The pandemic has highlighted so many crises that are going on at the same time. Democrats and the United Auto Workers (UAW) suggest manufacturing electric vehicles as a chance to create jobs, tackle the climate crisis, and grow the economy. A nationwide push for electric cars and the infrastructure they need is the kind of large-scale project that can transform America. Good government can take us there.
Taking the High Road: Strategies for a Fair EV Future by the United Auto Workers (UAW) Research Department reminds us that electric vehicles are an opportunity to reinvest in domestic manufacturing. The UAW calls for a proactive industrial policy to make electric vehicles and their components by union workers in the US. The benefits are huge – good paying jobs, economic growth in America, and lower emissions to stall the climate crisis.
To get this done, we will need charging infrastructure, worker training, and a competitive trade policy. It requires government investment, government support by fleet purchases, consumer incentives, and a strong environmental policy that promotes investing in electric vehicles. It will require managing supply chains so that components are made in America.
America can do this with a public-private partnership of private investment, government support, and the kind of environmental policies that encourage clean technologies. It’s an enormous undertaking, but America has done big things before – we built the Hoover Dam during the depths of the Great Depression. The parallel crises of jobs, climate, and the economy call for great things right now. Through domestic manufacturing of electric vehicles, we can Build Back Better and transform America again.