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Poll: Half of voters say reduce electric vehicle sales targets

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Half of likely voters say the Biden administration should reduce its targets for electric vehicle sales, a new poll from The Center Square says.

Car dealers themselves say demand has waned.

The Center Square Voters’ Voice Poll found just 22% of voters support keeping the same electric sales targets and 15% weren’t sure. Support for increasing sales targets was 13%.

The poll of 2,510 voters is conducted in conjunction with Noble Predictive Insights. It includes 1,044 Republicans, 1,126 Democrats, and 340 true independents; was conducted March 11-15; and has a margin of error of +/- 2%.

The poll’s release follows the Environmental Protection Agency’s “strongest ever” rules for light-duty and medium-duty vehicles from 2027 through 2032 which will require about 67% of new car sales to be electric by 2032.

In December, 4,000 auto dealers asked Biden to slow electric vehicle mandates because lots were full of them. Range anxiety, a sparse charging network, and a higher upfront cost paired with higher interest rates and inflation have cooled consumer electric vehicle demand.

The poll follows Michigan promising $1.8 billion in subsidies for Ford’s electric vehicle plant in Marshall and another $715 million for a Gotion plant near Green Charter Township to speed the transition from combustion engine vehicles.

John Mozena, president of the Center for Economic Accountability, a nonprofit organization for transparent economic development policy, said elected officials are “mortgaging their communities’ future” for electric vehicle plants.

“They’re taking out hundreds of millions of dollars or more in public debt to support factories designed to make cars that nobody’s interested in buying,” Mozena wrote. “They’re committing taxpayers to decades of spending money on interest payments instead of basic public services.”

Mozena said that electric vehicle subsidies could have funded local public servants. Since 1980, most consumers have chosen to drive vehicles with internal combustion engines.

“This is real money and it comes with very real costs,” Mozena wrote in an email. “Every dollar spent on subsidizing cars there’s no customers for is a dollar that can’t pay a firefighter, teacher, paramedic, road construction worker, safety engineer at the local water plant, health department inspector or any other public worker our communities depend on to be safe and pleasant places to live.”

In Michigan’s quest to have 2 million electric vehicles by 2030, it is short 1.9 million. Adding more than 28,000 per month for the next 67 months will achieve the goal.

Rep. Matt Hall, R-Richland Township, told The Center Square that the electric vehicle mandate will destroy auto jobs.

“Biden and Whitmer,” he said referencing Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, “keep pushing EVs on everyone, but they’re too expensive and unreliable. People don’t want them. Their radical green agenda is going to end up closing auto plants and putting auto workers out of a job.”