Washington Watch

Granholm envisions all-EV military by 2030

Plan would make U.S. military more dependent on China

In Lansing, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wants two million electric vehicles on Michigan roads by 2030. In Washington, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, a former Michigan governor, said she envisions an all-electric military fleet by 2030.

Jason Hayes, the Mackinac Center’s director of energy and environmental policy, sees cause for concern in the Granholm plan, and argues it will make America’s fighting force wholly dependent on the People’s Republic of China.

China owns many of the rare minerals needed to produce EV batteries. Moving the United States armed services to an all-EV fleet is tantamount to making the military dependent on China. China occupies a bottleneck position when it comes to the minerals needed for EV batteries.

For years, EV makers have warned of a coming mineral shortage. But that didn’t factor into Granholm’s answer when she testified Wednesday before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee.

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, asked Granholm if she believed the U.S. military could convert its fleet to EVs by 2030.

I do,” Granholm said.

“I think that reducing our reliance on the volatility of globally traded fossil fuels, where we know that global events such as the war in Ukraine can jack up prices for people back home, does not contribute to energy security,” Granholm said.

But the same supply-and-demand dynamic factors into EVs.

Mineral availability is a problem with both the Whitmer and the Granholm plan. While EVs are presented by their advocates as sustainable, there is not an unlimited supply of materials. And as the supply shrinks, prices will go up. Mineral availability is also vulnerable to global events.

Add in the fragility of the EV battery — many can’t survive a scratch — and the need for minerals is greater than it first appears.

The attempt to convert the military fleet into an all-EV one makes mineral procurement a matter of national security, not just a consumer concern.


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.