California is wrong on the EV mandate; Other states shouldn’t follow suit – InsideSources

An electric car charging station in Palm Springs, California.

Notorious for its crime and exorbitant cost of living, California seems an odd choice for Pennsylvania to emulate. And yet, with the passage of California’s onerous electric vehicle rules, the Commonwealth would do just that.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has submitted a proposal for mass adoption of the California Air Resources Board’s electric vehicle (EV) program. Importing the California rules would place new requirements on automakers and dealers to stock batches of electric vehicles.

Essentially, the combined California-Pennsylvania mandate would order automakers to deliver an increasing number of electric vehicles for sale in Pennsylvania each year. If they fail to meet the quotas, automakers will be required to buy credits from others who have banked them, such as Tesla only for electric vehicles. There is no doubt that adopting the California program would lead to a greater proliferation of electric vehicles. In the most recent year of data, more than 7% of new cars sold in California were electric vehicles, which leads the country in percentage of sales and brings the cumulative number of electric vehicles on the roads from the state to nearly half a million. But does the added value of the program outweigh the additional costs to the automotive industry that ultimately pass on to all of us? The evidence says no.

A commonly held myth about California’s EV program is that it increases consumer choice. The truth is that there is no barrier to purchases of electric vehicles as is and sales of electric vehicles are already increasing. Over the past three years, the number of electric vehicle registrations in Pennsylvania has tripled.

While for some families, especially those with a small budget or more children, electric vehicles make little sense; for others, electric vehicles are a smart choice, especially if they have the luxury of another longer vehicle for road trips. In the open market, electric vehicles have already gained a significant share of sales and are here to stay. They don’t need any more help.

The great irony is that the world’s first electric vehicle mogul, Elon Musk, agrees. According to Musk, the government should “step aside and not impede progress”, serving more as a “referee” and less as a “player on the ground”.

Of course, Pennsylvania’s adoption of California’s rules would be only a small part of a larger government push for electric vehicles. Other parts of this program include the existing $7,500 tax credit for wealthy car buyers choosing to go electric and the proposed $7.5 billion spending on subsidized charging stations for electric vehicles.

“Rules and regulations are immortal,” Musk said at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council event in December. “They don’t die. The vast majority of rules and regulations live forever…there isn’t really an effective garbage collection system to remove the rules and regulations so it hardens the arteries of civilization where you can do less and less over time time.

Convoluted programs like California’s electric vehicle rules are prime examples of this heinous phenomenon, clogging our economy with red tape that only drives up costs.

No state shows the harm of government entanglements quite like California. Ranked 48th on the Cato Institute’s list of economic freedom of states, California also has the highest poverty rate in the country and is among the states with the highest income inequality.

Subsidies and requirements for electric vehicles do nothing to solve these problems and probably make them worse. With its demands on car manufacturers and dealers and its large state subsidies for buyers, California policy shifts the cost of expensive electric vehicles to the general public, despite the fact that electric vehicle buyers are much wealthier than the average.

While just over 30% of US households have an annual income above $100,000, this is the case for more than 55% of new EV buyers. Even looking at the used car market, EV purchases are heavily tilted toward the wealthy. In California, for example, the average income of a used electric vehicle buyer is 66% higher than the average income of someone buying a conventional used car.

Adding insult to injury, EV evangelists like Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg tout the savings a household will enjoy in the absence of weekly tank fills, seemingly forgetting that the average household cannot afford the Delta initial purchase costs between expensive and more affordable EVs. , comparable, conventional cars. To compound this injustice, California taxes gasoline purchases at the highest level in the nation while offering wealthy EV drivers a free pass to use the same infrastructure shared by everyone else.

EV policies are a microcosm of California society on two levels. This is not a model that Pennsylvania should follow.

About Robert Pierson

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