Made in the USA: Bright Future for Electric Vehicle Jobs
The future looks bright for green jobs in the USA, especially after the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Over 15 states in the country are all set to establish new factories for manufacturing electric vehicles, batteries, and associated components in the next few years. And this will give rise to thousands of new jobs in this sector.
Following the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, there have been announcements by auto manufacturers across the US regarding new investments worth $88 billion. Some of these projects include the establishment of a Ford battery manufacturing facility in Marshall, Michigan, as well as the expansion of Tesla’s factory complex in Sparks, Nevada. As per the manufacturers, these two projects alone are expected to create over 5500 new job posts in the coming years.
“In the midst of the pandemic, the recession, the supply chain issues, in 2021 and 2022, the investment has been huge,” says Brett Smith, a research fellow at the nonprofit Center for Automotive Research. He added that they were seeing “very large numbers” in job announcements.
New legislation and policies introduced by President Biden have been a major cause of this growth. These include the Infrastructure Law (2021) and the Inflation Reduction Act (2022) – both of which are well-funded and include made-in-America provisions.
The Inflation Reduction Act, for instance, allocated 5 billion dollars for loans and grants for manufacturing electric vehicles in the US. The act also supports retooling existing vehicle manufacturing factories to enable the production of electric vehicles and components. This, in turn, has given a new lease of life to factories that were previously on the brink of being closed. Additionally, it also grants tax credits for purchasing electric vehicles (both personal and commercial) assembled in the US.
The Infrastructure Law, on the other hand, allocated 7.5 billion dollars to build a network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers nationwide. It also provided an additional 5 billion dollars for shifting to clean school buses.
According to environmental Defense Fund attorney Andy Su, “There was already significant growth in the U.S. electric vehicle manufacturing sector before these game-changing pieces of legislation were enacted, but their passage has really accelerated the pace.”
This scenario is favorable not only for the country’s economy but for its public health too. As per San Antonio Car Accident Attorneys, apart from traffic crashes, tailpipe emissions from cars and trucks are also responsible for several fatalities in the country every year. Switching to electric vehicles can help reduce emissions, which in turn may positively affect public health.
As per estimates by the Environmental Defense Fund, ensuring that 100% of all new vehicles sold within the US by 2035 are zero-emission vehicles can reduce the country’s pollution by close to 350 million tons annually. This would, in turn, help prevent close to 5000 pollution-related deaths by 2040 while also ensuring more savings on fuel.
At present, several companies, including Ford, General Motors, Forsee Power, Honda, LG Energy Solution, and the Hyundai Motor Group, are in the process of planning new factories or expansions of existing production units. And the companies are anticipating thousands of new jobs once the new or expanded factories are set up. The Hyundai Motor Group, for instance, has estimated the creation of 8,100 new jobs.
Peter Zalzal, an attorney at the Environmental Defense Fund, aptly summed up the current situation by saying, “Each new investment and job announcement represents an opportunity to set a strong standard for what high-quality, community-sustaining jobs in the clean economy can look like.”