America, the promised land of electric mobility?

The United States has started a race to catch up when it comes to electric mobility. Mercedes is there with a luxury SUV built there. It is a lot.

America, the promised land of electric mobility? So far, it hasn’t felt that way in the realm of large pickups with their bubbling V8. But things began to move. From a paltry 2.6% of registrations of battery electric vehicles (BEVs for short) in the previous year, they jumped to 4.9% in the first half of 2022, still well below European standards (11.8% in the euro area plus the UK), but is currently advancing in seven-league boots.

This is part of the extremely ambitious goals proclaimed by the Biden administration. By 2030, every second car sold in the United States will be a BEV. The government’s push for this is not limited to the purchase of premiums, which are obviously an important part – tied to an economic agenda: the $ 7,500 subsidy for the purchase of a BEV is only due to the models produced in the country – including the battery, which is the single most valuable component of an electric vehicle.

battery promotion. That’s why Tesla has just suspended expansion of battery production at its Grünheide plant near Berlin: all of its capacity has been diverted to the new plant in Texas, where “Made in USA” batteries will soon be produced without problems.

No wonder the EU views the patriotically targeted support program with envy: Manufacturers Ford, GM, Hyundai, Rivian, Volvo and VW are currently investing billions in building battery factories, all in structurally weak areas of the states of Tennessee, South Carolina and Georgia because there are a lot of subsidies to take advantage of. The top Asian dogs in battery technology either have their own projects in the country or are active as partners of car manufacturers, because batteries that are not built in the US are unlikely to be sold there in the future.

loaded. But Biden’s “trillion dollar” infrastructure package, which actually passed the Senate in November 2021, also faces pitfalls, such as charging on the go. It is necessary to catch up: while 420,546 BEVs were registered in July this year, no more than 12,000 charging stations were created in that period. The large trillion in the potty is now expected to finance, among other things (mainly the rehabilitation of roads, bridges and the Amtrak rail network) the construction of half a million charging stations across the country – currently in operation: 100,000.

States as installers only need to take into account the conditions when submitting the application – the most important: no club, i.e. open access for all brands, at least four charging points per station, uniform and transparent tariff model – and the funding pipeline from Washington is open. The infrastructure is therefore also or primarily a massive economic stimulus program. It will change the landscape “as the construction of highways and interstates once did,” enthuses an MP.

It must sound like a dream program, especially in Mercedes. The manufacturer is one of those who have committed themselves to electric mobility in a particularly ambitious way: it is not “first electric” that applies, but “only electric”. Especially in the US, the strategy is based on the success of all-electric models that go under the EQ prefix. By 2030 they should account for half of sales.

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