Biden’s EV incoherence


A week after gifting Chinese electric vehicle component manufacturers billions in tax credits, President Joe Biden sought to undo that political damage by slapping tariffs on fully made Chinese electric cars.

These contradicting policies won’t work economically or help Biden politically, but they do point to the commonsense way forward. Namely, an end to Biden’s impossible EV mandates, an end to Biden’s costly EV subsidies, and an end to Biden’s many bans on domestic rare earth mineral production.

The underlying political and economic pain Biden is trying to mitigate all stems from his radical plan to force drivers out of the internal combustion engine cars they love into inferior, unreliable, and expensive electric vehicles they do not want.

Biden’s scheme has two components. First, using the regulatory power of the Environmental Protection Agency, Biden has issued strict new mandates forcing all domestic automobile manufacturers to ensure that two-thirds of all cars sold by 2032 are electric. If any car company misses that metric, it will be hit with crippling, trillion-dollar fines from the EPA. 

Second, Biden is also using the power of the purse to bribe as many drivers as possible into the electric cars he is forcing Detroit to make. Key among these subsidies is a $7,500 tax credit for each electric vehicle purchased.

Many Democrats who signed on to these electric vehicle subsidies, however, did not want them to benefit foreign companies. So, the law authorizing these tax credits, the inaptly named Inflation Reduction Act, also required that a certain percentage of the components of each car must be produced domestically to qualify for the credit. 

This is where Biden’s gift to Chinese EV component manufacturers comes in. This month, the Energy Department issued its final regulation governing the tax credit, and it essentially decided not to enforce the Chinese component ban at all until 2027, at which point there would be nothing stopping the Biden administration (if still in power) from not enforcing the ban again. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) called this regulation “outrageous and illegal” and accused Biden of “effectively endorsing Made in China.”

Manchin is right. By not enforcing the Inflation Reduction Act’s ban on tax credits for cars made with foreign components, Biden is effectively subsidizing Chinese companies. But here is the thing: Without those subsidies, domestic car companies will never be able to reach the strict EV mandates set by Biden’s EPA. If the Inflation Reduction Act were enforced as written, none of the existing EVs on the market would qualify. Our domestic EV makers are simply too dependent on Chinese components to meet Biden’s EV mandates. No amount of tariffs on Chinese-built cars is going to fix that problem.

Electric vehicles, whether manufactured in China or the United States, just aren’t good enough for most people to make the switch. They take too long to charge, it is hard to find charging stations, the battery life shrinks in the cold, and it shrinks even further when the vehicles are asked to pull heavy loads.


People simply don’t want these cars. And they are not buying them at anywhere near the numbers necessary to meet Biden’s mandates. Ford, General Motors, Rivian, and Tesla have all been forced to fire workers as EV production has outstripped demand. It’s time to admit Biden’s EV revolution is a failure.

Instead of raising tariffs on low-quality Chinese EVs Americans don’t want anyway, Biden should repeal his EV mandate, freeing consumers to buy the cars they want, and repeal his EV subsidies, allowing for tax relief for families. And if he wants to make EV manufacturing easier here in the U.S., he must stop his Department of Interior from banning the mining of the rare earth minerals necessary to build them.

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