But if a final infrastructure package includes little or no EV spending, a stricter tailpipe rule would likely meet opposition from automakers forced to build and sell expensive electric cars. And auto workers unions are likely to fight a swift federal push toward electric vehicles without any government assistance. Many economists estimate that the production of electric vehicles requires a third less manpower than the construction of conventional vehicles.

“My concerns are, and she understands, that every time we have a technological change in the industry, it takes a lot of investment and it doesn’t always work and catch on,” said Rory Gamble, president of United Auto Workers, in an interview with March talking about his conversations with Ms. McCarthy, who gave the union leader her personal cell phone number. “We emphasize this and make everyone aware of it when we switch to electric vehicles”

Opposition from oil and gas refineries, automakers, and unions could put a political strain on a president who proudly described himself as the “car type” and “union type” labels of great attraction to voters in the industrialized areas of the Midwest and Northeast, including swing states like Michigan and Ohio.

Environmentalists and progressives, on the other hand, now want a drastic reduction in environmental pollution.

A recent report from the International Energy Agency found that all nations must stop selling new gasoline to prevent average global temperatures from rising 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, the threshold scientists say the Earth suffers irreversible damage. powered cars by 2035. The earth has warmed by an average of 1 degree Celsius since the end of the 19th century.

Ms. Oge, the exhaust emissions expert, said the Biden government should put in place a tough rule requiring electric vehicles to make up 60 percent of automakers’ sales by 2030.

“You have to give the federal authorities and the car companies some sort of marching order,” said Ms. Oge. “This is a moment when every year counts. This is the moment to give the industry the message of where to invest by 2030. “