Biden's electric fleet for government is another boondoggle
President Biden's plan to replace the government’s fleet of 650,000 cars and trucks with electric vehicles assembled in the U.S. by union workers is easier said than done.
Why it matters: The populist "Buy American" message sounds good, but the vehicles Biden wants are still several years away and his purchase criteria would require an expensive overhaul of automakers' manufacturing strategies, not to mention a reversal of fortune for labor organizers long stymied by Tesla and other non-union companies.
Reality check: Right now, not a single model fits the president's criteria: battery-powered, made in America, by union workers.
- Tesla produces the vast majority of EVs in the U.S., and all of its models contain at least 55% American-made parts, according to federal data. But Tesla doesn't have a union and CEO Elon Musk has run afoul of federal labor laws.
- General Motors' Chevrolet Bolt is the only U.S.-built EV made by union labor. But it's made mostly with parts imported from Korea. Just 24% of the content is considered domestic.
- The Nissan Leaf, another popular EV, is made in Tennessee. But the factory is non-union and only 35% of the parts are domestic.
"Made in America" itself is confusing, because current rules governing "domestic" content include parts made in both the U.S. and Canada.
- Under the American Automobile Labeling Act, passed in 1992, every car requires a label disclosing where the car was assembled, the percentage of equipment from the U.S. and Canada combined, and the country where the engine and transmission were built.
- The newly passed US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement adds another layer of rules about the origin of parts.
Biden wants to change the whole system of determining whether a federal vehicle is "American."
Biden is surrounded by people who do not know what they are doing and is proposing things that are unlikely to be accomplished during his administration. He is pushing an agenda that is destined to fail.
It is another example of how unrealistic Democrat policy preferences are.