General Motors CEO Mary Barra was among a handful of auto industry CEOs and executives that attended a meeting at the White House this week to discuss EV adoption and charging.
According to Reuters, one of the central talking points of the meeting surrounded federal funding for the Biden Administration’s plan to install 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations across the U.S., which was first outlined in the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law the U.S. Senate passed last November.
In addition to GM CEO Mary Barra, the meeting was also attended by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Ford CEO Jim Farley, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares and Nissan Americas chair Jeremie Papin, among other auto industry execs. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy were in attendance, as well.
In a statement provided to the media, the Biden Administration said that during the meeting, “there was broad consensus that charging stations and vehicles need to be interoperable and provide a seamless user experience, no matter what car you drive or where you charge your EV.”
Access to charging has been an important topic for the Biden Administration, which is looking to promote EV adoption among Americans by proposing new federal tax incentives for the purchase of EVs and introducing stricter emissions regulations for internal combustion engine vehicles. Beyond installing the stations, automakers, private charging companies and the government face hurdles ensuring these charging stations are easy to access and use for owners of EVs from a wide variety of auto manufacturers. Payment is another complicated aspect of public charging stalls, with different charging stations often requiring different third-party apps to operate.
The Biden Administration said previously that it is aiming to ensure that 40 to 50 percent of all new vehicles sold by 2030 are either electric, hydrogen fuel cell, hybrid or plug-in hybrid. The White House has also expressed a desire to replace the entire federal fleet, which consists of 645,000 vehicles, with battery-electric equivalents – a move that may cost upwards of $20 billion.