This year’s stream of record-breaking fuel prices is prompting a growing number of consumers to consider swapping out their gas gauges for a battery-powered car or truck, the kind of mindset change that would lead to President Joe Biden. can go a long way towards meeting our climate goals.
But in the short term, the overheating of the US economy offers little solace to motorists or Biden’s party.
Electric vehicles are still too expensive for many American households—and the stuttering supply chain means they’re even harder to find, with some automakers waiting possibly years to buy their most popular models. Meanwhile, proposals to help ease supply shortages in Washington or make electric cars more affordable are piling up on the Hill. And polls show that voters largely blame inflation on Biden’s policies, part of a sour political climate that could put Congress back in Republican hands after November.
Martin Henrik (D-NM) said that some Americans can afford to buy a new electric vehicle, “but many people are in a situation where they absolutely can’t, and they are at the mercy of the price at the pump right away.”
Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said the stalled policy agenda of Democrats is preventing electric vehicles from taking off, who said she was “very concerned” that the party would fail to address climate change unless it Does not pass the Extended Consumer Tax Credit. and measures to encourage domestic production of car parts.
“EVs are an important weapon in the fight against climate change,” Warren said. “We are very hopeful on the impact of collectively getting gasoline-burning engines off our highways and using more EVs and mass transportation to get people around. There’s no way we can meet our climate goals if we don’t make that change and make it soon.”
The national average for regular gasoline hit $4.60 a gallon on Thursday, setting a new record from its pandemic-era low of $1.82 a gallon two years ago. On Friday, it declined by one paise. Interest in alternative-fuel vehicles has grown over the same time frame – the share of the electric vehicle ‘and plug-in hybrid’ automobile market has more than doubled since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.
In early March, as gas prices surged toward their all-time peak at the time, Google Trends recorded the highest-ever search traffic for electric vehicles. According to auto market analyst firm Wards Intelligence, the U.S. People in the U.S. bought more than 204,000 electric cars and trucks in the first four months of this year, up 60 percent from a year ago, though they still make up less than 1 percent of vehicles. On th eway.
However, despite growing interest, consumers looking to buy an electric vehicle face a major hurdle: finding a vehicle to buy.
Global shortages of computer chips and the rare minerals that go into automaking have created huge supply shortages for new cars and trucks – and have hit the electric variety particularly hard given their added reliance on electronics. (An electric vehicle requires about twice as many chips as a gas-powered car.)
Automakers, including Ford and Volkswagen, have said they have essentially sold off their popular electric cars and trucks for at least this year, Insider reported last week, while no one wants to order the cheapest Tesla model. Well, he will have to wait till the end of December. , Electric SUV and truck maker Rivian Automotive halved its projected 2022 production due to supply chain issues, mostly related to chips. The shortage is so acute that potential buyers often put their names on multiple waiting lists.
Then there’s the price. An entry-level electric vehicle like the Chevy Bolt can still cost about $15,000 more than a similar gas-powered car, like the same automaker’s Malibu sedan. That’s significantly more than the $5,000 in cost savings that analysts say electric vehicle owners will realize in 10 years on fuel and maintenance. And finding a used electric vehicle is nearly impossible.
Haig Stoddard, a principal analyst at Ward Intelligence, said of the impact of higher gasoline prices on the market, “there’s probably going to be more interest in electric vehicles and that could drive more demand.” “But it’s not going to happen very fast because most of the people who are interested are people who can buy pretty much what they want.”
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