President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced that an Australian company that makes chargers for electric vehicles will build a manufacturing facility in Tennessee, while reiterating his commitment to make the U.S. government's fleet of cars electric.
The new plant will produce up to 30,000 electric vehicle chargers per year and create 500 local jobs, according to Biden and the Brisbane-based company, Tritium. State officials said production is scheduled to start in the third quarter of 2022.
Biden touted "an American manufacturing comeback." Tritium's chargers will "use American parts, American iron, American steel," and will be installed by union workers, Biden said. He said the federal government's fleet of 600,000 vehicles will "end up being electric vehicles."
"The benefits are going to ripple through thousands of miles in every direction and these jobs will multiply," Biden said, adding the manufacturing plants will lead to a growth in steel mills, small parts suppliers and construction sites throughout the country.
Tritium CEO Jane Hunter appeared alongside Biden at the White House and said Biden's policies "have contributed to enormous demand" for Tritium products in the United States. This "directly led us to pivot and change our global manufacturing strategy."
Biden also announced that this week, the White House will roll out a state-by-state allocation of $5 billion in funding for electric vehicle chargers. He used the speech to highlight contributions by U.S. companies involved in manufacturing electric vehicles including Tesla, a company Biden has refrained from naming in the past.
Biden has made rebuilding American manufacturing a key of his economic agenda, including pushing for billions of dollars of public and private investments in the electric vehicle industry. The bipartisan infrastructure bill passed last year provided money for a sprawling network of electric vehicle charging stations across the country.
Biden has said electric cars will be more climate-friendly and affordable for American families, and the White House has set a target of half the vehicles sold in the United States to be electric or plug-in hybrids by 2030.
The Tritium announcement is the latest in recent weeks by major companies announcing investments in U.S. manufacturing and jobs, including Intel, General Motors and Boeing. More than $200 billion in investments in domestic manufacturing of semiconductors, electric vehicles, aircraft, and batteries have been announced since 2021.