Thursday, September 28, 2023

US House Passes Bill to Preserve Choice in Car Purchases

The US House of Representatives recently passed the Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchasing Act (HR 1435), a bipartisan bill aimed at preventing states from banning the sale of gasoline vehicles. The legislation was introduced in response to Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s proposal to ban gasoline vehicles in the state.

If signed into law, the act would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from granting waivers for regulations that seek to ban new vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. This move is seen as a way to protect consumer choice and avoid state mandates that limit car options.

Republican Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, an ardent supporter of the bill, criticized Governor Inslee’s proposed ban, calling it “radical” and comparing it to California’s bans on gasoline-powered cars, stoves and oven. Congresswoman Rodgers emphasized that Washington, particularly Eastern Washington, will not follow California’s lead and will not be governed by state government.

The passage of this bill comes after the California Air Resources Board (CARB) implemented restrictions on automakers last year, effectively banning the sale of new vehicles. internal combustion by 2035. Seventeen states, including Washington, have also moved toward adopting similar restrictions. The Washington Department of Ecology confirmed its support for the ban in December 2022.

However, the debate over electric vehicle (EV) mandates has raised concerns about the practicality and affordability of EVs. Currently, 95% of vehicles on US roads use internal combustion engines, which shows the continued popularity of gasoline vehicles.

A major concern is the affordability of EVs, as they remain out of reach for many Americans. By 2022, the average transaction price of an EV will be $17,000 higher than its gasoline counterpart. In addition, gasoline vehicles are often superior to EVs in terms of range, towing capacity, and resistance to weather conditions.

Infrastructure limitations also pose a challenge to the widespread adoption of EVs. Existing vehicle charging infrastructure, especially in rural areas like Eastern Washington, is not yet ready to support a complete transition to EVs. There are also concerns about the strain that a sudden shift to EVs could put on the power grid, which could lead to blackouts and other complications.

In addition, the global EV industry is heavily dependent on China, which dominates the extraction, processing and production of key minerals for EVs. China produces about 75% of the world’s lithium-ion batteries and controls the refining capabilities of more than half of the global supply of lithium, cobalt and graphite.

While the debate over EV mandates continues, the passage of the Vehicle Purchasing Choice Preservation Act sent a clear message that some states do not want to impose strict bans on gasoline vehicles. This law ensures that consumers have the freedom to choose the type of vehicle they want, taking into account the practicality, affordability, and infrastructure limitations associated with electric vehicles.

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Nation World News Desk
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