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White House, EPA Push Automakers to Make More Electric Vehicles Many Americans Don't Want

Electric Car

It's being called the most ambitious plan in U.S. history to eliminate auto emissions. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan says the Biden administration's new push is "a historic win for public health, for the environment and for the future of our country."

The EPA is requiring automakers to reduce emissions by over 7 billion metric tons, forcing the car industry to produce more electric vehicles. The goal is for two out of three new car purchases to be electric vehicles in just 8 years.

The White House backed off an even harder, earlier push toward electric vehicles because of its unpopularity during this election year

But should the White House and the EPA be telling automakers what kind of cars to sell to consumers? A lot of auto dealers don't think so.

EVs made up less than 10 percent of car sales last year, and with unsold inventory of electric cars piling up at dealerships, 5,000 auto dealers sent a letter to the White House in January asking it to 'tap the brakes' on its push toward EVs.

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Rick Germain, president of Germain Automotive Partnership in Columbus, Ohio, says the demand for EVs just isn't there, and won't be for a long time. 

Germain says, "The bottom line is that I still don't think the markets, they're ready for it. It's obviously the infrastructure, it's the range, it's the cost. Those are the three things that we hear from customers."
While the White House claims the reduced emissions will help save the world from global warming, it was the bitter cold this past winter that had some EV owners re-thinking their purchases, because their cars did not have enough battery power to drive as far as advertised. There's also a lack of charging stations in many areas.

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Diana Furchtgott-Roth, an adjunct professor of economics at George Washington University and director of the Center for Energy Climate and Environment at the Heritage Foundation, says, "This is an idea whose time has not yet come."

"Look, this is great technology for people who don't have to drive very far and who have charging stations in their homes," Furchtgott-Roth says. "But for other people, small businessmen, farmers who have to drive hundreds of miles a day, these vehicles do not work. They're not convenient. They're more costly. An F-150 lightning pickup truck costs $26,000 more than the gasoline version. People can't afford those."

The EPA claims the move to EVs will improve everyone's health, especially kids, reducing asthma attacks and heart disease.

But Furchtgott-Roth says Americans will now hang onto their old gasoline-powered cars longer, and that's not safer.  

She also accuses the White House of trying to create a market for EVs that just isn't there.

"The federal government is spending your tax dollars to get manufacturers to make these vehicles and then spending more of your tax dollars to get people to buy them, and they're still not selling," Furchtgott-Roth says. 

Germain says customers and the market should decide, "instead of trying to force a certain technology on customers that may not be ready for it."

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