Republican Governors Urge Biden to Withdraw EV Goals

Letter says ‘mandates are unrealistic, costly and prescriptive solutions that harm American consumers’
Biden mandate EVs
Photograph: Shutterstock

While the Biden Administration continues to push out grants and initiatives in favor of electric-vehicle (EV) adoption in the United States, 16 Republican governors urged the president to change course on his mandate that two out of every three vehicles be battery electric by 2032.

The letter proposed that Americans should have the right to choose the type of vehicle they drive because of prohibitively expensive technology and the need for more infrastructure and a more developed market for battery production.

“While we are not opposed to the electric vehicle marketplace, we do have concerns with federal government mandates that penalize retailers and do not reflect the will of the consumer," the letter stated. “Even with deep price cuts, manufacturers’ incentives and generous government funding, federal mandates on electric vehicles are unrealistic.”

Mandates aside, the necessary infrastructure must be in place to support EVs, including grid capacity and reliability, charging stations and domestic EV battery production, the letter stated.

It also presented the idea that “bolstering the domestic critical minerals industry” needs to take place for long-term battery production, and with China currently accounting for 70% of global EV battery production, mandating electric vehicle use too quickly could present a national security risk.

“Your mandates are unrealistic, costly and prescriptive solutions that harm American consumers.”

In another effort to minimize U.S. involvement in building out EV infrastructure, on Nov. 8, 2023, the Biden Administration opposed the passing of a resolution from Florida Senator Marco Rubio that would eliminate the requirement for all EV chargers funded by Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to be manufactured in the United States.

It would allow federal dollars—including $7.5 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law—to be spent on chargers made in competitor nations like the People’s Republic of China, the Biden Administration said. It would also undermine the hundreds of millions of dollars that the private sector has already invested in domestic EV charging manufacturing, and chill further domestic investment in this critical market.

On Jan. 24, President Biden vetoed the resolution.

In his statement, Biden said, “If enacted, this resolution would harm my Administration’s efforts to encourage investment in critical industries and bring high-quality jobs back to the United States. It would not only thwart the collective goal of the Congress and the Administration to establish a domestic EV charger manufacturing industry, but it would also delay the significant progress being made by my Administration and the States in establishing the EV charging network. Establishing resilient supply chains is critical to our national economic and energy security, and my Administration will not support policies that would undermine efforts to bring this critical manufacturing back to the United States.”

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