Automakers are looking to finish the week with strength after it was announced on Thursday that the Biden administration would be making "up to $12 billion" available to retrofit facilities to make both EVs and hybrids.
The money will include $10 billion from a US Energy Department loan program for clean vehicles and an additional $3.5 billion in financing to expand domestic battery manufacturing, according to Bloomberg.
The United Auto Workers, currently in negotiations with Detroit, has argued that a shift to EVs will cost the industry union jobs. US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said on Thursday that the funding would help Detroit retain workers.
However, we've seen this "bailout" business model to save jobs before - at banks and during Covid, to name two examples - and it always winds up turning into a company cash grab before ultimately firing workers regardless. The UAW will try to prevent such a situation from taking place as it negotiates.
UAW President Shawn Fain "cautiously" welcomed the news after warning earlier this month that the White House should not push an EV agenda if it means the loss of jobs in Detroit.
Almost like the government should stay out of the auto industry as a whole, right? But that would make too much sense.
“The EV transition must be a just transition that ensures auto workers have a place in the new economy,” Fain said this week. Meanwhile, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, a Washington lobby group that represents most Detroit automakers, said this week the funding “will further advance the domestic automotive supply chain and globally competitive battery manufacturing platform that automakers have already made sizable investments.”
Instead, Bloomberg calls the move the Biden administration "doubling down on efforts to support carmakers’ transition to EVs". In a statement this week, President Biden said: “This funding will help existing workers keep their jobs and have the first shot to fill new good jobs as the car industry transforms for future generations.”
The Biden administration continues to aim for half of all vehicles on the road being EVs by 2030.