The push for electrification could bring more than a trillion dollars of government stimulus into the automotive sector during the next decade, according to one of the industry’s top analysts.
John Murphy, a senior analyst with Bank of America, said during a discussion at the Center for Automotive Research’s annual Management Briefing Seminar, the federal stimulus to push the wider use of electric vehicles has been finalized. President Joe Biden revealed his plans Thursday.
If Congress, as expected, raises or even eliminates the limits on the tax credits for consumers for the purchase of electric vehicles, the size of the stimulus could reach $500 billion, Murphy said. Currently, each automaker can sell 200,000 EVs eligible for the full $7,500 tax credit. Once they hit that number, as Tesla and General Motors did in 2018, the credit gets phased out during the 12 months that follow.
Under the new plan, the caps on the number of credits available to individual carmakers now in the EV business — GM and Tesla — would be eliminated and tax credit could increase to $10,000 or $12,000 per vehicle from the current level of $7,500, he added.
The stimulus in significant and could drive the market share of electric vehicles to 25% by 2025 and towards the Biden administration’s new goal of 50% market share for EVs by 2030.
Murphy cautioned that he was concerned about the ability of the supply base to provide the batteries and components to meet that kind of demand. “Whether the supply base and the (electric) grid can support it is highly dubious,” he cautioned, given the size of the potential bottlenecks in the supply chains.
Businesses getting stimulus too
Nonetheless, the amount of government aid available to companies investing in the transition to electric vehicles could add another $500 billion to the stimulus package in the next decade, Murphy said during the panel discussion.
“There is a lot money to be made on electric vehicles,” noted Murphy, who added the caveat that building electric vehicles is not as quite as simple as building laptop computers.
Building a vehicle, even with fewer moving parts, in large numbers is still very complex business, he noted, adding later, the manufacturing skills of automakers tend to be undervalued.
The MBS discussion coincided with Biden’s announcement of a new commitment from the auto industry, including Detroit’s three automakers, to boost sales of electric vehicles so they account for half of all cars and trucks sold in the U.S. in 2030.
Biden administration pushing EV sales
During an earlier MBS panel discussion on policy and regulation, Sue Helper, a senior economist with the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said money is being made available to fund a broad push forward on the administration electrification goals.
The bipartisan infrastructure bill now pending in Congress includes $7.5 billion to build out a charging network for electric vehicles along major highways throughout the United States, Helper says.
Moreover, the Biden administration has several other proposals to help promote not only the development of electric vehicles but also for the development of the batteries that drive them, she noted.
The $1 trillion infrastructure proposal also sets aside another $5 billion to electrify school buses across the country, which will help clean up the environment, according to Helper, who also said the administration is working on tax credits for consumers as part of the push.