By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The Biden administration said senior officials held a meeting Wednesday with major automotive leaders including Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk and General Motors Chief Executive Mary Barra to discuss electric vehicles and charging.
The administration said in a statement “there was broad consensus that charging stations and vehicles need to be interoperable and provide a seamless user experience, no matter what car you drive or where you charge your EV.”
Musk has often been at odds with the White House, frequently firing off harsh tweets directed at President Joe Biden. In February, Biden publicly acknowledged the role of Tesla in U.S. electric vehicle manufacturing, after Musk repeatedly complained about being ignored.
Congress last year approved $7.5 billion in government funding for EV charging stations, but legislation has stalled for new tax incentives to purchase and build EVs.
Ford Motor Chief Executive Jim Farley, Chrysler-parent Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares, Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson and Nissan Americas chair Jeremie Papin were among other auto leaders who took part in Wednesday’s meeting, which discussed U.S. funding to “create a national network of 500,000 chargers.”
Also attending were Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy and Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu.
Executives from Hyundai Motor America, Subaru of America, Mazda North America, Toyota Motor North America Mercedes-Benz USA and Kia Motors America also took part.
Last week, automakers backed the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new tougher vehicle emissions regulations in a court challenge brought by some states and ethanol groups.
The Alliance for Automotive Innovation, representing nearly all major automakers, said the EPA rule “will challenge the industry” but it wants to ensure “critical regulatory provisions supporting electric vehicle technology are maintained.”
Corn growers, a Valero Energy subsidiary and other ethanol producers said the new EPA rules revising emission requirements through 2026 “effectively mandate the production and sale of electric cars rather than cars powered by internal combustion engines.”
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Bradley Perrett)