Free Markets, Free People

An Electric Car Mandate?

The editors of the Washington Examiner consider the probable effects of the new CAFE standards (being imposed by the EPA now instead of NHTSA) and ask a pertinent question:

Getting from the current 35 mpg CAFE standard to 54.5 can be achieved by such expedients as making air conditioning systems work more efficiently. We have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell to anybody who thinks that’s even remotely realistic. There is one primary method of increasing fuel economy — weight reduction. That in turn means automakers will have to use much more exotic materials, including especially the petroleum-processing byproduct known as “plastic.” But using more plastic will make it much more difficult to satisfy current federal safety standards. The bottom-line will be much more expensive vehicles and dramatically fewer kinds of vehicles.


Total costs, as calculated by the EPA, will exceed $157 billion, making this by far the most expensive CAFE rule ever. For comparison, the previous rule in 2010 cost $51 billion, according to the EPA. But the EPA doesn’t include this fact in its calculation: Annual U.S. car sales are 14-16 million units, yet over time, this rule will remove the equivalent of half a year’s worth of buyers. Will that be when the EPA takes a cue from Obamacare and issues an individual mandate that we all must buy Chevy Volts?

I’m just curious, for those who support the individual mandate dictated by Obamacare, what is the argument that such an electric car mandate isn’t possible? If the federal government can force us to purchase insurance from the companies it allows to offer the product based on the idea that health care is a national issue, how is promoting cleaner air and more energy security not the same thing? Indeed, it would seem that the arguments are even stronger for forcing everyone to buy electric cars if furthering the “common good” is the only real restriction on federal power.

So what is the difference from a legal, constitutional standpoint? Is there one?

9 Responses to An Electric Car Mandate?

  • Think of it along the lines of what Obama had to say about coal electric plants. You can buy a gasoline powered car but he’ll make it prohibitively expensive to do so.

  • This is really hard to follow. They want us all driving electric cars but: ( a ) most power plants in the U.S. are powered by coal or nuclear power. The green leftists don’t like either of those. ( b ) hydroelectric plants – The green leftists don’t like those because they dam the rivers and the fish are killed. ( c ) they really don’t like the wind turbines because they kill some migratory birds. If they eliminate all those sources of electric power how can we charge the batteries in those electric cars?

    • @Johnny Jones Hey, if we just shut down all the power plants, trust me, the problem will take care of itself.

    • @Johnny Jones It’s (about) 48% coal, 20 some % gas, and 13% nuclear with wind and solar combined for less than 1%.
      Yes. What we need is a “coal” powered” automobile.

    • @Johnny Jones Well, we know in Texas (FLUCKING TEXAS) we are going to be facing rolling brown-outs >>>>to black-outs.

      So, your Sparky Pinto (Volt) will need a generator-set to recharge.

  • There is a good argument that the federal government could mandate that you drink Coke .. not Pepsi, 7-up, Dr, Pepper.
    They could mandate Hebrew National hot dogs.
    They could mandate that we all join the Democratic Party.

    • @Neo_ Would we all get to cast our vote for the Democratic Party come election time like they used to do in the Soviet Union, or Iraq? Yes? Well, then, still a democracy, right?

  • The ultimate goal of the government under the guise of the enviro-nazis should be perfectly clear. Climate Change Scam is a means to an end: Societal Control by means of energy control. There is no other means of societal control necessary or needed once your access to energy is so tightly controlled you have no viable alternative than to beg government or some third party to heat & light your house, pump your water and sewer, transport your goods or yourself to your employer. None of us would function more than a day without reliable access to affordable energy.

    Energy is the ultimate tool of control.