Facing Backlash, Biden Walking Back EV Mandates

President Joe Biden wanted everyone to be driving Electric Vehicles (EVs) by 2035. His problem is that fewer people want EVs as their serious drawbacks become apparent. While Biden has not been known for his sage decisions, he appears to be facing reality and walking back his previous “it’s electric, and there’s no turning back“ mandate.

Dealers are increasingly facing unsold lots of EVs and are offering deep discounts to attract hesitant buyers. Even so, EVs are still more expensive than their Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) equivalents.

Manufacturers are cutting investments into EVs in response to the reduced demand. Ford has drastically reduced production of the EV F-150. Even Elon Musk’s Tesla is delaying a planned factory in Mexico.

Rental car companies such as Hertz are replacing the EV part of their fleet with ICE vehicles — because customers would rather drive gas-powered vehicles.

There are multiple reasons for the bloom coming off the EV rose for the American buyer.

Charging is much less efficient in cold weather and range is severely reduced. During a 2024 polar vortex, EV owners discovered this while waiting in long charging lines in frigid cities such as Chicago. Even in mild weather, charging can take a minimum of 30 minutes. Additionally, EV battery packs degrade over time, reducing the maximum range for an older car. This greatly reduces EV resale value.

America lacks a sufficient charging network, especially in remote areas. An empty gas tank in an ICE vehicle can be resolved with a portable can and perhaps a short walk. A drained EV battery requires a tow to the nearest charging station.

EV battery packs are extremely expensive, and replacement costs can rival that of the car. For EVs more than a few years old, a compatible pack may not even be available.

As for EVs being “environmentally friendly”, former President Trump has rightly mocked the “ridiculous all Electric Car Hoax.” The reason: while EVs may not burn gasoline, they do run on a battery that needs charging. That charging electricity comes from the same coal-fired plants that Biden has been doing his best to drive to extinction. If 95% of the population is driving EVs rather than the current 5%, the impact on the power grid will be a Biblical event. That is not compatible with Biden’s reckless “green” reductions.

Backing down from his previous draconian approach, Biden is now focusing on research and development for battery technologies, which would perhaps address range issues and charging times.

The new strategy of the Biden administration, which some are saying is a concession to the automotive industry and its unions, comes in an election year. Furthermore, car manufacturers are heavily based in Michigan, a critical swing state.

Regardless, consumers will let go of their reliable ICE vehicles kicking and screaming — and President Biden knows it.