Trump Warns Biden’s ‘Crazed’ EV Push Will Destroy Michigan Auto Industry

Trump warned Michiganders that the federal government’s EV push will result in more adverse economic impacts in the state.
Trump Warns Biden’s ‘Crazed’ EV Push Will Destroy Michigan Auto Industry
This combination of pictures created on October 22, 2020 shows President Donald Trump, left, and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden during the final presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., on Oct. 22, 2020. (Brendan Smialowski and Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)
Naveen Athrappully
9/6/2023
Updated:
9/6/2023
0:00

Former President Donald Trump has warned that Michigan’s auto industry would suffer if President Joe Biden’s electric vehicle push succeeds, with most of the EV production going to China.

“The Great State of Michigan will not have an auto industry anymore if Crooked Joe Biden’s crazed concept of ‘all Electric Cars’ goes into effect. CHINA WILL TAKE IT ALL, 100%. United Auto Workers, VOTE FOR TRUMP. Get your leaders to ENDORSE ME, I WILL KEEP ALL OF THESE GREAT JOBS, AND BRING IN MANY MORE. CHOICE IN SCHOOLS, AND CHOICE IN CARS!!!” President Trump said in a Sept. 5 post on Truth Social.

United Auto Workers (UAW) is one of the largest trade unions in North America.

Michigan is a key swing state in the upcoming 2024 presidential race. In the 2020 election, Michigan voters sided with President Biden.

According to the nonprofit Mackinac Center for Public Policy, Michigan had 175,745 motor vehicle and parts manufacturing jobs in 2021. This was the highest number of auto jobs in any state. However, it only represented 37.2 percent of such jobs the state had during its peak.

On Aug. 31, UAW President Shawn Fain extended support to the Biden administration’s EV transition program, stating that the organization is “ready for the transition to a clean auto industry.”

President Trump cited Mr. Fain in another Truth Social post. “Shawn Fain, the respected President of the United Auto Workers, cannot even think about allowing ALL ELECTRIC CARS—THEY WILL ALL BE MADE IN CHINA, and the Auto Industry in America will cease to exist!” he said.

“There is already a giant ‘E GLUT,' they don’t go far or long, are very expensive, and the consumer must be given a CHOICE. Vote for TRUMP, and I will stop this Madness, IMMEDIATELY! Mexico & Canada LOVE Biden’s idiotic policy. SAVE MICHIGAN and the other Auto States. SAVE THE AMERICAN CONSUMER!!!”

The former president’s statements come as the Biden administration is pushing the use of electric vehicles in the United States.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) projects that by 2032, 67 percent of new light-duty passenger cars sold in the United States could be electric as a result of the agency’s clean car regulations, The Hill reported.

The Department of Energy has also announced plans to invest $12 billion to convert traditional auto manufacturing facilities into electric or hybrid facilities.

Benefiting China

President Trump’s warning that switching to EVs will end up benefiting China is in line with expert observation.

Mandy Gunasekara is the director of the Center for Energy and Conservation at the Independent Women’s Forum.

“It benefits the Chinese Communist Party because they control the critical minerals supply chain that is going to be necessary to build out the batteries for those electric vehicles,” she told The Epoch Times in April.

Worker with car batteries in Nanjing, China, on March 12, 2021. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)
Worker with car batteries in Nanjing, China, on March 12, 2021. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

Ms. Gunasekara argued that the Trump administration did a better job of taking into account the economic, strategic, and other considerations when it came to critical materials used in EVs and other technologies.

“There was a concerted effort to ensure we weren’t setting regulations that shut down industrial activity here in the United States, knowing good and well that productivity doesn’t go away—it just materializes somewhere else, and typically a place like China,” she said.

Ms. Gunasekara was the chief of staff in the EPA under the Trump administration.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), Congo and China were responsible for some 70 percent and 60 percent of production of cobalt and rare earth elements in 2019, respectively. These minerals are critical for manufacturing electric vehicles.

“The level of concentration is even higher for processing operations, where China has a strong presence across the board,” the IEA said, adding that China’s share of refining is about 35 percent for nickel, 50 to 70 percent for lithium and cobalt, and nearly 90 percent for rare earth elements.

With such a strong hold over the critical mineral supply chain, Chinese automakers have the advantage of being able to better source such inputs and can manufacture vehicles more cheaply than Western competitors. Producing an EV is about $11,000 cheaper in China than in European nations.

High Cost EVs

The Biden administration’s plan to force Americans to buy EVs could be a costly affair for people.
A new study from Anderson Economic Group (AEG) that analyzed vehicle fueling costs found that the vast majority of gasoline-powered cars are cheaper to fuel than EVs.
Tesla vehicles charge at a station in Emeryville, Calif., on Aug. 10, 2022. (Godofredo A. Vásquez/AP Photo)
Tesla vehicles charge at a station in Emeryville, Calif., on Aug. 10, 2022. (Godofredo A. Vásquez/AP Photo)

In the entry segment, a gasoline model was found to cost an average of $9.78 per 100 miles to fuel, cheaper than the $12.55 to charge per 100 miles for an electric vehicle. The cost of EV charging goes up to $15.97 if the owner decides to charge at a commercial location.

The results were similar for the mid-segment and the truck segment, with gasoline vehicles turning out to be cheaper. The only segment where EVs were cheaper was in the luxury class.

The results “underline the importance of considering real-world costs before making a buying decision,” AEG said in the study.

“These include knowing how often you travel away from home, your ability to install and rely upon a home charger, the costs and availability of commercial charging, and any road taxes levied on EV drivers in your state.”

A poll from The Associated Press back in April found that many Americans were hesitant to opt for electric vehicles as their next car.

Only 19 percent said they were “very” or “extremely” likely to buy an EV while 47 percent said that it’s not likely they would choose electric. High cost was cited as a major reason for not choosing an EV by 6 out of 10 respondents.

Naveen Athrappully is a news reporter covering business and world events at The Epoch Times.
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