(The Center Square) – As the push continues to transition to electric vehicles around Ohio and the country, state lawmakers want consumers to have a choice.
Senate passage and a signature from Gov. Mike DeWine are all that’s needed to stop the state from signing on to or taking steps to mandate emissions standards through emergency protocols established in the Clean Air Act of 1970.
“This legislation will prevent undue burdens on our residents, particularly those in low-income communities who may struggle with the higher costs of transitioning to electric vehicles,” said Rep. Brett Hillyer, R-Uhrichsville. “Ohio is not California and, therefore, should not be treated as such.”
The bill, which recently passed the House, would give Ohioans a choice in the type of automobile, lawn equipment or other motorized equipment they want.
It would also promote a wide range of vehicle options and limit costs associated with a mandatory electric vehicle program.
It blocks the state from restricting the sale or use of a car based on how it’s powered.
Ohio, unlike other states, has not implemented a zero-emission vehicle mandate.
Recently, Honda announced plans to invest $15 million in a public-private partnership with Ohio State University to develop battery cell research. The plan, including $4.5 million in federal taxpayer funding, is for Ohio State to advance research for battery cells at a new lab expected to open in April 2025.
It comes at the same time when major auto manufacturers are cutting back electric vehicle plans.
Ford, GM and Honda all began to hit the breaks on electric vehicle projects, and Stellantis announced it wants to buy out half of its non-union workforce because of its transition to electric vehicles.
Ford paused its $3.5B EV plant in Marshall, Michigan.
Despite $1.7 billion of promised taxpayer incentives for the plant and site readiness, Ford says it’s not confident it can run the Michigan plant competitively. A final decision hasn’t been made about the plant that officials said would create 2,500 jobs with an average wage of $45,136.
General Motors and Honda have canceled a program to sell EVs for around $30,000.