By Kristen Walker
January 28, 2024
The fourth quarter of 2023 was not good for Electric Vehicles (EV). Multiple manufacturers decided to curb or halt production. Ford in particular decided to cut their F150 Lightening Truck series in half. Roughly 4,500 auto dealers signed on to a letter petitioning the Biden administration to “tap the breaks” on its aggressive EV push, on account of EVs stacking up on dealer lots.
The new year is already off to a rough start and we’re not even through the first month.
Hertz announced it will be selling off about one third of its EVs, which will amount to roughly 20,000 vehicles. This is a major reversal from their promise just a few years ago to dramatically increase its EV fleet. The money procured from selling them off will be used for the purchase of internal combustion engines (ICE) in order to “meet customer demand.” The car rental company isn’t too keen on the expensive repairs that accompany EV ownership either, which can cost up to twice that of ICE vehicles.
Mid-January saw a severe cold snap surge across many parts of the United States, greatly affecting the Midwest. Many Chicago-area EV owners found themselves unable to charge their vehicles, leaving them stranded. This is because on average an EV’s range can drop 40% and charging takes significantly longer in freezing conditions. Some motorists waited hours in line at charging stations that struggled to even charge vehicles, and long lines meant difficulty finding open charging stations. Other vehicles had to be towed. This can’t be good PR for the EV industry.
And now, a cheating scandal.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s fall study examines a rule in which EVs “improperly benefit from an erroneous interpretation by the U.S. Department of Energy of a series of laws” promoting alternative fuel vehicles, but “clearly excluding electric vehicles.” Carmakers can arbitrarily multiply the efficiency of EVs by 6.67, meaning a 2022 Tesla Model Y which tests at the equivalent of about 65 mpg in a laboratory is counted as having a compliance value of 430 mpg.
Environmental groups questioned the legality of the rule; the Wall Street Journal broke the story last week, claiming that such inflated numbers have “no basis in reality or law.”
With current regulations, automakers that don’t meet Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards are required to purchase credits from those whose fleets exceed them. Imagine the credits EVs can earn using a multiplier that boosts efficiency nearly seven times greater than gas-powered cars. It’s in the billions. Tesla alone apparently brought in $554 million from these credits just in 2023’s third quarter, representing a large portion of their overall net income.
The government is exploiting CAFE standards to drive the adoption of EVs.
If we’ve learned anything in these last several months about EVs, it’s that the government needs to quit manipulating the market through its massive subsidization of an unwanted “transition” and forcing consumers to purchase vehicles they don’t want. And now we learn automakers have been finagled into manufacturing EVs.
Blinded by their own climate ambitions, the net-zero crowd doesn’t see the writing on the wall. Nor do they seem to care that taxpayers are picking up the tab, particularly those purchasing ICE vehicles, which are artificially inflated to help companies recoup what they can’t charge EV buyers. Very few would actually pay the amount an EV really costs. Americans are bankrolling roughly $50,000 per EV over a decade, with the amount it takes to produce and keep them running.
The rapid push toward electrification is all way too much, far too soon. It’s crippling our economy and consumer wallets.
Centrally planned economies never turn out well; why would this be any different?
It’s past time to put consumers first, not the agenda of a select few. Like the letter penned by thousands of auto dealers across the nation said, “Many people just want to make their own choice about what vehicle is right for them.”
Kristen Walker is a policy analyst for the American Consumer Institute, a nonprofit education and research organization. For more information about the Institute, visit www.theamericanconsumer.org or follow us on Twitter @ConsumerPal.
This article was originally published by RealClearEnergy and made available via RealClearWire.
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