WASHINGTON, D.C. – Amid reports that the administration of President Joe Biden will be mandating that automakers increase the fuel efficiency standards of the vehicles they produce as a means to encourage the public to adopt electric vehicles (EVs) at a faster pace in order to combat climate change, experts say embracing this budding technology too quickly – despite its intended environmental benefits – could have a number of unintended negative consequences.
The Biden Admin’s goal is to increase the use of EVs from their current level of 6 percent of new car purchases to approximately 70 percent by 2032, and it is using its regulatory powers to require automakers to increase the average miles per gallon of gasoline powered cars to nearly unobtainable levels – it is almost impossible to make internal combustion engines more fuel efficient than they already are – that would force them to begin rapidly producing EVs instead.
While attempting to reduce the effects of greenhouse gases upon the climate is laudable, the speedy implementation of this plan by the government could, in some ways, do more harm than good, some experts say, especially for those who wish to remain driving gas-powered vehicles.
The current situation mirrors the government’s actions in the 1970s when it first attempted to tighten fuel efficiency standards, albeit at a much more gradual pace. To make cars more efficient, automakers made them lighter, which subsequently reduced the safety of occupants in car crashes. In addition, more fuel efficiency translated to drivers spending more time on the road and inadvertently creating more pollution than they otherwise would have.
The unintended consequences for today’s rapid adoption of EV technology may have similar issues. For example, charging networks initially will not be able to keep up with demand once EVs are in greater use; there is already a shortage of charging stations outside of large cities, and even the fastest charging stations can take upwards of 20 to 30 minutes. Shortages of the minerals used for EV batteries could also increase prices of vehicles, making them cost-prohibitive for many Americans.
And finally, despite EVs being “green” vehicles, often the technology used to generate the electricity that powers them is not. Currently, only 22 percent of electricity generated in the United States comes from renewables, and that number is not expected to reach 100 percent anytime soon.
It is very possible that whoever becomes president following Biden may reverse these fuel efficiency mandates, but for the time being it looks like America’s future is with EVs…whether the country is ready or not.
Christopher Boyle is an investigative journalist, videographer, reporter and writer for SEARCHEN NETWORKS® and The Published Reporter® as well as other independent news and media organizations in the United States. Christopher works on a wide variety of topics and fields, has been featured in print and online in a variety of publications, from local to national, and helps keep a keen-eye on what’s happening in the automotive world for Auto Buyers Market.