How Biden’s EV Plan Could Help Tesla and Tighten Toyota


Slower companies like Stellantis, which owns Ram, Jeep and Chrysler, brands that don’t yet have battery-only vehicles face additional pressure to keep up. Jeep started selling a plug-in hybrid version of the popular Wrangler this year and plans to start selling all-electric vehicles by 2023.

“Automotive industry leaders have been seeing the writing on the wall for some time now when it comes to electrification and autonomous technologies,” said Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst at market researcher Edmunds.

Caldwell added that the sales targets set by the Biden administration and automakers are “absolutely not unreasonable and likely achievable by 2030, given that automakers have embedded a large number of electric vehicles into their future product cycles.”

But many automakers are just beginning to roll out electric vehicles designed from the ground up to run on batteries. NS Mercedes-Benz EQS, a luxury electric sedan, will go on sale in the United States this month. BMW started selling the i3, a battery-powered vehicle eight years ago, but was slow to follow suit. The iX, an electric SUV, will arrive in American dealerships early next year.

And just because companies make electric vehicles doesn’t mean people will buy them. Volkswagen started selling an electric SUV called the ID.4 this year, but sales in the United States have so far been only a fraction of the company’s established models such as the Jetta or Tiguan.

By setting a clear target for electric vehicle sales, Mr. Biden is accelerating the transition to clean transport, but also unleashing forces that automakers may not be able to control.

Consumers may be attracted to electric vehicles as they become cheaper, and people realize that petrol vehicles are in danger of becoming white elephants with declining resale value. This will strain companies that are still primarily in the business of producing cars with internal combustion engines, with the exception of Tesla and some start-ups.


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