Ohio could soon enact state legislation that would preempt electric vehicle (EV) mandates in the state.
Ohio HB 201 would prohibit any state agency, county or township from restricting the sale or use of a motor vehicle based on the type of energy used to power a vehicle, as well as prevent any state agency from adopting California’s stringent vehicle emissions standards, according to its text. The bill has progressed out of the committee process and now awaits a vote on the state House floor.
“HB 201 will ensure that no state agency or local government can hinder the free-market innovations we are seeing in the automotive industry by restricting the use or sale of any vehicle based on what type of engine or fuel source a vehicle uses,” Sarah Spence, executive director of the Ohio Conservative Energy Forum, said of the legislation in June. “Allowing the free market to work will give the auto industry the time needed to balance cost and quality while reshoring our manufacturing and supply chain.”
Republicans control 66 of the state House’s 100 seats, and the party has a supermajority in the state Senate. The state’s governor, Mike DeWine, is also a Republican, so the bill cannot be obstructed solely by Democratic opposition.
While the bill would serve as a roadblock to any future attempt by a Democrat-controlled state government to impose an EV mandate, a federal mandate would still supersede the bill’s provisions, according to Cleveland.com.
EVs have a sticker price that is about $5,000 higher on average than that of gas-powered vehicles, according to a July 2023 analysis by Kelley Blue Book.
The bill’s Republican sponsors have lauded it as a means to stymie inflation, and also pointed out that the American EV industry writ large is heavily dependent upon Chinese supply chains, according to Cleveland.com.
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