Biden Administration moves forward on gasoline car ban

The Secretaries of Transportation and Energy defend California's radical measures despite data questioning the benefits of electric vehicles.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg last week defended California's move to ban gasoline-powered  cars starting in 2035. During an interview on Fox's The Issue Is, Buttigieg said he was"really interested" in pursuing such developments while establishing a national policy.

Without expressly mentioning a federal ban on gasoline-powered cars, the Transportation Secretary acknowledged that the Administration is "moving in the direction of electric vehicles."

We need to make sure this happens fast enough to help us beat climate change.

California accelerated its plans to ban combustion vehicles just days before acknowledging serious electricity supply problems. However, several states want to follow in their footsteps, including Washington, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon and Vermont. For his part, Pete Buttigieg stressed that the industry is moving in this direction, although the truth is that automakers have warned of the problems brought about by the ban.

Nevertheless, the Biden Administration acknowledges its interest in mandating electric vehicles. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm was even clearer in her support for California's gasoline car ban, praising the Golden State for "leaning in"towards climate policy. In addition, the energy secretary insisted on defending her view that the electric vehicle strategy is "much cheaper" and re-iterated that the federal government is pursueing their goal that by 2030 half of the new vehicles sold in the country will be electric.

Electric vehicles: neither cheaper nor less polluting

In the face of this effort to impose electric vehicles by banning combustion vehicles, the data contradicts the Biden Administration. We can read in The Washington Post this article by environmental expert Bjorn Lomborg in which he details the false myths of the electric vehicle .

Lomborg explains that electric cars tend to be much more expensive and are not necessarily much cleaner:

Over its lifetime, an electric car emits less CO2 than a gasoline car, but the difference can vary considerably depending on how the electricity is generated. The manufacture of batteries for electric cars also requires a huge amount of energy, mostly from burning coal in China.

The expert points out that the positive impact of electric cars on air pollution is not as straightforward as the ban gurus advertise:

The vehicles themselves pollute only slightly less than gasoline-powered vehicles because their huge batteries and consequent weight cause more particulate pollution due to increased wear and tear on brakes, tires and roads. In addition, the extra electricity they need can produce large amounts of air pollution, depending on how it is generated. A recent study revealed that electric cars emit more particulate pollutants than gasoline cars in 70% of U.S. states. A study by the American Economic Association concluded that, rather than reducing air pollution, each additional electric car in the U.S. causes an additional $1,100 worth of air pollution damage over its lifetime.

Bjorn Lomborg concludes his analysis by pointing out that electric vehicles will only gain market share if innovation actually makes them better and cheaper than gasoline cars. The expert laments that politicians are spending hundreds of billions of dollars and preventing consumers from buying the cars they want in exchange for virtually no benefit to the climate.