Corinna Petry headshot
From the Editor
By Corinna Petry
Charging Forward

resident Joe Biden asked Jennifer Granholm to join his cabinet as secretary of energy, in part, because, as she said during a White House press briefing April 8, “I was the governor during a time when the auto industry was on its knees,” referring to the global recession of 2008-2009.

“I was governor when we invested to diversify Michigan’s economy to build Car 2.0, which is the electric vehicle—and the guts to that vehicle, the battery. Here we are, 12 years later, and General Motors is saying its entire fleet is going to be electrified,” said Granholm.

“Countries like China are pressing their foot on the pedal and revving up their electric engines,” she noted, supporting the idea that the federal government must continue to invest in strategies for electrification and for lowering greenhouse gas emissions nationally.

Speaking April 14, Markus Duesmann, CEO for Germany’s Audi AG, emphasized the role of the Q4 e-tron in the automaker’s electrification strategy. “In 2021, the electric offensive is gaining further momentum at Audi. For the first time, more than half of all models newly launched in one year are electric. We are more than doubling the number of our all-electric models, from three to seven.”

By 2025, Audi plans to introduce at least 20 all-electric models and to further extend its plug-in hybrid electric vehicle portfolio.

It is vital that electrification is implemented on a global scale.
Toyota Motor Corp.
Five days later, Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp. unveiled Toyota bZ, a new series of battery electric vehicles (BEVs). At Auto Shanghai, a motor show held in China, Toyota displayed its concept version of the Toyota bZ4X, which will be the first model in the bZ series, named for beyond zero emissions.

In order to reduce CO2 emissions, “it is vital that electrification is implemented on a global scale,” Toyota said in a statement. Toyota aims to have 70 electrified models by 2025. Since rolling out the Prius in 1997, Toyota has sold more than 17 million electrified vehicles, leading to cumulative reductions in CO2 emissions of 140 million tons through 2020. Toyota will seek widespread sales of its bZ series in China, the U.S. and Europe as soon as mid-2022.

“It is important to continue incentivizing and encouraging electric vehicle adoption,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told Yahoo Finance in early April. “We [must] make sure we’re producing them at scale, [to] drive costs down” so that EVs are affordable for low- and middle-income consumers.

“We [have] got to make some smart investments as a country to make sure it happens sooner so that the electric vehicle future really is made in America and that the workers creating that future are American workers,” Buttigieg said.

We at MM think the electrification of the North American passenger vehicle fleet will create jobs across the economy, including within the metals supply chain. Let’s not miss the moment.