Biden Targets 2030 in Push for More Electric Cars

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US President Joe Biden signs an executive order after delivering remarks on the steps his Administration is taking to strengthen American leadership on clean cars and trucks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 5, 2021 (JIM Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

President Biden announced an executive order last week that aims to make half of all new vehicles sold electric by 2030. The move is part of Biden’s larger plan for taking action on the climate crisis and has the backing of U.S. automakers. Not a legally binding mandate and more of a voluntary pledge, it remains to be seen how much progress will ultimately be made in helping lower greenhouse gas emissions. California set its own goal for electric vehicles earlier this year when Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered all sales of new gas-powered vehicles in the state phased out by 2035. Many Democrats urged Biden to pursue a similar order, which is  closer to those adopted by other countries, but he resisted. We’ll learn more about Biden’s executive order and what impact California’s own policies and growing electric vehicle industry will have on the national plan.


Lauren Sanchez, climate advisor, Office of California Governor Gavin Newsom; former senior advisor, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry

Ethan Elkind, director, Climate Program at the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment, UC Berkeley School of Law; host, Climate Break podcast