Maybe Democrats should slow down on electric cars

The nation can solve its political challenges. Although it does not get the attention it deserves, it is important for people to know that a great deal of bipartisan work is being done in Congress. This is not surprising since most Americans are still in the political mainstream and want our elected leaders to work together.

One of the political debates this nation is having revolves around electric cars or EVs.

Although I am a proud supporter of President Joe Biden and am glad he has led the nation as a centrist, I worry that the administration has overcommitted to electric vehicles. Several states – Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware and Minnesota – are also following California’s lead by implementing policies to ban the sale of new gas and diesel vehicles by 2035.

In fact, America’s centrist Democrats — who advocate for Democratic leadership from the political center — have conducted polls across those states (except California) to gauge people’s opinions about electric vehicles, and our findings show that most people are wary of government investments Huge electric vehicles. For example:

• Only 3% of Maryland voters say more investments to increase the number of electric vehicles should be a top state funding priority.

• Only 9% of Minnesota voters strongly support restricting the sale of gas and diesel vehicles and banning sales of gas and diesel vehicles over the next 10 years or so.

• 3% of New Jersey voters say limiting the number of gas vehicles sold in the state is the best way to encourage more use of electric vehicles.

• In Delaware, 62% of respondents agreed that “a phased-in approach to getting more electric vehicles on the road makes more sense for Delawareans, and that a gradual build-up will allow the market to repair itself along the way.”

A large majority of these participants – especially Democrats – are concerned about the effects of climate change. So it’s not that people deny global warming; They have doubts about electric vehicles.

For example, I live in rural southern Illinois, where there is almost no EV charging infrastructure. Furthermore, many farmers in my community rely on gas-powered vehicles and have invested in that machinery to use those trucks for many years. In the future, farmers want to be able to buy a new gas or diesel truck and not have to worry about finding adequate charging infrastructure.

We must also remember that, on average, electric vehicles cost thousands of dollars more than a gas-powered car. Additionally, installing the proper equipment at home to charge an electric vehicle can cost thousands of dollars.

While I support the $7,500 tax break for electric vehicles that was part of Biden’s signature achievement, the Inflation Reduction Act, I think Democrats should consider expanding these breaks for people to buy hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius.

I understand that the environmental movement wants to get rid of all gas and diesel vehicles as quickly as possible. But helping Americans buy a gas-powered hybrid would save people money at the pump, help them do something about climate change, and wouldn’t force them to buy an electric car before the country has enough charging stations. This seems like a logical solution to combat climate change, help people save money on gas, and accept the reality of the current limitations of electric vehicles.

Political disagreements over issues like electric vehicles between members of the same political party are a healthy part of our American democracy. I’m a proud Democrat, and I urge the White House to remember that hard-working, tax-paying citizens want sensible policies. That’s why I’m concerned that banning gas vehicles is not the best policy for the White House and states to follow.

David Phelps, a board member of the Centrist Democrats of America, represented Illinois’ 19th Congressional District from 1999 to 2003. He wrote for

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