Federal Overreach on EVs
The federal government is once again using climate change as a justification for a massive economic project. The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment Plan (NEVI) was recently approved by the Biden Administration, and through it, Missouri will receive $98.9 million in NEVI funds through the year 2026. Missouri’s funding is one small part of NEVI, as the federal government has dedicated $5 billion nationwide to deploy a comprehensive electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.
Is this massive undertaking needed? Can the free market not guide the expansion of EVs itself?
A mere 8% of Tesla owners and 18% of other EV owners said charging stations being too far away was a major difficulty, and an even lower 8% and 14% respectively said there were not enough charging ports at each charging station. Despite these statistics, the federal government is attempting to control the charging station market throughout the country instead of allowing the free market to operate. The government claims to be farsighted when protecting future generations on climate change policy, but their policies are routinely shortsighted. If we truly want to be more environmentally friendly, central planning is not the answer; instead, we ought to trust in the responsiveness of the free market to consumer desires.
Lucid Motors is an example of market innovation occurring naturally without central planning. Recently, Lucid gained traction in the stock market due to having the longest-lasting car battery in the market. In response, competitors started creating longer-lasting batteries in order to win over consumers who prioritize battery life.
With the free market spurring innovation for battery life in EVs, why would we need a massive expansion of charging stations? The already high levels of satisfaction with charging station availability will only increase as battery life further improves. As the demand for EVs continues to grow, electric chargers and EV infrastructure will likely grow proportionately. There’s simply no reason for the federal government to interfere in an industry where the free market is already spurring plenty of innovation.