Energy & Environment

Energy chief touts electric vehicle funding in Senate plan

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm 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 Biden'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.

"$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 Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Rep. Paul Tonko (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. 

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