EV Truck Rule Highly Inflationary

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With consumer appetite for plug-in electric vehicles tanked and manufacturers making up for huge losses by charging more for gasoline cars and trucks that they actually want, EPA has just raised central-government-knows-best green zealotry to draconian heights.

On Good Friday, when news outlets were relatively quiet, the agency rolled out a new de facto EV mandate extending one recently applied to passenger cars to also include heavy-duty trucks.

As if the previous infringement on public choice and marketplace economics wasn’t bad enough, this follow-on rule is doubly dangerous to our vital food and commodity supply chain.

By way of background, the Biden EPA issued an earlier vehicle tailpipe emissions rule on March 20, which amounts to a coerced 70% phaseout of gasoline-powered cars by 2032.

According to that previous rule, an estimated 31% to 44% of new light-vehicle sales would need to be electric for model-year 2030, with the total percentage of EVs required to be sold based upon total tailpipe exhausts from all vehicles, including gas-electric hybrids, standard gasoline, and diesel models.

In comparison, 84% of all cars sold in America are powered by internal combustion engines.

Another Biden administration term will restrict that share to 64% by 2027.

Current EV auto sales problems are occurring both despite $7,500 federal tax credit subsidies offered as EV incentives to reluctant buyers and jacked-up costs for gasoline models needed to keep vehicle manufacturers financially afloat.

Ford, which posted a $62,016 loss on each EV it sold during the third quarter of last year, is offering a $7,500 cash rebate on top of the federal tax credit on some F-150 Lightning pickup trucks.

Whereas EVs currently make up less than 1% of U.S. heavy-duty truck sales, nearly all of them based in California, EPA’s new rule requires that they comprise 60% of new urban delivery trucks and 25% of long-haul tractor sales by 2032.

By 2030, electric trucks are projected to consume about 11% of California’s electricity.

So, first off, where will that additional electricity come from?

U.S. electricity demand growth projections for over the next five years have doubled from a year ago as Biden administration warfare on fossil fuels in favor of heavily subsidized anemic, weather-dependent, intermittent “renewables” discouraging investments to keep many current plants open.

The Wall Street Journal notes that about 20 gigawatts of mostly natural gas-generated electricity are scheduled to retire over the next two years — enough to power 15 million homes.

That power is needed around-the-clock 24/7, competing with nighttime EV recharging demands, particularly when there is no sunlight and the wind isn’t blowing.

As discussed in my previous column, U.S. electricity demand growth projections for over the next five years have already doubled from a year ago.

Bear in mind that costly power and transmission capabilities will have to massively expand, not the least of this cost requiring upgrades to ancient U.S. power grids.

Journal editors estimate the EPA rule will cost utilities $370 billion to upgrade their networks, along with another $620 billion truckers will have to invest in their own charging infrastructure.

Replacing diesel trucks with electric cabs, which are typically two to three times more expensive, will cost the industry tens of billions more annually.

Add to this a limitation that since electric trucks can’t travel more than 170 miles on a charge — with long charging times providing a best-case that accommodations are available and open when needed — truckers will have costly “refueling” layovers that greatly extend cargo pickup and delivery schedules.

Count on all these cumulative economic burdens to be passed on to electricity and shipping consumers in the form of product cost hikes.

An estimated 1.4 million chargers will be needed to achieve EPA’s EV truck mandate, about 15,000 a month, requiring major grid upgrades with new substations and critical components such as transformers, which will take years to develop.

The Journal estimates that an electric semi-truck consumes about seven times as much electricity on a single charge as a typical home does in a day.

Adding millions of special truck charging depots can be expected to draw as much power from the grid as small cities.

Lots of that power is sacrificed to carry additional weight of much bigger batteries, meaning the semis must carry lighter loads to reduce road damage. Accordingly, fleet operators will need to put more truck traffic on the road — at more expense — to transport the same amount of cargo.

Although EPA claims a 30% tax credit for charging stations, $40,000 for commercial EVs, and another for battery manufactures can offset more than a third of the cost, current Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) tax credits for electric trucks aren’t conditioned on the source of that battery material.

Those batteries will be an economic boon for China, which controls about 80% of the rare earth materials needed to create them, putting them in charge of America’s highway transport infrastructure as they build an equivalent of about two coal-fired plants weekly.

Nope, no climate advantages to this highway robbery insanity, either.


This article was published by CFACT, the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, and is reproduced with permission.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons


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