Washington lobbyists: You can’t live without them, for better or for worse. On Tuesday, the world welcomed yet another group, though this one is a bit different from other auto industry lobbying groups — it’s 100% focused on making all new car sales 100% electric by the end of this decade.
The name? Zeta, and it features some prominent backers. Tesla, Uber and Rivian highlight the list, with other companies such as , , and even utility firms like Edison involved. In total, 28 companies are backing the new group, and not coincidentally, it launches less than two months before President-elect Joe Biden takes office. The incoming Biden administration promises a than the Trump administration, which moved to just this year.
Zeta laid out five areas it plans to focus its efforts as it gets up and running, and chief among them are consumer incentives for EV purchases. Today, federal tax credits can offset up to $7,500 of an electric car’s sticker price, but it varies by battery pack size and phases out for automakers after they sell a certain number of vehicles. General Motors and . Second are regulations for emissions, which in turn would spur EV adoption rates and create the need for charging infrastructure, the group’s third focus. Zeta also calls for greater federal cooperation to research EV technology and its associated supply chain.
Finally, there’s manufacturing. The group said it’s determined to make EVs a shot in the arm for US manufacturing jobs. Not only is there the possibility to assemble the actual cars, but Zeta said it will call on the government to support jobs across the supply chain and for critical materials needed to build batteries.
The end game is simple for Zeta, though it won’t be simple to achieve. By 2030, it wants, including heavy-duty vehicles. A tall order for sure, and it isn’t likely the internal-combustion engine will go silently into the night.