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President Joe Biden is coming on Tuesday to South Carolina — virtually, that is — to promote his infrastructure plan and, more specifically, to explain how the president says his American Jobs Plan will reduce bus emissions to zero by 2030.
The president will virtually tour Greenville’s electric bus maker Proterra, as he aims to build up nationwide support for his infrastructure plan, the White House said on Monday.
POLITICO first reported on Monday of Biden’s plan to tour the facility.
Proterra was one of the first manufacturers of electric buses and is supplying batteries and other items for electric school buses.
The American Jobs Plan includes about $45 billion to speed up the Biden administration’s goal of reaching zero emissions for transit and school buses by 2030, the White House said.
Soon after his inauguration in January, Biden signed a flurry of executive orders aimed at tackling the country’s reliance on fossil-fuels.
Among his directives, an order to move the country to an all-electric federal vehicle fleet and shift car sales to electric.
“We can’t wait any longer” to address the worsening climate crisis, Biden said then. ”We see with our own eyes. We know it in our bones. It is time to act.”
But some critics have feared that a total overhaul of the nation’s vehicle fleet could cost American jobs.
If more people drive electric vehicles, that means less gas-powered ones and it means 30% to 40% fewer parts, the Associated Press reported. With few parts, that means simpler construction which also could mean fewer people needed to assemble the cars.
South Carolina hopped on the electric fleet train years ago.
Many companies and automakers in the state have embraced it and so too have lawmakers, who have considered legislation to expand its reach to consumers.
This month, Gov. Henry McMaster and other state leaders announced plans to spend $23 million out of South Carolina’s $34 million Volkswagen settlement account to replace part of the state’s aging bus fleet. The spending includes the purchase of three electric transit buses for the Charleston and Florence areas.
One of those buses will be built by Proterra, the Governor’s Office said.
“This is an important step toward cleaner, safer transportation for South Carolina,” the state’s Insurance Director Ray Farmer said in a statement this month.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.