of the cars that we're going to get a look at tonight that's grabbing some of the headlines. What can you tell us?

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Well, you know Joe Biden was there today. And he hopped in the seat of the new Corvette Z06. He was saying that he wanted to drive home in it. He also hopped in, I think, a couple other SUVs. I think the new Jeep was there, too. He was there, in that, too.

But I think tonight we're going to see more about that new Mustang [INAUDIBLE] gas power. But it is a big seller for Ford-- one of the only non-SUVs that they have on offer, you know. As well as, we're going to see stuff from Chevy because their new Equinox-- a $30,000 EV-- this is a small, compact SUV. And this is sort of targeted towards the mass market.

And finally, you know, Dodge has their Daytona concept. This is this muscle car that's also an electric car and sort of spews out this, kind of, like, really loud sound out the back that they pump it out to make it seem like it's actually a muscle car, when it's actually an EV.

- Pras, what do you make of Ford, though, sticking with the gas engine in its new Mustang? Because obviously, there's been a huge push towards EV adoption. Yet, Ford just doesn't really want to give that up, at least for the Mustang.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Yeah, yeah. You know-- and also, Chevy with the Z06 Corvette because they know that this transformation is still happening. There are so many buyers for these sports cars. And they don't necessarily want to go, I think, EV just quite yet. They want these powerful, but also sort of efficient, V8s and four cylinders in these cars. So I think there's still a long way to go with sports cars and gas powered kind of powertrains. And I think-- and we're seeing the new Mustang is going to be, as of right now, I believe, only gas powered.

- It'll be pretty interesting. All right. Pras Subramanian, thanks for that.