Top Automakers Call Biden's Plan To Force EV Transition Unrealistic

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
July 13, 2023

Auto manufacturers slammed the Biden administration's electric vehicle push, citing the challenges posed by procuring necessary minerals for the cars from outside the United States and inadequate infrastructure.

Toyota and Stellantis described the White House's goals, which includes a target of two-thirds of light-duty vehicle sales being electric by 2023, as "overly optimistic."

The plan "underestimates key challenges, including the scarcity of minerals to make batteries, the fact that these minerals are not mined or refined in the US, the inadequate infrastructure, and the high cost of battery-electric vehicles," the automakers said in comments submitted to the federal government.

Plug-in hybrids, which the automakers said are discriminated against in the proposal, and battery electric cars currently make up less than 10 percent of the market.

The proposal would increase American dependence on China, which dominates production of the rare minerals necessary to produce the batteries. Toyota said the Environmental Protection Agency relied on a "cursory assessment" of the availability of rare minerals when it crafted its objectives.

The companies said they agree with "the objective of reducing carbon as much as possible, as soon as possible" but that the administration's goals are untenable.

President Joe Biden's Environmental Protection Agency announced in April a proposal to limit tailpipe emissions, making the restrictions so strict that automakers will have to mainly sell fully electric vehicles.

Experts say such a rule will also lead to layoffs for autoworkers in states such as Michigan and Ohio.

"We've dealt with the loss of jobs before through technology," local United Auto Workers official Mark DePaoli told the New York Times, "but when you talk about the speed of this, it's hard to fathom that we won't lose jobs."

Despite the White House push, less than one in five Americans say they're very likely to make an electric car their next vehicle purchase.

Published under: Cars , Electric Cars , EPA