Automakers Push Electric Vehicle Investments Amid US Electrification Debate

Several automakers in the United States are pushing for electrification despite the $ 4 billion counter-plan proposed by Republicans last week, which could significantly undermine U.S. President Joe Biden’s $ 174 billion plan for electric vehicles and associated infrastructure.

For more information on the state of the US fleet market and other North American fleet and mobility topics, visit North American regional flow of the Global Fleet Conference 2021.

The United States began 2021 with 19 fully electric vehicle models for sale in addition to numerous hybrids, both mild hybrids and PHEVs (plug-in hybrids). Besides Tesla, which has four of the 10 best-selling all-electric models in 1Q21, other brands are entering the top 10, including Chevrolet, Ford, Audi, Nissan, Porsche and Hyundai.

In this article, we’ll focus on the new electric vehicle investment plans announced by Ford Motor Company and the Hyundai Motor Group.

First, Ford Motor Company has adjusted its investment plan and is now set to invest at least US $ 30 billion in electric vehicles by 2025 and is striving to have 40% of its fleet fully electric over the next decade. The company also intends to create a new division called “Ford Pro” which will focus on commercial vehicles and government customers.

Meanwhile, the all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning pickup just launched in May. It has garnered a lot of attention in the market, as the internal combustion engine version of the pickup has been the best-selling vehicle in the United States for about four decades.

Ford F-150 Lightning 2021 (copyright: Ford)

The F-150, however, will face competitors such as the Rivian R1T and Telsa Cybertruck pickups seen on the streets in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

Regarding Hyundai and its sister brand Kia, it announced in May that it would invest $ 7.4 billion in the manufacture of electric vehicles over the next four years. Hyundai, which already has a $ 1.8 billion plant in Alabama that produces nearly half of all its vehicles in the United States, plans to start production of electric vehicles in 2022.

Currently, the two companies that make up the Hyundai Motor group are monitoring market conditions and US government policy to prepare for plant upgrades. The group’s portfolio of combustion engine models has been reduced to make way for electrified models.

While Kia primarily focuses on the transition from internal combustion engines to electrification, Hyundai is also considering innovations such as flying cars, autonomous driving and robotics.

Government incentive

In late May, the US Senate Finance Committee introduced a bill that would increase electric vehicle tax credits to $ 12,500 for electric vehicles assembled by unionized workers in the United States.

To qualify, the bill limits tax credits to vehicles with a retail price of less than $ 80,000. The current maximum tax credit is $ 7,500 with no maximum price.

Currently, it is phasing out for individual automakers once they reach 200,000 electric vehicles sold in total. General Motors and Tesla have both hit the cap and are not currently eligible for the $ 7,500 tax credit.

2021 Tesla Model Y, best-selling EV (1Q21) USA (copyright: Tesla)

Best-selling electric vehicle models in the United States, first quarter 2021

Mark

Model

Units sold

MSRP

1

You’re here

Model Y

33 629

$ 41,190

2

You’re here

Model 3

23 110

$ 38,690

3

Chevrolet

Lock

9,025

$ 37,495

4

Ford

Mustang Mach-E

6,614

$ 43,995

5

You’re here

Model X

5 106

$ 91,190

6

Audi

e-tron / Sportback

4.324

$ 66,995

7

You’re here

Models

4,155

$ 81,190

8

Nissan

Leaf

2 925

$ 32,620

9

Porsche

Taycan

2,008

$ 81,250

ten

Hyundai

Electric Kona

1,556

$ 38,575

Source: Car and driver

As you can see, around 100,000 units were sold in the first quarter of the year and this number is expected to increase in the months and years to come. Besides the gradual exit of the United States from the COVID-19 pandemic which has helped sales, the deployment of infrastructure (see below) as well as the construction of electric vehicle factories are considered strong regardless of the debate on current and future federal government initiatives.


ChargePoint, the Silicon Valley-based electric vehicle charging company, officially went public (NYSE: CHPT) in March 2021, further supporting the US push towards electrification (copyright: Shutterstock)


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