White House climate adviser: Electric vehicles are the future

Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy says the Biden infrastructure plan is about empowering American workers.
8:58 | 05/18/21

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Transcript for White House climate adviser: Electric vehicles are the future
While president Biden's visit to that Ford plant where it through tooled around in the pickup truck and reminisced about the Ford fairly and it's all part of him trying to highlight a key part of this infrastructure plan. Investing. Electric vehicles and green energy technology as a way to both tackle climate change and create jobs are joining us to talk more about how the administration plans it. More these American made cars on America's highways White House national climate advisor. Gina McCarthy Jenna thanks for being with us this afternoon. Terry thanks so much they have admitted they appreciate it. And I. I just want to start with you know prior one of the obstacles to getting Americans to buy electric vehicles. How one of the reasons we're lagging behind China's president point out the lack of public charging stations in this country and I showed graphic here they the administration's infrastructure proposal addresses this. With its earmarking a 174 billion dollars for promoting electric cars that includes rebates and incentives for consumer purchases. And money to build. 500000. Charging stations by 2030. So that's right and what else can it doesn't have a what you don't look like cut across America. Hope we'll losing to China and a number of different ways they have a lot more judging stations they have a lot more vehicles out there. They are producing batteries right now that they're selling to other countries so the whole idea or the American jobs plan and specifically. On electric vehicles is to listen to the auto makers number one. They had telling us at electric vehicles of the future so if we want to grab that future if you want to grab the supply chain back from China. If we want to be selling in manufacturing. These vehicles here in the US and selling them from he would the countries. Then we have to get moving. So this is all about investing and worked with the private sector on 500000. New charging stations. This is about getting consumers. Some at the point of say ill rebate opportunities. So that these vehicles will become more cost effective. Right away for everybody in the United States. It's about looking at low interest loans and grants at least died building the batteries. Right here in the United States which we got back. The battery that you see in that F 150 that electric vehicle. Is made in the United States America. And I'm gonna build the Paxson the United States of America which is what that Ford F fifteen now has an have been a build it with union labor. Good paying union jobs. That's what's gonna get us out of this pandemic Scott our economy running again and make us cost competitiveness. This is about winning the future for our country this is about up people. And it's also about the challenge of climate change. And how we make us cities cleaner how we invest in transit again how we make trains move again and get where we need to go. This is a whole infrastructure plan that's about investing in our people and not country again. We are going to win the future right here in the United States for the people right here in the United States. And that sounds like it is right at the heart of which Michael Biden is and I'm not your body he anybody's you can. That term at the moment but that kind of sums it up and somewhat so let's talk about consumers show you mentioned them. Oh what can they expect when there considering. Say shifting from the Honda Pilot I have to buy one of these vehicles in the next few years. Well they have to consider take into consideration number of different things now we have quite a bit of of infrastructure already outfits such dodging this private sector charging. Companies that are out there building it. And is opportunities to actually locate these charging stations in a way that's. Going to get rid of that consumer anxiety but they can also look at. At a variety of different types of of technologies that are available. Different types of hires so they can find one that's affordable to them. They can think about home charging stations charging stations in. And we can think about moving forward together to make shore. That where investing in the future. Now the one good thing about electric vehicles. While this many actually. If you drive one you gotta love it because it performs really well which I'm quite sure of the president probably reflected. Because these engines a fuss of period to combustion engines and am much cleaner so if you Kidd has dazzle renewal live along roadways. You can feel like this an opportunity for yacht child. Because we can get rid of these diesel buses which we are planning to do these diesel trucks which were gone a stud getting off the road. And building a really much more clean it transportation system. But you can also look for real opportunities for cost savings in their operation. In old they save a fortune. In terms of reductions in the gasoline you need to pay and the electricity cost of running these vehicles. Is file less expensive than that gash you going to put in a combustion engine vehicle so we out looking really. At the opportunities today. But even more importantly the opportunity for the future sweet can get these vehicles out there in the numbers evident agreement costs down. And we fully expect that within the next five a sick she is they'll be cost competitive. With the with combustion engines if not so now. And so will looking at real opportunities you to drive. A really cool Cobb may be not that that F 150. By he'll find one that suits you really sound. With the with a room for the kids. When asked about having a problem facing today and that is the global computer chip shortage. Is not a huge obstacle right now car companies facing. In rolling out these electric vehicles they they can't find these chips the reports that Ford has tens of thousand cars parked in lots waiting for the chips to a lot I don't I've. So how does a shortage already impact of the market for consumers. And what can the administration do about. Well it is already impacting and that's pot of some short sighted decisions made by the prior administration. To stop investing. In on manufacturing right here in the United States and president Biden doesn't intend to. To compound those problems he's going to fix them and so he as a significant investment. That he's put on the table says semiconductor so that we can really make sure. That where that these chips are available and that our car companies can sell they have vehicles and get them moving for a way. You know we have to look at this supply chain we can't continued to be beholden. To other countries like China that would like nothing better. Then to make sure that we would be Holden to them for cheap Potts of of the products that we need for America. And so it's time and that's what potted this electric vehicle infrastructure investment is all about is making sure that we control our own destiny he had. We our great country with amazing union workers we can no longer cede the strength of our economy. Or Ron manufacturing. Ability. To anybody else's discretion. We have to bill be here. That's what the American jobs plan is all about win building it. Where owning it if someone wants to buy it from us they can paid a buy it but we need it for us cells. And that's the challenge we have right now with these chips. Is we have too many 'cause sitting on the sidelines. Waiting to be finalized for production and out into the hands of the public. We need to take care of that and that's what president Biden's plan will. Art and Gina just one final question everything's politicized in this country there is a perception among some of that electric cars are for coastal leads. Yeah what do you say to you moderate states who listened to your vision the president's vision of electrocution to ask. There they go again but he cell. Yeah Iowa one of the look of the great things about about having the F 150. That actually out there and electric model. Is people gonna see that it's not thru flu. It is a vehicle that's gonna do the job for the American public. And the thing I would say is that that you know Terry I didn't pass the cock companies could they switch to electric. You know they came to us and said you know the future is electric. We know that it's happening in China it's happening in the EU. It's a question of whether I'm not we're going to shift. And continue to move forward to produce the products of today and tomorrow. Whether we're going to stake natives we have. Through this prior administration. We I'm not going to sit back and failed to invest in mass cells. And win the technologies of the future an electric vehicles or it. Great all right Gina McCarthy at the White House thanks very much for that thanks Eric.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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