Washington knows best which car you should be driving: electric vehicles. Seriously? – AMAC – The Association of Mature American Citizens

“When politicians are out there saying, ‘Let’s get rid of all gas-powered cars,’ do they understand that?” Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda asked in 2020, referring to the far-reaching consequences of politicians forcing a transition away from conventional vehicles.

It’s a good question, and a proposal in the so-called Inflation Reduction Act that is before Congress suggests that the answer is “no.”

President Joe Biden has used a variety of political vehicles to force a transition from the ubiquitous internal combustion engine to electric vehicles. Among them are executive orders, military supply mandates, and regulations making it nearly impossible to manufacture and sell a conventional car or truck.

The Senate is about to join us. Adding to tens of billions of dollars in grants, taxpayer-backed loans and investment tax credits for electric vehicle makers, the misnamed Cut Inflation Act negotiated by the Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.N.Y. , and Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., is proposing an expansion of tax subsidies for electric vehicles.

The bill offers up to $7,500 in tax credits for new electric vehicle purchases, including bonuses for union-made electric vehicles and batteries made or assembled in North America. The legislation also makes the existing electric vehicle tax credit even more significant by eliminating sales caps, adding a new $4,000 tax credit for used electric vehicles and extending credits for next decade.

While there are some improvements — unlike the existing credit, the credit isn’t available to Americans earning more than $300,000 jointly or electric vehicles containing batteries made with critical minerals from “foreign entities.” worrying” – they do not solve the real problem.

The problem is not the size of the credit or even the electric vehicles themselves. The real problem is that politicians are trying to force a transition to the energy sources they prefer, having no inhibitions about the arrogance of such a centrally planned system, the restrictions it imposes on freedom, or the trade-offs, limitations and collateral damage these policies cause. at the expense of the Americans.

Trade-offs, limitations and collateral damage

There is no perfect vehicle or energy. All involve trade-offs that individuals, families, and businesses prioritize differently. Yet too many politicians think they know what is perfect and the right vehicle for everyone. And because they inappropriately impose their preferences on Americans, they ignore the costs that forcing electric vehicles would impose on the country.

Let’s count some of the ways.

1. The gap between reality and political aspirations is wide. 90% of the energy needs of American transport are covered by oil. Electric vehicles make up about 1% of registered vehicles in the United States, despite years of federal and state subsidies. The International Energy Agency estimates that politicians’ aspirations to deploy electric vehicles under the Paris Agreement’s climate commitments imply a thirty-fold increase in demand for minerals used in electric vehicle batteries. 2040. Perhaps that’s why the head of electric vehicle company Rivian has warned that ongoing supply chain issues with “semiconductors are a small taste of how we’re going to feel about battery cells over the next two decades.

2. Electric vehicles trade dependence on fuel for dependence on minerals. While conventional cars and trucks depend on global crude oil markets and refining capacity (of which the United States is a major global supplier), electric vehicles must rely on global crude oil markets. extraction and refining of minerals, which represent more than half of the cost. of an EV battery.

Minerals such as lithium, cobalt, nickel, graphite and copper are needed to make batteries and other components in electric vehicles. According to the International Energy Agency, electric vehicles use six times more minerals than a conventional car. The agency estimates that it takes more than 16 years on average for a mine to be operational from the time of discovery of mineral deposits. Yet the Biden administration has done its best to block new mining capacity in the United States, particularly in Minnesota and Alaska.

U.S. miners are a small player in global markets for minerals needed for electric vehicles: Chile is the world’s largest copper mining country; Indonesia for nickel; Australia for lithium and, far more troublesome when it comes to human rights abuses and environmental stewardship, China for rare earth minerals and the Democratic Republic of Congo for cobalt.

The refining capacity for these ores is highly concentrated in China.

In other words, “concerns about price volatility and security of supply do not disappear in an electrified, renewable-rich energy system.”

3. Electric vehicles are being used as a pretext for big government favors to unions. While there’s certainly no reason why EV policies should be special favors for unions, the Schumer-Manchin bill would provide additional tax subsidies for EVs made with union labor. It’s just good old-fashioned friendship. Moreover, these policies would inflate the costs of electric vehicles and penalize most workers who prefer not to join a union. It could even backfire and lead to decreased production and sales of electric vehicles in the United States. Only about 14% of autoworkers are unionized in the United States. Meanwhile, foreign automakers now employ more American workers than domestic automakers.

4. Policies pushing electric vehicles are corporate welfare and special favors for the wealthy. Of the $7.5 billion in existing EV credits estimated to be claimed between 2018 and 2022, businesses will take about half. Of the other half claimed by US individuals, 78% will go to people earning more than $100,000 a year. One state leads: California is home to 39% of registered electric vehicles, perhaps unsurprising considering the state bans the sale of gas-powered vehicles starting in 2035 under its program radical climate.

5. There is no guarantee that electric vehicles reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However one looks at the problem of global warming, electric vehicles are not a foolproof solution. Electric vehicles have to plug in somewhere, and 60% of the electricity consumed in the United States is generated from natural gas and coal. Ironically, even as the need for power generation increases, federal and some state regulators are trying to stifle the production and use of natural gas as a power source, just as they have been trying to do for coal ever since. years. No wonder network operators have heightened concerns about reliability.

6. Electric vehicles come with trade-offs for owners. Electric vehicles bring some interesting capabilities to the table, but they also have detractors. Currently, many electric vehicles cost more than their conventional counterparts. Refueling takes time. Electric vehicle batteries lose an average of 2% of their capacity each year (depending on exposure to extreme temperatures, how often an owner charges the battery, and other habits that degrade batteries), and replacement is expensive . Some car parks even prohibit drivers from parking there due to the risk of battery fires. And EV range decreases and heating becomes an expensive choice in cold weather, which is likely why very few EVs are licensed in cold states that don’t heavily subsidize them or penalize gas-powered cars.

It’s one thing for an individual, family or business to weigh the trade-offs and make the decision to buy an EV. It is quite another matter for politicians or bureaucrats to impose the decision on Americans.

Competition has made America an ideal country to innovate, run a business, and buy products that meet the diverse needs of Americans. Electric vehicles are one of the many options available competing for Americans’ business and should compete on their merits.

Unless Congress comes to their senses, American taxpayers will cover the costs of major government EV policies whether they buy an EV or not.

Note: This article has been updated since publication.

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Reprinted with permission from – The Daily Signal by – Katie Tubb

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