The Chevrolet Equinox EV will go on sale in fall 2023. (Source: Chevrolet)

EV Funding from Government Draws UAW Praise for Promoting Jobs Expansion

While the fossil fuel industry fights as hard as possible to delay the inevitable, the world is switching to electric vehicles. Granted, it has been a slow transition, and some countries are ahead of others, but an electric vehicle takeover will happen eventually.

The U.S. Department of Energy is putting up $12 billion in loans and grants to help this process according to

The program aims to build or refurbish factories in communities with existing auto manufacturing facilities and to bolster the domestic EV supply chain. They plan to provide $2 billion in grants and $10 billion in loans to support the conversion of US automaker and supplier facilities into manufacturing centers for hybrid and electric vehicles.

UAW Strike Looms

While some may view this as a purely political move, it is in keeping with what the Biden administration promised from the beginning of his term.

The move comes as Biden tries to win over the powerful United Auto Workers union, which has thus far withheld its endorsement of his reelection bid over concerns about policies that would encourage a transition to electric vehicles.

“We are glad to see the Biden Administration doing its part to reject the false choice between a good job and a green job,” said UAW President Shawn Fain in a statement. “This new policy makes clear to employers that the EV transition must include strong union partnerships with the high pay and safety standards that generations of UAW members have fought for and won.”

The funding pledge comes after the Biden administration announced earlier this year an ambitious policy proposal that could require electric vehicles to account for two-thirds of new cars sold in the United States by 2032. The Biden administration previously directed the federal government to get to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“Today’s announcements show that President Biden understands that building the cars of the future also necessitates helping the communities challenged by the transition away from the internal combustion engine,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a statement Thursday.

Beyond Tesla

Tesla has been leading the way with EVs, with production numbers bouncing up and down for the past couple of years, CEO Elon Musk has reported good progress in deliveries in 2023 as competition ramps up from major vehicle manufacturers. Ford, Chevrolet, Mercedes, and more are already building new factories or retooling old ones, not to mention the uptick in smaller vehicle manufacturers as well, such as Rivian.

The transition will have to be made eventually, and it will be sooner rather than later now with additional government funding in the mix.