Washington Watch

Biden wants to juice EV demand by killing the gas engine

In Michigan, Whitmer wants 2M EVs on the roads by 2030; In Washington, Biden wants to stop sales of gas engines “as soon as 2035”

In Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has launched a whole-of-government effort to boost demand for electric vehicles. From increased charger availability to tax subsidies to exempting EVs from peak-hour energy costs, state government has gone to great lengths to make the EV make sense for buyers.

A similar effort is afoot in Washington under President Joe Biden, the New York Times reports. Biden wants to juice demand for the electric vehicle by regulating the sale of new gas engines out of existence “as soon as 2035,” the same date targeted by the European Union.

Inside a secretive government laboratory, behind a tall fence and armed guards, a team of engineers has been dissecting the innards of the newest all-electric vehicles with a singular goal: Rewrite tailpipe pollution rules to speed up the nation’s transition to electric cars.

On Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to propose ambitious greenhouse gas emission standards for cars that are so stringent, they’re designed to ensure that two-thirds of the new vehicles sold in the United States are all-electric by 2032, up from just 5.8 percent today. And the rules could put the nation on track to end sales of new gasoline-powered cars as soon as 2035.

Whitmer wants 2 million EVs on Michigan roads by 2030. That’s up from a start point of 17,500 in 2021.

Two million EVs in Michigan in 2030 would be more EVs than there were in all of America in 2021, when there were just 1.45 million, according to U.S. Department of Energy data. 

Ford Motor Company has lost $5 billion selling EVs in the last two years, but the Times’ story shows why it will continue.

Automakers don’t have a choice. If automakers are not seen as embracing the electric vehicle, federal regulators will force them to do it anyway.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.