Biden's EV mandate: a dictatorial attack on the American driver and the US grid

By Alex Epstein

The de facto EV mandate will force Americans to drive inferior cars and place massive new demand for reliable electricity on a grid that is declining in reliable electricity supply.

Originally published: Apr 22, 2024

Biden's de facto mandate of over 50% EVs by 2032 is a dictatorial attack on the American driver and the US grid that will

1. Force Americans to drive inferior cars.

2. Place massive new demand for reliable electricity on a grid that is declining in reliable electricity supply.1 EPA Issues New Auto Rules

  • The EPA has finalized new pollution standards so restrictive that in order to comply, car manufacturers will have to sell 56% EVs by 2032, plus at least 13% plug-in hybrid or other partially electric cars, as well as more fuel-efficient gasoline-powered cars.
  • EPA’s pollution standards, which constitute a de facto mandate of >50% EVs, are a revision of earlier, even stricter standards, which would have mandated >67% EVs—but don’t be fooled. This rule is still an existential threat to driving in America and to the American grid.2
  • 1. Biden's EV mandate will force Americans to drive more expensive, less capable cars

    If EVs were actually as good as their advocates say, they wouldn't require lavish subsidies—let alone Biden's mandate on top of lavish subsidies. Forcing EVs equals harming Americans.

  • Today's EVs, despite promises that they would already surpass gasoline vehicles, are not cost-effective for the vast majority of Americans. Despite huge government subsidies, less than 8% of car buyers buy EVs. Mandating EVs violates our rights and hurts the poor most of all.3
  • EVs may become even less cost-effective in the future due to rising electricity prices and growing shortages as reliable power plants are shut down in favor of unreliable solar and wind—and increasing raw material prices (due to artificial, government-created demand for batteries).4
  • Range issues and recharge times are a logistical nightmare, even if you can afford a home recharge station. This is why EV owners tend to use EVs in addition to gasoline cars.

    Over 50% EVs will be ruinous to the poor and middle class.5

  • For most Americans, EVs are significantly inferior in utility at a higher price per vehicle.

    And if electricity bottlenecks continue, the price disadvantage could worsen while the threat of electricity rationing and restricting for EVs could become real.

  • 2. Biden's EV mandate will cause electricity shortages

    US power grids are already struggling from retirements of reliable power plant capacity in favor of unreliable solar and wind. Forced electrification of vehicles will exacerbate the problem and make electricity more expensive. Projected Reliable Electric Generation

  • A reliable grid is a foundation of our quality of life. Our lives depend on ultra-reliable electricity for the refrigerators that preserve our food, the water treatment plants that keep our water drinkable, the air-conditioning that keeps us cool, the factories that produce our goods, etc.
  • The root cause of our grid’s reliability problems is simple: America is shutting down too many reliable power plants—plants that can be controlled to produce electricity when needed in the exact quantity needed. And it is attempting to replace them with unreliable solar and wind.
  • Thanks to government mandates and subsidies, solar and wind—“unreliables”—provide about 14% of American electricity. This 14% has already caused big electricity price increases and huge reliability problems. Instead of admitting this failure, Biden is doubling down.6
  • The Administration is dictating two deadly policies at the same time:

    • Drastically reducing the supply of reliable electricity by shutting down reliable power plants
    • Drastically increasing demand for reliable electricity by mandating EVs

    This is a recipe for national immobility.

  • Currently the fossil fueled part of the transportation sector consumes about a quarter of all US energy. This means that to handle a huge influx of EVs, the already fragile electricity sector would have to rapidly add reliable electricity capacity—the opposite of what's happening.7 US Energy Consumption by Source and Sector US Primary Energy Consumption by Sector
  • Biden's EV mandate emulates California's reckless policy, which combines outlawing new oil-fueled vehicles by 2035 and wrecking its grid by shutting down reliable power plants.

