US auto suppliers resist specific deadline to phase out gasoline-powered cars
Auto suppliers told U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday they oppose setting a firm date to end the sale of new gasoline-powered passenger cars and warned that a quick shift to all electric vehicles could cost thousands of jobs.
The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), which represents more than 1,000 vehicle suppliers, told a Senate Commerce subcommittee on transportation that the Biden Administration should continue to set regulatory requirements that ensure suppliers keep working to improve internal combustion engines.
"If we move too quickly to a fully electrified fleet we could lose 30% of the supplier jobs in this country," said Ann Wilson, MEMA's senior vice president of government affairs. Auto parts manufacturers employ about 560,000 people in the United States.
Wilson told the panel new gasoline-powered vehicles "will likely be on the road for an additional 20 years."
"Engines, transmissions, after-treatment systems, and other parts will simply not be manufactured for battery electric and fuel cell vehicles," she said.
The governors of a dozen U.S. states including California, New York, Massachusetts and North Carolina, and many U.S. lawmakers have called on President Joe Biden to back ending sales of new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035.
Biden's infrastructure plan seeks $174 billion in spending and tax credits for electric vehicles and charging networks but does not call for phasing out gasoline-powered passenger vehicles.
California said in September it planned to end sales of new gasoline-powered passenger vehicles by 2035. Biden's campaign said last fall he did not support California's phase-out plan.
Last week, White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy said the administration had not set any specific EV adoption targets.
"We're not making any demands right now because this is about basically using the market to generate the kind of reductions we need," McCarthy said.