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Manufactures’ group pushes back against mandating EVs

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(The Center Square) – As Gov. J.B. Pritzker continues to push his goal of having more zero emission vehicles on Illinois roads, one group says the country is rushing to ban the sales of new gas vehicles.

The American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers said federal and state governments are fast tracking policies to limit consumer choice and end the availability of new gas cars.

“The fact that consumers in a couple years are literally going to be robbed of their ability to choose the cars that are most popular and most meet their needs, that is not something that people are happy about,” AFPM President and CEO Chet Thompson said.

Pritzker said his goal is to have one million electric vehicles on Illinois roads by 2030.

“Electric vehicles are going to be commonplace, and we’re going to be at the head of the line in Illinois for the workforce,” Pritzker said during a recent ribbon cutting ceremony for an EV training academy in Normal.

Thompson said President Joe Biden’s EV agenda is bad for families, bad for the economy and bad for U.S. manufacturing jobs and is happening too fast.

“In a few short years in California, you will absolutely, without qualification, not be able to buy a car that runs on gas or diesel,” Thompson said. “That’s 35% of the new car market and the rest of the country, two-thirds of cars are forced to be electric.”

Currently, there is legislation in Springfield that would have Illinois adopt California’s tough emission standards, but Pritzker has said he is opposed to the idea.

Americans have been slow to give up their gas-powered vehicles for EVs. EV manufacturers, including Tesla and Ford, have been slashing prices to pick up sales, and General Motors is talking about bringing back plug-in hybrids, possibly taking a step back from the company’s earlier commitment to shifting straight to pure EVs.

Rivian Automotive, with a plant in Normal, recently announced it was laying off 10% of its workforce and plans to keep production this year flat compared to 2023. The company just announced that it was halting construction of a $5 billion factory in Georgia. Rivian officials said production of R2 mid-sized SUVs will now be moved to Normal. In 2017, the company received nearly $50 million in Illinois tax credits to create jobs in Illinois.

Rivian stock has bounced back to about $12 a share, but still is far off its all-time high of $28.

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