The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new emissions standards for vehicles require manufacturers to increase overall fuel efficiency by over 25 percent by 2026, effectively mandating that electric vehicles make up two-thirds of new car sales. In order for customers to buy electric vehicles, manufacturers will have to make them less expensive than internal combustion vehicles, which will likely mean raising the price of internal combustion (ICE) vehicles until they are more costly than electric vehicles. Today, the average electric vehicle costs around $65,000, while the average ICE vehicle costs around $48,000.

Electric vehicle prices are likely to also increase because increasing their demand will increase the demand for the materials to manufacture batteries, which are the largest cost component of an electric vehicle. Prices for rare earths, for example, have increased between 60 percent and 400 percent since 2020. Prices for lithium, the basic ingredient in most EV batteries, have increased by over 300 percent since 2020, having come down dramatically from their high last year. Moreover, the Biden administration continues to prevent the development of new mineral mines in the United States to supply those materials by revoking leases, delaying permits and labeling plants as endangered. This leaves  China with a stranglehold on these metals, particularly their processing and on the supply chain for EV batteries, of which the U.S. Secretary of the Interior admits she is unaware despite her U.S. Geologic Survey tracking that data. China can process these minerals cheaply because of their lax environmental rules and their massive amounts of low-cost coal-fired generating plants.

Further, there is the increased electricity demand needed to charge these electric vehicles with more charging stations added to homes, apartment buildings, and on highways as more electric vehicles are purchased and operated. For electric vehicles to reduce emissions, the United States would need huge increases in wind and solar energy development. Yet, the U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that, by 2050, renewable energy will provide 63 percent of U.S. electricity generation, with wind and solar providing the largest amount of that renewable share. Natural gas and coal are still expected to provide a 27 percent share in 2050. Consequently, while the EPA may limit tailpipe emissions, it will transfer many of those emissions to power plants.

Electricity costs will also increase, negating the anticipated savings from “refueling” those electric vehicles. The federal government provides lucrative subsidies for wind and solar energy development and it has done so for 45 years at taxpayers’ expense. Many states have also implemented green energy mandates as developers of wind and solar power could not, and still cannot, compete on price alone, despite proponents’ claims. Wind and solar power are weather-driven and their inherently intermittent nature requires backup power from natural gas or coal generating units or from very expensive batteries—costs that are not imbedded in the calculations used in competing wind and solar power against traditional technologies.

In Europe, huge subsidies were used to increase wind and solar generation which resulted in large increases in electricity costs. Germany, for example, has the highest household electricity rates in Europe—around 3 times as high as those in the United States, and the continent is experiencing deindustrialization become industries cannot afford the cost of energy. A wind- and solar-based electric grid, without natural gas or coal generation, will require huge amounts of battery storage, which is simply an enormous added expense to accommodate their intermittent energy production.  And, with the increasing electricity demand comes increasing electricity prices as new wind and solar plants replace existing coal and gas plants whose capital costs are mostly or entirely paid off.

EV Efficiency and Range Falls Short of EPA Ratings 

Car and Driver magazine’s testing director Dave VanderWerp compared the EPA’s fuel economy and range estimates to the results of his own real-world highway tests. He found that electric vehicles underperform in efficiency and range relative to the EPA figures by a much greater margin than gasoline vehicles. On Car and Driver‘s 75-mph highway test, gas vehicles averaged 4 percent better than their stickers indicated while the average range for an electric vehicle was 12.5 percent worse than the window sticker numbers. According to VanderWerp, while EPA tests separate city and highway range figures, only a combined number for electric vehicles is presented to consumers. The combined rating is weighted 55 percent in favor of the city figure, where electric vehicles typically perform better, which inflates the EV estimates.

The way the tests are conducted also skews the reported range figure. Unlike Car and Driver‘s real-world test, which is carried out at a constant 75 miles per hour, the EPA’s cycle is variable, with the speed increasing and decreasing over the course of the test. The variability of speed in testing is detrimental to the results for gas vehicles, which tend to be most efficient at a steady rpm. However, for electric vehicles, the ability to regenerate energy under braking leads to higher range results, which are then shifted even higher by the slight bias towards city driving in the combined rating. It is almost as though the EPA has rigged the tests to achieve the numbers it wants to achieve. Consumers, however, live in the real world and would get different results, as Car and Driver did.

Because of the way EPA conducts its testing, range figures are not comparable across different vehicles. The EPA’s highway cycle is conducted at significantly lower speeds than Car and Driver‘s 75-mph test, with the initial EPA results then multiplied by a reduction factor to simulate the effect of higher speeds. Automakers can choose between running a two-cycle test—where the data is multiplied by a standard 0.7 adjustment factor—or carrying out a five-cycle test in an attempt to earn a smaller reduction factor, making the label figure higher. To be upfront about the data, EPA should publish both city and highway range figures—as they do with fuel-economy estimates for gasoline vehicles. Putting their thumbs on the scales as they have been doing misleads the public and reduces trust in the EPA and the electric vehicles the Biden administration is pushing.


The EPA is forcing Americans to buy electric vehicles in the future by its regulations, whether Americans want those vehicles or not. Besides taking options away from Americans to choose what is best for them, EPA’s decisions also have security issues and cost issues associated with them. Electric vehicles currently cost more than gasoline vehicles, but the cost of both are likely to increase as automakers price vehicles so that they can meet EPA standards by selling the required number of electric vehicles.  This means fewer Americans will be able to afford personal transportation and the freedoms that come with that tradition. Further, because China dominates the processing of metals needed for car manufacture and the supply chain for EV batteries, it makes the United States dependent on China—an autocratic country—far more (actually, 4 times more) than the United States was ever dependent on the Middle East for oil. That dependency is unnecessary since the United States has the mineral resources, but the Biden administration will not let those resources be mined.

Further, the EPA is skewing the data on EV efficiency and range, making them look more advantageous than they are, by the way it is performing its tests and how it is combining data for city vs. highway driving. Clearly, that points to a need for revised testing and labeling standards for electric vehicles, but that may not be in the Biden administration’s best interests, given its climate agenda which adheres to the belief that electrification of everything is fundamental. Car companies that exaggerate their mileage performance for gasoline vehicles face steep fines. Those fines should be extended to electric vehicles if the manufacturer exaggerates their range and efficiency data. And if the EPA is deliberately misleading in its tests to achieve a political rather than an objective number, perhaps they should share in the fines through a reduction in its budget.

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