Governments are trying to force consumer acceptance of government-specified products and technologies through regulations, taxes, and subsidies via markets to achieve non-market outcomes. Markets, however, are expressions of free choice and voluntary action, not coercion, and don’t work when buyers don’t get what they want, but what the government wants. From the Issues and Insights Editorial Board at issuesinsights.com:
In eight years, half of American car buyers will be forced to purchase overpriced, underperforming electric cars they don’t want, courtesy of the federal government and a compliant auto industry. That, at least, is what President Joe Biden announced at the White House on Thursday, and it’s just as we predicted in this space three months ago.
With a wave of his pen, Biden ordered that 50% of new cars and trucks sold by 2030 are to be electric. Since the auto companies already have their 2022 model year cars in production, that means they have less than eight years to figure out how to comply with the most massive, disruptive, and anti-consumer mandate ever to come out of Washington.
The automakers have only themselves to blame for that. As we noted in early May, they’d already caved to the green police and announced ambitious plans to electrify their fleets, even though consumers have little interest in buying battery-powered cars.
Despite massive taxpayer rebates handed out to electric car buyers, a multitude of subsidized recharging stations, and the constant talk about how electric automobiles will save the planet, sales of plug-ins accounted for a tiny 2% of all cars sold in the U.S. last year.
GM sold twice as many of its gas-guzzling Silverado pickups in 2020 as the combined sales of every company’s electric cars. Electric vehicles, in other words, are still very much a niche product. And for good reason. Owning one means hunting for recharging stations, waiting interminably for the battery to recharge, and confining yourself to short trips – shorter still if you have to turn on the A/C or the heater.