Earlier this week, we reported that two Democratic U.S. Senators from California – Alex Padilla and Dianne Feinstein – had recently sent a letter to President Joe Biden asking him to consider following the state’s lead by supporting legislation that would result in an ICE vehicle ban by the year 2035, a timeline that a number of countries and two U.S. states – California and Massachusetts – have already committed to. However, it doesn’t appear that Biden’s Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg, is terribly keen on the idea.
At a recent U.S. House hearing, Buttigieg said that he was unaware of any support for an ICE vehicle ban by 2035 from the Biden administration and said that he has “not heard of anything to that effect at the national or federal level.” Buttigieg also noted that several automakers, including General Motors, have already committed to transitioning to electric power on their own accord. “I’ve not heard of that in a mandatory context but that certainly seems to be where the U.S. auto industry is headed,” Buttigieg said.
Biden has thus far declined to endorse a plan to end ICE-powered vehicle sales by 2035 and also hasn’t yet established new emissions standards. Padilla and Feinstein’s letter also urged the President to adopt California’s compromise emissions deal that it reached with a number of automakers, including Ford, an agreement that the automaker has since urged its peers to back as well.
To date, Biden has not discussed a specific date for the U.S. to end ICE-powered vehicle sales but has taken several actions to address climate control since taking office. That includes replacing the entire 650,000 vehicle government fleet with EVs, rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, appointing a new head of the EPA, and starting discussions with automakers about reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Meanwhile, Ford recently announced that its entire passenger vehicle range in Europe would consist of electric vehicles by 2030 and that it would be investing at least $22 billion globally in electrification through 2025, nearly twice the company’s previous EV investment plans.