Thousands of car dealerships urge Biden to pump the brakes on ‘unrealistic’ EV mandates
Nearly 4,000 car dealerships signed an open letter to President Biden urging him to delay the timeline for proposed emissions standards that would force two-thirds of new vehicles sold by 2032 to be electric.
The opposition, which includes 3,882 individual dealers from all 50 states that collectively call themselves EV Voice of the Customer, sounded an alarm that auto manufacturers have also been ringing: consumers aren’t ready to go electric.
“Already, electric vehicles are stacking up on our lots, which is our best indicator of customer demand in the marketplace,” the groups stated in the letter on Tuesday. “Mr. President, no government agency, no think tank, and no polling firm knows more about the automobile customer than us.”
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
The dealerships urged Mr. Biden to “slow down your proposed regulations” that are under consideration by the Environmental Protection Agency. They said affordability, the absence of abundant charging stations and a lack of battery range are driving consumers away from going green with an EV.
“Mr. President, it is time to tap the brakes on the unrealistic government electric vehicle mandate,” the dealerships said. “Allow time for the battery technology to advance. Allow time to make [battery electric vehicles] more affordable. Allow time to develop domestic sources for the minerals to make batteries. Allow time for the charging infrastructure to be built and prove reliable.”
“And most of all,” they wrote, “allow time for the American consumer to get comfortable with the technology and make the choice to buy an electric vehicle.”
Although increasing year over year, EV sales have not taken off at the pace anticipated by administration officials and automakers, even with federal tax credits of up to $7,500 from the Inflation Reduction Act.
EVs accounted for 7.9% of all new auto sales in the third quarter of this year, up from 6.1% the same time last year, according to Cox Automotive.
In addition to the EPA’s proposed EV mandate, blue states are also passing regulations forcing automakers in their states to kick gas-powered cars to the curb.
Last week, New Jersey became the 11th state to enact a rule banning new gas-powered car sales by 2035, joining California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.
“Today, the supply of unsold [electric vehicles] is surging, as they are not selling nearly as fast as they are arriving at our dealerships — even with deep price cuts, manufacturer incentives, and generous government incentives,” the dealerships wrote.