On March 29, 2024, Good Friday, Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rolled out its new electric truck mandate, which will require that electric semi-trucks make up an increasing share of manufacturer sales from 2027 through 2032, similar to its recent rule for passenger cars. EPA’s rule would effectively require electric models to account for 60 percent of new urban delivery trucks and 25 percent of long-haul tractor sales by 2032. The electric truck mandate is even more costly than Biden’s electric car mandate. The cost of electric trucks are typically two to three times more expensive than diesel trucks. Truckers will also have to invest $620 billion for charging infrastructure and it will likely cost utilities $370 billion to upgrade their networks. Replacing diesel trucks with electric will cost the trucking industry tens of billion dollars each year and truckers will need to pass these costs on to the customers–manufacturers and retailers, who will pass the higher costs on to Americans in higher prices for merchandise. Trucking is about to become much more expensive.

About 1.4 million chargers will have to be installed by 2032 to achieve the EPA’s mandate, about 15,000 a month. This will require major grid upgrades when there are shortages of critical components such as transformers. It could take three to eight years to develop transmission and substations in many places to support truck chargers. Despite Biden’s bill on infrastructure providing $7.5 billion for 500,000 chargers, only 7 have been installed in two years. Power generation and transmission will have to massively expand to support millions of new electric trucks. An electric semi consumes about seven times as much electricity on a single charge as a typical home does in a day. Truck charging depots can draw as much power from the grid as small cities.

According to EPA, its big-rig quotas are feasible because the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and 2021 infrastructure law include hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies for electric vehicles. The subsidies include a 30 percent tax credit for charging stations, $40,000 tax credit for commercial electric vehicles, and a tax credit for battery manufacturing that can offset more than a third of the cost. Because IRA tax credits for electric trucks are not conditioned on the source of battery material, U.S. manufacturers will be dependent on China, the world’s dominant battery producer. China’s BYD, which overtook Tesla for the most electric vehicles sold, was California’s top-selling electric truck maker in 2022. Chinese green-technology manufacturers are flooding the U.S. market because of Biden’s mandates and subsidies, which are enticements for rapid deployment of electric vehicles and trucks.

U.S. truck manufacturers are pleading for more handouts, noting that the rule is challenging and will require more “incentives and public investment.” (Sounds like the offshore wind industry and solar power manufacturers.) Biden is using subsidies to justify a ridiculous mandate, which then causes companies to need and lobby for more subsidies, which come from taxpayers.

There Is a Long Way to Go to Reach the Mandates

Electric trucks make up less than 1 percent of U.S. heavy-duty truck sales, and nearly all those sales are in California, which heavily subsidizes and mandates their purchase. There are no electric long-haul tractors currently in mass production. Most electric trucks cannot go more than 170 miles on a charge. Electric semis require bigger and heavier batteries, which means they must carry lighter loads to avoid damaging roads. Fleet operators will have to use more trucks to transport the same amount of goods, which will increase vehicle congestion, especially around ports and distribution centers. EPA justifies its rule as reducing emissions in “environmental justice” communities near major truck freight routes, but electric trucks also produce more soot from their wear and tear on roads and vehicle braking.

By 2030 electric trucks are projected to consume about 11 percent of California’s electricity. Most trucks will recharge at night when solar power is not available since drivers want daylight hours for driving. Fossil fuels will either be needed to produce the electricity or trucks will be stranded.


Biden’s EPA is mandating emissions reductions from heavy trucks that is in essence a ban on new diesel trucks. It would dramatically accelerate the adoption of electric and other zero-emission heavy vehicles, from school buses to cement mixers. The rule covers over 100 vehicle types including tractor-trailers, ambulances, and garbage trucks. It progressively tightens emission limits across manufacturers’ product lines from the 2027 model year through 2032, leaving it to the manufacturers to decide their path to compliance, using hybrids, hydrogen fuel cells, electric or enhanced fuel efficiency for conventional trucks. For example, the rule would effectively require 60 percent of urban delivery trucks to be “zero-emission” by 2032. The transition to electric trucks has considerable challenges, including their high costs and the need for extensive charging infrastructure. The mandate is impractical as it is likely to strain small businesses, disrupt existing operations, and require massive additional subsidies from taxpayers.

EPA projects its rule will “avoid” one billion metric tons in carbon dioxide emissions from 2027 through 2055—about as much as the carbon dioxide emissions from China and India increased just in 2023. As such, the truck mandate will do nothing to reduce global temperatures, but will cost American consumers and taxpayers billions.

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