Too Much Focus on EVs in Infrastructure Bill

Funding the electrification of personal vehicles won't move the needle on climate change nearly as much as investing in infrastructure that lets people get out of their cars, mode shift advocates argue.

Read Time: 1 minute

August 9, 2021, 11:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Electric Cars

Sopotnicki / Shutterstock

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill includes $15 billion in funding for electrification of vehicles, down from the "whopping $100 billion in consumer incentives (and $15 billion more for EV fueling infrastructure)" proposed in President Biden's American Jobs Plan. But as Kea Wilson writes, transit and biking advocates say the bill remains too fixated on EVs as a solution for climate change. "Biden’s over-focus on electric vehicles as a silver-bullet climate solution will come at a steep cost to the modes that scientists agree hold the real key to saving the planet without accelerating the national traffic violence crisis: transit, biking and walking."

Electrifying personal vehicles, says John Stout of  the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, is "only part of the solution to our transportation woes. In addition to garnering the federal government’s support for a faster transition to EVs … we need to make it easier for people to drive less." Beth Osborne, director of Transportation for America, said in a statement, "[i]n its current state, this deal fails to accomplish the administration’s goal of reducing emissions, preserving both the status quo of easy money to build new highways (while neglecting basic repair needs) and the existing, complex hurdles to build transit."

Friday, August 6, 2021 in Streetsblog USA

Chicago Commute

The Right to Mobility

As we consider how to decarbonize transportation, preserving mobility, especially for lower- and middle-income people, must be a priority.

January 26, 2023 - Angie Schmitt

Green bike lane with flexible delineators and textures paint in Hoboken, New Jersey

America’s Best New Bike Lanes

PeopleForBikes highlights some of the most exciting new bike infrastructure projects completed in 2022.

January 31, 2023 - PeopleforBikes

Sharrow bike markings on black asphalt two-lane road with snowy trees

Early Sharrow Booster: ‘I Was Wrong’

The lane marking was meant to raise awareness and instill shared respect among drivers and cyclists. But their inefficiency has led supporters to denounce sharrows, pushing instead for more robust bike infrastructure that truly protects riders.

January 26, 2023 - Streetsblog USA

A tent covered in blue and black tarps sits on a downtown Los Angeles sidewalk with the white ziggurat-topped L.A. City Hall looming in the background

L.A. County Towns Clash Over Homelessness Policies

Local governments often come to different conclusions about how to address homelessness within their respective borders, but varying approaches only exacerbate the problem.

February 3 - Shelterforce Magazine

Rendering of mixed-use development with parks and stormwater retention on former Houston landfill site

A Mixed-Use Vision for Houston Landfill Site

A local nonprofit is urging the city to consider adding mixed-use development to the site, which city officials plan to turn into a stormwater detention facility.

February 3 - Urban Edge

Aerial view of downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin at sunset

Milwaukee County Makes Substantial Progress on Homelessness

In 2022, the county’s point-in-time count of unhoused people reflected just 18 individuals, the lowest in the country.

February 3 - Urban Milwaukee