Congress must protect the American people’s choice to purchase affordable vehicles that are right for them and their families and that doesn’t place US auto manufacturers at an additional competitive disadvantage vis-à-vis China. The Biden Administration’s rush-to-green agenda is doing precisely that by handing China the keys to America’s energy and auto future while simultaneously imposing an unnecessary burden on American families who are already struggling to pay their bills due to record inflation and the highest seasonal gas prices in over a decade.
The Biden Administration, in partnership with California and other states, is considering a plan that would require all new vehicles sold to be 100 percent electric by 2035. While the goal of reducing carbon emissions is commendable, this approach is unaffordable, impractical, and detrimental to many Americans.
As of 2022, the average transaction price of an electric vehicle (EV) was approximately $17,000 more than that of a gas-powered vehicle. This price gap presents a barrier to entry for many Americans, particularly those with limited financial resources.
Additionally, gas-powered vehicles continue to hold an edge in terms of range, towing capacity, and resilience in severe weather conditions. EVs can lose up to 40 percent of their battery charge, therefore range, in cold weather, which poses challenges in regions with harsh winters.
Another practical consideration is the availability of vehicle charging infrastructure. In many parts of the country, especially rural areas, the lack of charging stations makes EVs less practical for daily use. Without a robust charging network, the transition to EVs becomes a daunting task. Furthermore, there are concerns about the potential strain on the electric grid with a rapid expansion of EVs. This could compromise grid reliability, leading to blackouts and other related issues. Even with more charging stations, we must consider the time it takes to fully charge an all-electric vehicle, which is impractical for most drivers traveling any distance beyond local.
Finally, the issue of China’s dominance in the supply chain for critical minerals used in EV production cannot be overlooked. China controls a significant portion of lithium-ion batteries, lithium, cobalt, and graphite, which are vital components of EVs. Dependence on China for these resources raises national security concerns and could limit America’s autonomy in this crucial industry and the CCP’s ability to rapidly overtake the U.S. in production of electric vehicles. The CCP may also withhold batteries or metals and minerals necessary to build batteries and electric vehicles domestically.
This week, House Republicans passed H.R. 1435, the Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act, to counter the Biden Administration’s rush-to-green agenda. The central principle behind H.R. 1435, led by Rep. John Joyce (PA-13), is to empower American consumers to make choices that align with their needs and financial capabilities. It seeks to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from granting California’s waiver request if it restricts the sale or use of vehicles with internal combustion engines. This move aims to ensure that individuals and families have access to a variety of vehicle options.
Any transition to clean energy must be approached with careful consideration of the economic, practical, and security implications. H.R. 1435, the Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act, seeks to strike a balance between environmental goals and individual freedoms, aiming to protect American interests and ensure that consumers can choose the vehicles that best suit their needs and financial circumstances. As this debate unfolds, it is essential to keep these diverse perspectives in mind to arrive at a well-informed decision for the future of American transportation.