Pennsylvania EV Mandates Could Negatively Impact Rural Residents

A new policy proposal in Pennsylvania would mandate the increased use of electric vehicles in the state. It would replicate California’s Advance Clean Cars II policy and effectively ban the manufacturing of internal combustion engines by 2035. Bill Dunn, president of the Pennsylvania Cattlemen’s Association, says this proposed mandate should matter to everyone.

“Number one, from a mandate standpoint, I don’t think we should be mandating things like this. My association obviously isn’t opposed to technology and improved technologies, but it certainly isn’t one that fits rural lifestyle, especially an agricultural rural lifestyle. One of the main things that we oppose is the fact that there are a lot of unintended consequences that no one has thought about. Forty percent of the corn grown here in Pennsylvania goes for ethanol. If we would switch to EVs, it could potentially cut demand for ethanol by 90 percent, possibly resulting in a 50 percent drop in the price of corn.”

He says the EVs are too expensive for many people.

“Why my association is opposed to it is simply the effect that it would have on already financially-strapped individuals and families in rural Pennsylvania. The median income in Pennsylvania is a little over $63,000. In rural Pennsylvania, it’s even less than that. These vehicles, when you think about it, a $66,000 average price tag for an EV right now, it almost takes $120,000 income to afford these vehicles. It is going to punish our rural people and our people who are invested in a rural lifestyle and agricultural living. It’s going to be a disproportionate punishment to those people.”

A recent survey clearly showed Pennsylvanian’s thoughts about electric vehicles.

“There was a recent survey in Pennsylvania that only six percent of the respondents say they’re very likely to purchase an EV in the next two to three years. But I think the most important thing about that is only six percent of the respondents strongly supported adding an additional charge on people’s electric bills to pay to fund the building of these charging stations.”

The Pennsylvania Cattlemen oppose the mandate that puts new burdens on residents in the middle of higher costs and inflation.

“I think it’s crazy. When you think about these charging stations, it’s going to cost over $5,000 per vehicle to build these stations. And I just don’t know that Pennsylvanians can afford this at this time. I mean, when we’re talking about 20-year high inflation, some people have adjustable mortgages that have quadrupled in the last year, and I don’t see how we can afford this to be mandated on us. If people voluntarily want to do it, that’s great. But as an association, we’re opposed to forcing it upon people.”

Image courtesy Shutterstock