Electric Car Makers Have Finally Formed A Lobbying Group

Illustration for article titled Electric Car Makers Have Finally Formed A Lobbying Group
Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)

Lobbying groups are a mainstay in American politics, designed to influence lawmakers to vote in their favor. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they’re here to stay—and electric vehicle manufacturers like Tesla, Rivian, Lucid Motors, and Uber have joined forces to form Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA), a lobbying group designed to encourage that 100 percent of new car sales be electric by 2030.

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ZETA’s website lists more goals beyond just the increased sale of electric cars. It also wants to:

  • Provide more impressive incentives to encourage consumers to buy electric
  • Enact federal policies that prioritize domestic EV manufacture
  • Build a more impressive charging infrastructure across the United States
  • Request more federal and local aid to undertake further research
  • Accelerate zero-emissions forms of transportation

In the process, it claims that it will enable the creation of more jobs, healthier communities, better driving experiences, cleaner air, and more affordable electric vehicles.

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The lobby is still fairly new, so we’re not likely to see a more strategic plan of action in the very near future—but it’s very likely a response to President-elect Joe Biden. ZETA will have a much easier time lobbying a Democratic president than current President Donald Trump, who rolled back stricter Obama-era emissions rules and attempted to end the federal tax credit offered to those who purchase an EV. Biden has already stated that he’ll be emphasizing a more electric future for America.

There are currently 28 different companies that have signed on that include established EV makers like Tesla, startups like Rivian, raw materials companies, utilities companies, charging stations, and more.

Pointedly missing from the list are legacy automakers like Ford or GM—those companies usually have their own lobby groups or other ways to chat to lawmakers. It would definitely bolster ZETA to have those big names lined up, but it isn’t exactly surprising—and that isn’t necessarily a negative thing. Lobbies like the Alliance for Automotive Innovation have previously fought for better emissions standards and will likely seek more federal protections for growing EV programs.

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

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“electric vehicle manufacturers like Tesla, Rivian, Lucid Motors, and Uber”

Uber? Since when is Uber an BEV maker? And it’s a bit premature to call Rivian and Lucid electric vehicle *manufacturers* at this point since I’m pretty sure they both have sold exactly zero electric vehicles to consumers so far.

And conspicous by their absence... GM and Nissan.