PALO ALTO, California — President Joe Biden announced on Thursday that by 2030, half of all new automobiles sold in the United States will be zero-emissions vehicles, effectively shutting out manufacturers of conventional hybrids as the White House seeks to speed up the country’s sluggish shift to electric vehicles.
Biden’s executive order covers battery-and fuel-cell-powered passenger automobiles and light trucks, as well as plug-in hybrids. However, it makes no mention of ordinary hybrids, which can not be charged by plugging them in, posing a challenge to Japanese automakers like Toyota and Honda, which have made hybrids a specialty.
Only Ford, GM, and Stellantis, formerly Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, executives were invited to a White House gathering in the afternoon to support the Biden administration’s plan. They promised that by 2030, battery electric, fuel cell, and plug-in hybrid vehicles would contribute to 40% to 50% of all vehicle sales in the United States.
However, the companies said in a joint statement that they can only achieve this with the help of the federal government, which will provide “purchase incentives, a comprehensive charging network of sufficient density to support the millions of vehicles these targets represent, investments in R & D, and incentives to expand the electric vehicle manufacturing and supply chains in the United States.”
On Thursday, Ford and GM both saw their stock prices rise by roughly 3%.
Toyota recently set goals that will ensure normal hybrids remain in the mix for many years. It promised in May that by 2030, 15% of its American sales would be electric and fuel cell vehicles, and 70% would be electrified vehicles in total, including plug-in and classic hybrids.