House Republicans voted in favor of a bill that would block some of the Biden Administration’s electric vehicle policies, with several Democrats joining to approve the law.
The bill in question would prevent the White House from requiring automakers to gradually boost electric vehicle sales until they comprise a majority of new car purchases. While the pace of EV adoption has rapidly increased in the wake of competition between legacy automakers and Tesla, President Biden’s policy has been criticized, primarily by manufacturers and Republican lawmakers, for its aggressive timeline.
Additionally, the law, now on its way to the Senate, would limit the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to reduce sales of ICE vehicles. Earlier this year, the agency proposed emissions regulations so strict that they would force many OEMs to supplement gas-powered car sales with hybrid or zero-emission alternatives or suffer heavy fines. Lobbying groups representing most American automakers have challenged the EPA’s recommendations, citing the high costs of electric vehicle production and the considerable penalties car brands would likely accrue if the guidelines were approved. Other members of the car industry, including dealers and dealer associations, have also voiced concerns that consumers are not interested in electric vehicles, pointing to slower-than-expected sales in the segment.
However, while House Republicans have aligned themselves with the automotive industry on electric vehicle policies, the bill is unlikely to succeed in the Senate, where Democrats retain a slim majority. Additionally, the Biden Administration has already threatened to veto the policy, reiterating its determination to fight climate change, support the electric vehicle transition and save consumers money on fuel and maintenance.