O'Halleran co-sponsors bill to benefit electric car industry

November 24, 2020
In The News

WASHINGTON — As Lucid Motors gets closer to rolling out new vehicles at its electric auto manufacturing plant in Casa Grande, U.S. Rep. Tom O’Halleran is co-sponsoring legislation that would fund more vehicle charging stations.

This week O’Halleran, D-Ariz., and Rep. Michael C. Burgess, D-Texas, introduced HR 8807, the Electric Vehicle Mobility Area Planning Act. The bill would create a $10 million grant program to assist localities and electric utilities to identify the locations for electric vehicle charging stations in their communities.

According to a press release, O’Halleran and Burgess’ legislation would assist communities in saving money on transportation costs, reducing environmental impacts from tailpipe emissions and gaining access to new, cutting edge transportation technology by providing consumers and developers better, data-driven, more publicly accessible information, allowing them to make the best planning and investment decisions for their individual needs, and creating new, American manufacturing jobs in the process.

“As our transportation sector evolves — with several automated car manufacturing facilities already contributing to the economy of our growing state — we must ensure that long-overlooked areas and rural districts like Arizona’s First are not left behind,” said O’Halleran. “Our bill ensures that both communities and the private sector can identify priority areas to make the best investments in the EV industry. This growing market is taking action to lower emissions and combat climate change while bolstering our transportation economy and opening up new, good-paying jobs for Arizonans. It’s a win-win-win.”

The legislation has received the support of industry experts as well as energy and climate nonprofits.

“Electric vehicles, EVs, hold immense promise for reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, but concern about the ability to recharge an EV when needed is currently an obstacle to their widespread adoption, said Heather Reams, executive director of Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions.

The Lucid Motors factory is North America’s first purpose-built all-EV manufacturing facility. As completion is expected to finish up this year, the production line includes equipment from suppliers in the United States, Germany, South Korea, Mexico and Japan. The plant could end up employing up to 2,000.