Energy chief touts electric vehicle funding in Senate plan

Energy chief touts electric vehicle funding in Senate plan
© Rachel Frazin

Energy Secretary Jennifer GranholmJennifer GranholmEnergy Department's loan program helped Tesla; now it needs to help low-income communities Biden administration launches new effort to help communities with energy transition Biden expresses confidence on climate in renewable energy visit MORE said Wednesday that the amount of funding for an electric vehicle charging network included in the bipartisan Senate infrastructure plan is about even with what was in President BidenJoe BidenUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Schumer moves to break GOP blockade on Biden's State picks GOP Rep. Cawthorn likens vaccine mandates to 'modern-day segregation' MORE’s proposal.

Biden’s original American Jobs Plan would have provided $174 billion to “win the [electric vehicle] market,” though it was not clear how this money would be allocated. Part of the plan included building out a network of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations. 

Granholm told reporters Wednesday that the bipartisan framework’s previously announced $7.5 billion in loans and another $7.5 billion in grants would be enough for the charging network.

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“$15 billion was commensurate with what the president had announced in the American Jobs Plan,” she said at an Energy Department event promoting electric trucks. 

“Upfront incentives to purchase, for passenger vehicles — that was not in the bipartisan plan, but hopefully will be part of the reconciliation plan,” she said, referring to Democrats' larger funding bill.

Granholm during the event Wednesday announced $60 million in funding for 24 projects aimed at reducing carbon emissions from cars and trucks. 

She, Sen. Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowSanders says spending plan should be .5T 'at the very least' Senators call on Taiwan for aid in automotive chip shortage Photos of the Week: Infrastructure vote, India floods and a bear MORE (D-Mich.) and Rep. Paul TonkoPaul David TonkoManchin puts foot down on key climate provision in spending bill House Democrats outline plan for transition to clean electricity The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by AT&T - Final countdown: Senate inches toward last infrastructure vote MORE (D-N.Y.) inspected two heavy-duty electric trucks, including a hydrogen fuel cell truck and battery electric truck. The Energy secretary said the trucks “show us that the clean energy future is within reach.”

Bipartisan lawmakers on Wednesday said they had reached an agreement on the major issues in their infrastructure negotiations.

The Senate is pursuing infrastructure legislation through a two-track system that includes the bipartisan framework and a Democratic-led budget reconciliation package.