Biden's war on gas cars will cost Americans a fortune

POLITICS: Biden’s war on gas cars will cost Americans a fortune

The Environmental Protection Agency released what it calls the “strongest-ever pollution standards for cars,” which it claims will “expand consumer choice in clean vehicles.”

That’s a stretch: These new regulations, which are clearly beyond EPA’s defined powers, will limit overall vehicle choice and force Americans into expensive and unreliable electric vehicles.

The EPA expects plug-in electric vehicles to make up between 62% and 70% of the automotive market. But this unrealistic target ignores two key facts:

First, consumers are not lining up to purchase electric vehicles, which made up only 7.6% of 2023 vehicle sales despite heavy subsidies.

American drivers simply aren’t embracing EVs because they know these vehicles have shorter driving ranges and longer refueling times. Not to mention that they’re significantly more expensive.

The five-year cost to own an average electric vehicle is more than $92,000, according to the North American Auto Dealers Association.

Compare that to a typical gas-powered vehicle, which over the same period costs $76,500.

Second, readily available charging infrastructure remains elusive for many EV users.

Many of the available chargers are level 2, which the magazine U.S. News notes “is fine if you have time to kill.”

Repair issues compound even the limited levels of charging, as only 73% of chargers in some major centers are in working order, according to Autoweek.

In the face of rapid decreases in the growth of electric vehicle sales, automakers are already scaling back EV production plans.

In December, Ford announced it was cutting planned production of its F-150 Lightning pickup in half due to “changing market demand.”

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy has warned automobile manufacturers for years that leaving consumers out of their long-term business plans was a recipe for failure.

Taxpayers not only pay with more expensive cars, they have to subsidize new production facilities.

In Michigan, lawmakers have already promised $200 million dollars of taxpayer money — and that’s just for one Ford battery plant in Marshall.

Biden has been covering up the economic damage this rule will cause by telling the media his administration will slow its implementation.

However, the administration has not given up the goal of making electric vehicles total 70% of new sales by 2032.

Achieving this goal in eight short years is an unobtainable and ultimately destructive pipe dream.

This regulatory overreach is just one prong of the administration’s multi-agency assault on consumer freedom.

At the same time as it abandons the hard-won independence granted by domestically produced oil and gas and forces drivers into unwanted electric vehicles, it is also transitioning the American economy to a reliance on critical minerals produced or refined in China.

Electric vehicles use six times more metals and minerals than traditional vehicles, but Biden refuses to issue permits for the mines needed to produce these minerals in the U.S.

In another federal agency, Biden administration appointees are forcing a drastic increase in the average fuel economy standards for light-duty vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is hiking those standards from 49 mpg to 58 mpg. This is another method of pushing American consumers out of reliable cars and into electric vehicles.

The EPA rule undermines consumer choice and transportation affordability for most Americans. Americans must retain the right to choose vehicles that are tailored to their needs and budgets — not to diktats from Washington bureaucrats.

Jason Hayes is the director of energy and environmental policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a free-market research and educational institute in Midland, Mich.

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