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Joe Biden wants to resurrect Cash for Clunkers, with an electric spin

The former vice president also wants the government to transition its entire fleet to EVs and build half a million charging stations.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
2 min read

Joe Biden's got EVs on the brain when it comes to his climate policy.

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Former vice president and current presidential hopeful Joe Biden outlined his climate plan Tuesday on the social media platform Periscope. In it are a few things that are especially relevant to us car folks.

Specifically, he wants to make the United States a leader in the design, manufacture and adoption of clean vehicles. To do that, he plans to put forward a Cash for Clunkers-esque scheme that would offer rebates or incentives to car buyers who make the switch from internal combustion to electric vehicles.

Even more impressive is his plan to replace the US government's massive fleet of vehicles with American-made electric vehicles. This would be an enormous effort to make happen but would likely have several other, positive knock-on effects like increased job creation in the automotive industry.

Of course, adding all of these new EVs to the mix would expose some other shortcomings in America's current infrastructure, and to help with that, Biden wants to build upward of half a million new EV charging stations, which would, in his view, alleviate a great deal of Americans' range anxiety with EVs and increase adoption.

If some of this sounds familiar, it's probably because Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) made a similar proposal back in 2019, and Biden's plan likely builds on that. For those of you who don't remember the particulars of the senator's plan, the headline figure is that it would cost $454 billion over the course of 10 years. 

That's a whole lotta quiche, friends, and we'd be shocked if that kind of spending made it through the increasingly tricky legislative process at all, let alone without some severe reductions.

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