The Environmental Protection Agency is taking away your options within the automobile industry with its recently announced new rule that would require a drastic reduction in tailpipe emissions for light- and medium-duty vehicles.

Touted the “most ambitious pollution standards ever for cars and trucks,” the Biden administration claims this will significantly reduce climate and other harmful air pollution, and boasts electric vehicles could account for 67% of new light-duty vehicle sales and 46% of new medium-duty sales by 2032.

That’s quite a lofty goal considering EVs currently account for only 5.8% of all new vehicles sold in the U.S. Less than 1% of all registered vehicles were EVs in 2021. Apparently, the subsidies aren’t enough to entice the vast majority of Americans into buying one.

Environmental Protection Agency

The Environmental Protection Agency’s logo on a door at its headquarters on March 16, 2017, in Washington, D.C.  (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

This administration has gone full speed ahead with its climate agenda and the federal government seems intent on fundamentally overhauling the automotive industry, regardless of what consumers want. The end goal is to get rid of gas-powered vehicles.

Our elected officials cite environmental concerns and air pollution as the main reason for stricter regulations. Yet, since the enactment of the Clean Air Act in 1970, air quality has drastically improved. Thanks to many technological advances, emissions and pollutants have dropped a whopping 77%. We are a far cry from the hazardous conditions that spawned the act half a century ago.

“Transitioning to clean energy” is a ruse; the manufacturing of an EV emits more greenhouse gases than combustion engines. Blame the raw materials needed for the lithium battery, the EV’s most energy-intensive aspect of production, and commodities for which we must rely upon China to supply. Roads will require more maintenance because these much heavier vehicles are harder on them.

And then there’s the price tag. EVs cost on average $18,000 more than gas-powered vehicles. With the median income in the U.S. at only $44,225, this puts EVs out of most people’s price range. A $64,000 car is not realistic for the average household.

There are other costs to consider. EVs cost more to insure, due to more expensive parts, pricey batteries that may need to be replaced, and the specialization required to service them. Charging batteries will require installation of home charging stations. The EV will also go through more tires since they wear out faster.

It’s no wonder that most Americans are reluctant to buy an EV. Aside from the steep retail price, their short range, long charging times, costlier parts, and limited capacity in colder climates do not make them very appealing. They’re just not practical for the average consumer.

The EPA’s aggressive regulations will hurt the Black community the most. With a median income of $41,500 (compared to Whites’ $63,900), Black households are the least likely to own a vehicle. Studies show that car ownership can help people climb out of poverty and narrow the gap between wage disparities; mandating an all-electric fleet will further drive a wedge of income inequality, pricing some minorities out of the market completely. Low home ownership among Blacks additionally makes owning an electric vehicle that much more difficult with nowhere to charge it.

The 63% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck undoubtedly are more worried about getting the kids to the doctor, putting food on the table, and paying the electric bill. They’re not overly concerned about retrofitting their homes and automobiles for climate change, let alone are they able to afford the steep price tags that come with it.

The goal to be fully electric poses other problems. Our production of electricity would need to substantially increase, which doesn’t bode well for an unreliable power grid. This very same power grid runs at least 60% of its electricity from fossil fuels, rendering the quest to steer away from them pointless. And attempting to force more renewables onto the grid presents its own set of problems, such as more strain and costly upgrades.

At the end of the day, results are inconclusive if widespread adoption of electric vehicles will truly cut carbon emissions and/or affect climate; some indicate that the impact on global temperature is miniscule.

Bottom line: Climate alarmism should not be the impetus to overhaul a major portion of the American economy nor give a federal bureaucracy this much control over our lives. Legislators need to put an end to this rule. It is harmful to consumers.