Oklahoma U.S. Sens. James Lankford and Markwayne Mullin were among 43 Senate Republicans and 77 House members who urged the Biden administration this week to dump its proposed fuel economy regulations, something referred to as a de facto electric vehicle mandate.
In a letter to the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Lankford, Mullin and the others made the argument that the corporate average fuel economy standards proposed last July would raise costs and restrict consumer choice.
“We strongly urge NHTSA to withdraw its misguided proposal, go back to the drawing board and reissue new CAFE standards that comply with the law, rather than ones that seek to pick winners and losers in the free market and remake our country’s economy,” they wrote to NHTSA Deputy Administrator Sophie Shulman.
“Nowhere in law did Congress authorize NHTSA to set fuel economy standards that effectively mandate EVs while at the same time force the internal combustion engine out of the market,” the letter continued. “In fact, federal statute expressly prohibits NHTSA from considering the fuel economy of EVs when determining maximum feasible CAFE standards for passenger cars and trucks.”
They also pointed out it’s’ clear the new standards are meant to force consumers to purchase EVs.
“NHTSA’s out-of-touch de facto EV mandate ignores the reality that most Americans still prefer the internal combustion engine vehicle, and the fact there is a lack of consumer demand for EVs,” they added in the letter.
“The low consumer demand for EVs can likely be attributed to the various unappealing aspects of these vehicles, including the typically higher sticker prices and insurance premiums, shorter average driving ranges, lower resale value, inadequate battery technologies for severe cold weather and lack of operational charging infrastructure, particularly for drivers in rural areas,” they wrote. “EVs are not a practical option for most Americans.”