Car dealers press Biden to ease U.S. electric vehicle mandates

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A group of auto dealers is calling on the Biden administration to pull back on federal regulations that will mandate that two out of every three vehicles sold in the United States in 2032 will be battery electric.

The car dealer group, calling itself EV Voice of the Customer, wrote in a letter to President Joe Biden released Tuesday that most U.S. car buyers are not now interested in buying battery electric vehicles—even with government incentives—and the U.S. should not force them to do so.

“The reality,” the letter said, “is that electric vehicle demand today is not keeping up with the large influx of BEVs arriving at our dealerships prompted by the current regulations. BEVs are stacking up on our lots.”

The dealers said customers cited the high cost of EVs, lack of garages equipped for home charging, the time it takes to charge and loss of driving range in cold or hot weather. Truck owners also pointed to a dramatic loss of range when towing.

Mickey Anderson, president and chief executive of Baxter Auto Group, which owns and operates dealerships in Nebraska, Kansas, and Colorado, said the letter has been signed by 3,700 dealers.

“As many as half of all Americans don’t even have a garage,” Anderson said, making EVs an unrealistic option for most of them. A U.S. Census Bureau survey found that two-thirds of U.S. housing units had a garage or carport in 2021, although the figure did not include cooperatives or condominiums.

“Dealers will sell whatever is manufactured,” he said. “But we’ve never seen a situation where government has intervened in such a draconian way.”

The EV Voice of the Customer group is not affiliated with the 16,000-member National Automobile Dealers Association. NADA says that it “enhanced data-driven fuel economy and emissions regulations that embrace marketplace realities and amplify fleet turnover.”

In July, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed a fleetwide average mandate of about 58 miles per gallon by 2032. According to the most recent data from the Environmental Protection Agency, carmakers achieved a record 25.4 mpg in model year 2021. Automakers have said the stricter fuel economy standards “exceeds maximum feasibility” and will cost manufacturers $14 billion dollars in fines.

At the same time, the EPA has proposed caps on carbon dioxide emissions at 82 grams per mile in model year 2032.

Both proposals are part of the Biden administration’s effort to cut emissions and accelerate the country’s transition to EVs. As part of its environmental goals, the Biden administration aims to decarbonize transportation as part of its target of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.

The car dealers say that battery technology and charging infrastructure will continue to improve, which is why the government should not be racing ahead to force EV purchases.

“Allow time for the American consumer to get comfortable with the technology and make the choice to buy an electric vehicle,” the letter said.

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12 thoughts on “Car dealers press Biden to ease U.S. electric vehicle mandates

  1. Another example of the elitest leftists trying to tell us how to live our lives. The EV mandate is a disaster in the making. Few people want them; the infrastructure doesn’t exist to service them; and the low to moderate income folks cannot afford them. Anybody that goes all in on this EV nonsense is going to regret it.

    1. Digital photography will never catch on! Stick to film technology, says John, adding “it’s all a communist plot…”. Meanwhile, the rest of us hope the switch to non fossil fuels happens before the climate crisis destroys our civilization

    2. Big difference

      The government did not mandate the photography industry, dictating what
      must be produced and purchased.

      The government is flat telling people they must buy an EV.

      Last, anyone concerned about climate change should also
      be concerned about all the
      environmental damage that will accompany the manufacturing of
      EV’s from beginning to end.
      The environmental damage will be extensive.

    3. Right-wing media overstates the environmental harm created by EV manufacturing. EV manufacturing by itself is pretty benign. Mining raw materials – like lithium and cobalt – can be tough for the environment, but so is drilling for oil. Unlike oil, lithium and cobalt can be recycled. As energy sources continue to get cleaner, it will only make more sense – fiscally and environmentally – for lithium and cobalt to be recycled.

      If you’re worried about “the government forcing EVs on us”, you should also be worried about the government forcing dealerships on us. Study after study shows that dealership visits are among the most dreaded experiences for American consumers, yet dealerships thrive because state governments impose restrictions on the ability of manufacturers to sell cars to consumers directly.

      Tesla and Rivian sell direct-to-consumer, ditching dealerships. Ford’s EV spinoff plans to follow suit. EVs are an existential threat to dealerships for a simple reason: neither manufacturers nor consumers want to transact through unnecessary middlemen who make car-buying uncomfortable. EV sales have been able to get through all the dealership protectionism built into law.

    4. “Get a horse!” I suggest to John M. to read Booth Tarkington’s _The Magnificent Ambersons_ about the growth of industrial Indianapolis. It was made into a movie, if that’s more to your liking. The novel’s tension between the horse-drawn and “horse-less carriage” symbolizes the transition from old-fashioned ways to modernism.

    5. Robert H.

      Thanks for your response.

      Your second and third paragraphs were spot on. +++++ 1

      Nothing I hate more than going to the car dealerships when it’s time
      to buy a new or used vehicle. The negotiationing process is rediculious.

    6. Here are the facts about EVs:
      1. They are unaffordable for most income brackets
      2. There are significant issues with range, especially for trucks towing in hot/cold weather
      3. Multi-family complexes don’t offer enough charging stations (i.e. apartment dwellers can’t buy them because they can’t charge them)
      4. Charging stations are not readily available when on long trips
      5. Charging times are inconvenient when on a long trip
      6. The actual cost to fuel an EV is equivalent to paying over $17 per gallon for gas (https://www.texaspolicy.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/2023-10-TrueCostofEVs-BennettIsaac.pdf)
      7. Insurance companies don’t want to insure them because battery replacements are so expensive.

      I’m sure there are more. None of this is conspiracy theory. It’s fact and these are just some of the reasons why the invisible hand is working against the EV market. Just because you want everyone to buy an EV doesn’t mean everyone wants to buy an EV. Hope is not a strategy. Does that mean we never transition to EVs? By no means. It just needs to happen on a realistic timetable and 2032 is not realistic.

  2. Nothing in this article states that anyone must buy an electric vehicle. Nothing. There is no legal requirement that anyone purchase an electric vehicle. No requirement. Remember when energy inefficient incandescent light bulbs were phased out and replaced with energy efficient ones? The world did not come to an end, but it might as we know it if we don’t figure out how to get off fossil fuels. Just ask your children if you don’t believe me.

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