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Biden touts Australian company’s new electric vehicle charging plant in Tennessee

By Kate Sullivan and Maegan Vazquez, CNN

President Joe Biden on Tuesday praised an Australian company that makes chargers for electric vehicles for agreeing to build a manufacturing facility in Tennessee, saying the plant will “have a ripple effect” far beyond the state.

The company, Tritium, and the White House say the new plant will produce up to 30,000 electric vehicle chargers per year and create 500 local jobs.

“The new manufacturing facility Tritium announced today is more than just great news for Tennessee. Yes, it’s going to create more than 500 good-paying jobs in Tennessee, but it can deliver greater dignity and little more breathing room to workers and their families,” Biden said at a White House event on the administration’s efforts to revamp American manufacturing, create jobs and lower energy costs for Americans.

“And it’s going to have a ripple effect … far beyond the one state. This is great news for workers across the country for an economy and frankly, for the planet.”

The President also said it was “another example of what America could achieve” through bipartisanship, namely through the passage of his bipartisan infrastructure law. He also made a point to thank Tennessee’s Republican Gov. Bill Lee for his involvement in getting the facility to his state.

He noted that later this week, the Biden administration will announce its state-by-state allocation for $5 billion in funding for electric vehicle chargers.

Tritium’s CEO, Jane Hunter, appeared alongside Biden at the White House at an afternoon White House event focused on boosting American manufacturing. National Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese and Infrastructure Act Implementation Coordinator Mitch Landrieu were also in attendance.

Biden has made rebuilding American manufacturing a key component of his economic agenda. One way the President wants to boost manufacturing and create more jobs is by building a sprawling network of electric vehicle charging stations across the country.

The President argues future electric cars will be more climate-friendly and affordable for American families, and he wants half the vehicles sold in the US to be electric or plug-in hybrids by 2030. His administration has outlined a plan to use $7.5 billion from the bipartisan infrastructure law to build 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations across the country. There are currently fewer than 47,000.

The event took place as the US grapples with supply chain issues and high consumer prices and struggles to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic. Inflation has hit record highs and economic anxiety among the American public has caused Biden’s approval ratings to dip significantly.

Tuesday’s event also followed another manufacturing event at the White House where Biden praised the decision from Intel to build a new $20 billion chip manufacturing complex in Ohio. The President said the new factory would create 7,000 construction jobs and another 3,000 permanent jobs and said it would help address the semiconductor shortage the US is facing.

The chips are essential to produce smart phones, medical equipment, cars and a number of household appliances, and the shortage has most notably contributed to an increase in automobile prices.

The-CNN-Wire
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CNN’s DJ Judd contributed to this report.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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