    As The Babylon Bee put it, “State With No Electricity Orders Everyone To Drive Cars That Run on Electricity.”8 Babylon Bee CA Electricity

  • California is already having major problems with EV charging. On August 31, 2022, CAISO, the California grid operator, sent out a press release urging consumers to cut electricity usage during a heatwave, including using less air-conditioning (!) and refraining from “charging electric vehicles.”9 Flex Alert Conservation Actions
  • Note that EV charging is a threat to the California grid while only a small share of California’s over 30 million vehicles are electric and solar and wind are only a fraction of what they are supposed to become. With less reliable power and far more EVs the situation would be catastrophic.10
  • Imagine if, during the California blackouts of 2020 or the Texas blackouts of 2021 these grids were both far more dependent on unreliable solar and wind and had a massive fleet of EVs that needed charging. Imagine the death toll and economic damage. That’s where our policies are taking us.
  • Plans to rely heavily on unreliable solar and wind electricity generation, a key feature of Biden’s plan to power America’s EVs, requires the high voltage transmission system to grow massively in the next few years.
  • At the current pace it would take from many decades to centuries to build out our grid. New EV mandates add even more stress to the infrastructure, making everything in the supply chains more expensive while upgrades become more urgent.11 Grid Buildout At Current Growth Rate
  • Biden's EV mandate will also make us dependent on foreign supply chains.

    A crash EV mandate means a rapid, artificial increase in mining, processing, and manufacturing. Since US regulations are hostile to development, this means more dependence on others, especially China.12

  • The “Inflation Reduction Act” promised additional subsidies for manufacturers who sourced their materials from inside the US, a protectionist policy to build up domestic supply chains. But Biden systematically blocked US mining opportunities.13 Blocked Mining – Pebble, Antofagasta
  • Because of the clear impossibility to source enough critical materials from the US, the Treasury Department has already signaled flexibility in the rules on how the subsidies for domestic production will apply, i.e. we will keep being dependent on others.14
  • China dominates the supply chains of many critical minerals—and if the environmental policies of the Biden Administration persist, this will not change in favor of US mining anytime soon.
    How to solve America's critical minerals problem

    Critical Minerals

  • A free-market EV policy

    In the future, EVs could benefit Americans and significantly reduce emissions if 1) competition makes them genuinely superior for most people 2) we dramatically increase electricity production using low-cost, reliable, scalable technology—most likely nuclear.
    The case for EV freedom EV Freedom

  • If the Biden Administration wants to facilitate cost-effective EVs, the number one thing it needs to do is publicly reverse its attack on reliable power plants that would absolutely destroy our grid for existing electricity needs, let alone huge EV needs.
    The EPA vs. the grid EV vs Grid
  • The proper policy toward battery EVs is to let them compete on the open market with gasoline vehicles, natural gas vehicles, hydrogen vehicles, etc. And if you want to increase the competitiveness of all EVs, then stop screwing up the grid by mandating unreliable solar and wind. EV Generic


  1. AP - EPA issues new auto rules aimed at cutting carbon emissions, boosting electric vehicles and hybrids

  2. U.S. EPA - Biden-Harris Administration finalizes strongest-ever pollution standards for cars that position U.S. companies and workers to lead the clean vehicle future, protect public health, address the climate crisis, save drivers money

    Alex Epstein - Biden's 67% EV policy: a dictatorial attack on the American driver and the US grid

  3. Cox Automotive - A Record 1.2 Million EVs Were Sold in the U.S. in 2023, According to Estimates from Kelley Blue Book

  4. Alex Epstein - How to solve America's critical minerals problem

  5. Lucas Davis - Electric Vehicles in Multi-Vehicle Households (Revised February 2022)

    Wards Auto - Most EV Buyers Keep ICE Vehicles

    Lujin Zhao, Elizabeth R. Ottinger, Arthur Hong Chun Yip, John Paul Helveston - Quantifying electric vehicle mileage in the United States (2023)

  6. U.S. Energy Information Administration - Electric Power Annual

  7. U.S. EIA - U.S. energy facts explained

  8. The Babylon Bee - State With No Electricity Orders Everyone To Drive Cars That Run On Electricity

  9. CAISO - California ISO issues Flex Alert for today, Aug. 31

  10. California Energy Commission - Light-Duty Vehicle Population in California

  11. Robert Bryce - Out Of Transmission

  12. Institute for Energy Research - China Dominates the Rare Earths Supply Chain

  13. E&E News - EPA vetoes Pebble mine

    Reuters - Biden administration kills Antofagasta's Minnesota copper project

  14. Utility Dive - EV sector welcomes Treasury’s tax credit guidance as Manchin fumes over sourcing flexibility