'Mary We Owe You Big': Did President Biden Credit GM With Starting EV Revolution Over Tesla, Again?

Zinger Key Points
  • President Joe Biden said General Motors "started all this."
  • General Motors sold 25,000 electric vehicles last year.

General Motors Company GM CEO Mary Barra made an appearance at the White House on Thursday to support the budget reconciliation plan that’s being pushed by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

Electric vehicles are a key component of the proposed Inflation Reduction Act, which is expected to boost President Joe Biden's climate agenda by providing a $7,500 tax credit for new electric vehicles.

What Happened: Barra and General Motors — which sold 25,000 electric vehicles last year — received credit from Biden for starting the EV revolution while in the virtual meeting.

“Hey, Mary by the way,” Biden said, “we owe you big. You started all this.”

But, General Motors didn’t.

Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc TSLA did — and this isn’t the first time Biden has doled out EV praise to companies such as GM and Ford Motor Company F.

Related: General Motors An EV Leader? Musk Says That's 'Next Level Insanity' In Rant Against White House, Unions

Here’s Some Context: Last year, just as the years prior, Tesla dominated the EV market. In 2021, the company sold 936,172 units, nearly double the units sold of China’s leading EV firm, BYD Company ADR BYDDY and 37.5-times the amount GM sold.

According to KBB, the top 10 bestselling EVs in the first quarter were:
Tesla Model Y
Tesla Model 3
Ford Mustang Mach-E
Tesla Model X
Hyundai Ioniq 5
Kia EV6
Tesla Model S
Nissan Leaf
Kia Niro
Audi e-Tron

Why It Matters: Since last year, GM has paid Jeff Ricchetti, a lobbyist and brother of Biden adviser Steve Ricchetti, $340,000 to advocate for laws such as green credits.

Since 2020, the president has developed close ties with Ford and GM, two of the "Big Three" automakers, as Biden's support for EVs is a crucial component of his green agenda; by 2030, he wants to see 50% of all vehicles sold be electric.

Read more: Joe Biden Gives Himself A Pat On The Back As GM Announces $7B Michigan EV Investment

The total cost of this provision to taxpayers is unknown, but according to the Congressional Budget Office, it will give carmakers almost $85 billion in 2023.

Photo: Steve Lagreca via Shutterstock

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