January 19, 2024

Ricketts Slams Biden’s EV Mandates on the Senate Floor: “Car Graveyards and Dead Robots” Not the Future We Want

January 19, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week on the Senate Floor, U.S. Senator Pete Ricketts (R-NE) again slammed the Biden administration’s electric vehicle (EV) mandates as unworkable for Nebraska. Ricketts called attention to the failures of EVs in recent severe winter storms that hit the Midwest.

“This weekend, we saw why this is just a dumb idea,” said Ricketts. “These EV mandates are burdensome and do not work in places like the upper Midwest, where we can see these bitter cold temperatures. We saw that EVs don’t work well when the temperature drops so precipitously. Turns out they’re just not reliable when the weather turns this cold.” 

Ricketts shared a story from FOX 32 in Chicago about how public charging stations had turned into “car graveyards” after the storms. The story described dozens of EV owners trying to desperately power up their cars at supercharging stations. 

“It was a scene mirrored with long lines and abandoned cars at scores of other charging stations around the Chicago area,” said Ricketts. “Also in the story, there was a driver who referred to all the stalled electric vehicles as dead robots. Car graveyards and dead robots. Is that the future we want? I don’t think so.”

Ricketts gave specific examples of how EVs are not practical for rural states like Nebraska.

“I guarantee you that electric trucks are not practical when you’re hauling livestock,” Ricketts added. “One cannot afford just to pull over and start charging for two hours or even longer when the temperature is below zero. Cattle cannot tolerate it. And then think about not being able to charge at all. Or imagine EV ambulances that break down trying to get to a rural hospital. Or EV buses breaking down trying to connect people to their jobs. These are very real considerations in states like mine.”

“These major winter storms are a reminder that, right now, EVs don’t have the performance or the reliance or the range in cold weather to be able to work in the Midwest,” said Ricketts in closing. “Imposing an EV mandate on Midwestern states like Nebraska is foolish, unworkable. It’s wrong. And I urge President Biden to reconsider this terrible policy. Until he does, I will continue to fight here in the U.S. Senate with every tool at my disposal.”

Ricketts has repeatedly criticized Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) since it announced burdensome emissions mandates that would require up to two-thirds of new cars and trucks in the U.S. to be electric in just eight years. In August, Ricketts hosted policy experts and stakeholders to expose the harmful impacts of the mandates. In October, he released a digital film on “The Reality of Electric Vehicles.” Ricketts also introduced the bipartisan Flex Fuel Fairness Act with Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) to level the playing field and provide a meaningful incentive for automakers to manufacture flex fuel vehicles (FFVs) in addition to battery electric vehicles.