The Environmental Protection Agency is taking away your options within the automobile industry with its recently announced new rule that would require a drastic reduction in tailpipe emissions for light- and medium-duty vehicles.
Touted the “most ambitious pollution standards ever for cars and trucks,” the Biden administration claims this will significantly reduce climate and other harmful air pollution, and boasts electric vehicles could account for 67% of new light-duty vehicle sales and 46% of new medium-duty sales by 2032.
That’s quite a lofty goal considering EVs currently account for only 5.8% of all new vehicles sold in the U.S. Less than 1% of all registered vehicles were EVs in 2021. Apparently, the subsidies aren’t enough to entice the vast majority of Americans into buying one.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s logo on a door at its headquarters on March 16, 2017, in Washington, D.C. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
This administration has gone full speed ahead with its climate agenda and the federal government seems intent on fundamentally overhauling the automotive industry, regardless of what consumers want. The end goal is to get rid of gas-powered vehicles.
And then there’s the price tag. EVs cost on average $18,000 more than gas-powered vehicles. With the median income in the U.S. at only $44,225, this puts EVs out of most people’s price range. A $64,000 car is not realistic for the average household.
There are other costs to consider. EVs cost more to insure, due to more expensive parts, pricey batteries that may need to be replaced, and the specialization required to service them. Charging batteries will require installation of home charging stations. The EV will also go through more tires since they wear out faster.
It’s no wonder that most Americans are reluctant to buy an EV. Aside from the steep retail price, their short range, long charging times, costlier parts, and limited capacity in colder climates do not make them very appealing. They’re just not practical for the average consumer.
The goal to be fully electric poses other problems. Our production of electricity would need to substantially increase, which doesn’t bode well for an unreliable power grid. This very same power grid runs at least 60% of its electricity from fossil fuels, rendering the quest to steer away from them pointless. And attempting to force more renewables onto the grid presents its own set of problems, such as more strain and costly upgrades.
At the end of the day, results are inconclusive if widespread adoption of electric vehicles will truly cut carbon emissions and/or affect climate; some indicate that the impact on global temperature is miniscule.