Biden can’t force this on the American people, plain and simple.
A prominent auto dealer in the Washington, D.C. region has raised concerns about the lack of enthusiasm among customers for electric vehicles (EVs), despite the Biden administration’s incentives and support for EV production and the impending bans on internal combustion engine cars by over a dozen states.
Paul LaRochelle, the vice president of Sheehy Auto Stores, a chain with multiple dealerships spanning from Hagerstown, Md., to Richmond, Va., shared his observations. According to LaRochelle, it’s not just the dealers but the customers themselves expressing reservations. He recounted an incident where a customer, upon learning that a particular car in the showroom was an EV, expressed skepticism about dealing with breakdowns or running out of charge during rush hour on nearby U.S.-50.
LaRochelle emphasized that the concerns raised in a “Voice of the Customer” letter to the government are not against EVs but advocate for a more “pragmatic” transition. He called for a slower implementation of mandates, providing the American public with more time for the development of more affordable EV options.
As of now, 13 states are either implementing or planning to institute bans or restrictions on the sale of internal combustion engine-powered cars. LaRochelle highlighted Virginia’s attempt, led by Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, to withdraw from the scheduled EV mandate, originally introduced by his Democratic predecessor, Ralph Northam.
LaRochelle shared feedback from customers who purchased EVs, citing concerns about insufficient charging range and a lack of charging infrastructure in their local areas. Affordability was also raised as an issue, particularly for individuals like military members or schoolteachers in the Washington area who may find it challenging to afford a $60-80,000 EV.
The interview on FOX News also touched upon concerns raised by host Laura Ingraham about the reliance on rare earth minerals for EV batteries, with some advocating for domestic sourcing instead of dependence on China. In a separate interview on FOX Business, Rep. John James, R-Mich., mentioned deposits of such minerals in his region, while others have called for sourcing these critical elements domestically.
The discussion also highlighted the potential of extracting rare earth minerals from the Appalachian coalfields in Pennsylvania, an idea proposed by former Rep. Lou Barletta in 2018. Barletta emphasized that studies have identified high concentrations of rare earth elements in the region and suggested environmentally friendly methods for extraction.
However, the U.S. faces a more challenging regulatory landscape for such industries compared to China.