Analysis: Biden’s EV Push May Not Save Carbon Emissions

The Biden administration’s planned vehicle emission standards have come under considerable criticism by conservatives, including over the range and cost of electric vehicles. The amount of carbon released by the manufacture and use of such cars and trucks may outweigh that of some traditionally-fueled vehicles.

In particular, the manufacture of such electric vehicles includes significant carbon emissions. The largest share of this pollution comes from the creation of the vehicles’ batteries. The building of these cars means that the carbon emissions created by the cars already exist before a mile is driven. 

This is in contrast to internal combustion engines, in which the emissions grow over time as the vehicles are used. In some cases, this carbon footprint could be larger than a traditional car, depending on the lifespan of each vehicle.

A number of major studies show that carbon emissions in the manufacture of these alternatively-fueled vehicles are sometimes higher than that of a traditional car. 

According to a 2022 study between the University of Michigan and Ford, such electric cars create twice as much carbon pollution as a standard car. 

Furthermore, Volvo found in 2021 that their vehicles cause about 70% more in carbon releases than one of their gas versions. 

The creation of the battery using a number of both common and rare materials often means that electric cars create more of a carbon footprint than their internal combustion counterparts.

Recent testimony before Congress indicated that the Biden administration’s hopes may be misplaced.

Furthermore, more than 150 House Republicans recently signed onto a letter criticizing the EPA’s rule.

The majority of the Republican House caucus agreed to the letter, including leaders such as Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA). 

According to the letter, the Republicans had “deep concerns” with the new rules, calling them “the latest effort by the Biden administration to commandeer America’s transportation sector and force its complete vehicle electrification under the guise of mitigating climate change.”

The Republicans also stated that Americans desire “the ability to choose the vehicle that best meets their needs” and that people should “not be forced into buying an EV.”