From inflation to gas-stove bans, it’s clear President Biden and his top officials are living in an alternate reality. Perhaps no issue proves this point more than their unrealistic mandate for electric-vehicles, a multibillion-dollar effort to force Americans into cars they simply don’t want and can’t afford.
In a recent speech President Biden bragged that billions of taxpayer dollars were being spent to convert auto-manufacturing factories to produce electric vehicles and “build a network of 500,000 electric-vehicle charging stations all across America.” These actions, he claimed, will help “working families” and “create good-paying union jobs.”
But facts are stubborn things, and now more than 3,000 auto dealers are finally speaking up. Although not widely covered, Ford, GM, Chrysler, Volkswagen, and others have collectively laid off thousands of workers this year, due in large part to cratering demand for electric vehicles. Ford admitted this summer that its electric vehicle business will lose $4.5 billion this year. Globally, the number of jobs lost due to Biden’s mandated electric vehicle transition sits at 80,000. So much for “creating” jobs.
The promised build-out of charging stations has been equally disastrous. At Biden’s request, Congress set aside $7.5 billion in 2021 to build tens of thousands of electric vehicle chargers across the country. A recent analysis found that, despite the influx of funding, the program has yet to install a single charger. A $7.5 billion taxpayer “investment” with no return two years in is a tough economic pill to swallow.
Low market demand for electric vehicles should not be surprising. Technical experts have been sounding the alarm for years that actual adoption rates and fleet turnover—the rate at which old cars are replaced with newer cars—is significantly lower than the green agenda’s inflated political projections would have it. The EPA’s 2018 Mid-term Evaluation of Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards for Model Years 2022-2025 found that assumptions surrounding electric vehicle adoption, in particular, were grossly overstated and “didn’t comport with reality.”
In 2016, electric vehicle sales accounted for just 2.44 percent. Realistic projections from our nation’s top auto engineers were less than rosy. As candidly laid out in the official notice, “customers are not buying electrified vehicles at a rate sufficient for compliance.”
Biden has tried to manipulate this reality in many ways. Gas prices have certainly skyrocketed, from the moment his day one executive order initiated his plan to eventually ban all fossil fuels. Team Biden and Capitol Hill Democrats have shifted billions of taxpayer dollars toward a charging infrastructure that has failed to materialize, while also seeking to buy off the auto-manufactures.
Ford, for example, has received a $9.2 billion loan to build more batteries. For context, a Wall Street Journal analysis revealed that this is “$3.3 billion larger than what the company borrowed during the Detroit meltdown of 2008-09.” Ford is not alone; GM and LG have received $2.5 billion for similar commitments. Perhaps this is why their layoffs and production cuts have gotten so little attention.
While the manufactures roll in the billions of taxpayer dollars aimed at sweetening the otherwise unrealistic transition, American auto-dealers, and by extension their customers, are left holding the proverbial bag. Most Americans cannot afford or simply don’t want EVs. “Range anxiety” is very real, as it still takes hours to recharge batteries, versus minutes to fill up gas tanks. This is one leading reason why the majority of current EV owners still rely on gas-powered vehicles—78 percent own a second gas-powered car to supplement their transportation needs.
Given the inflationary effects of Bidenomics, not even generous taxpayer subsidies can make the idea of buying a $56,000 electric car (on average) palatable for most consumers.
Despite these inconvenient facts, Team Biden is full steam ahead. The EPA’s latest regulatory mandate would require 50 percent of new car sales to be totally electric by 2030. Not only is this unrealistic, but any serious attempt to achieve it will waste money while severely damaging both the economy and the planet.
This piece originally appeared in The Hill on 12/03/2023