‘American public not ready’ for California ban on new gasoline-powered cars: EPA administrator
“I don’t think the American public is ready yet,” EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler said at the Concordia summit this week.
“I think it is more ambitious and probably more political for them to divert their attention from the wildfires that are happening in California,” he added.
More than half of California’s emissions come from the transportation sector, and Gov. Gavin Newsom predicts his executive order will reduce greenhouse gases in the state by 35%.
While environmental groups quickly backed the mandate, the auto industry had a much more measured response.
John Bozella, CEO of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, an industrial group that represents major automakers including Ford, said that while the industry is committed to producing zero-emission vehicles, “neither the mandates nor the bans don’t build prosperous markets ”.
Wheeler said climate change must be a global effort and that “a state alone cannot make such a big difference. I just don’t think even the state of California can reach 100% by 2025. ”
California accounts for 11% of all vehicle sales in the United States, and industry analysts say the country’s first policy could be seen as a model for other states to adopt.
California is already home to nearly three dozen electric vehicle manufacturers, including Tesla (TSLA) and accounts for about half of all electric vehicle sales in the United States
Lauren Fix, an auto analyst at The Car Coach, says the state can have huge influence over the entire auto industry, but tells Yahoo Finance that Governor Newsom’s tenure could lead to affordability issues for consumers and businesses.
“If you expect more EVs to be sold, what you’re really doing is putting a burden on the used car market,” Fix said. “Can you imagine what that will do for the cost of a used car in California? How can the average consumer who earns less than $ 50,000 a year afford an electric car? They can not.
Fix warns that rising electricity prices will be another byproduct of so many electric vehicles at once.
The EPA has already collided with California. The agency canceled the existing one emission standards and revoked California’s decades-old authority to make its own rules.
“The American public should be able to choose the type of automobiles they buy and the type of automobiles they drive,” Wheeler said. “I don’t think any level of government, whether federal or state, should dictate a particular technology to the public.”
Alexis Christoforous is a co-host of Yahoo Finance’s “The First Trade”. Follow her on Twitter @AlexisTVNews.
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