Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has backed a new “Cash for Clunkers” pitch.
Instead of trading out old cars for new, more gas-efficient ones, however, Biden wants to pay Americans to trade in their gas-powered vehicles for an electric alternative.
As the Washington Examiner reports, the plan was initially pitched by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer but it recently garnered Biden’s support. The plan intends to “take more than 63 million gas vehicles off the road over a decade, replacing them with cleaner ones.”
Some Democrats have their reservations about the proposal though as the Obama administration’s Cash for Clunkers plan in 2009 did not meet its intended goals. The Obama-era proposal was also met with mixed reviews after analysts said it did not boost car sales or reduce gas emissions.
The Washington Examiner adds:
The primary goal for the Cash for Clunkers program, which was approved by Congress, was to boost consumer spending to help the economy recover from the Great Recession while offering $3,500 or $4,500 credits to buyers who traded-in vehicles for new ones with better fuel efficiency.
The climate-focused initiative promoted today by Democrats, by contrast, would specifically prioritize deploying cars that don’t emit any carbon at all, such as electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and hydrogen fuel-cell.
Alison Cassady, deputy staff director for Democrats on the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, said the plan will likely reduce gas emissions but whether or not it will increase electric vehicle purchases is far from certain.
“Each new vehicle being purchased today will still be on the road in the 2030s,” she said. “So if we want to dramatically reduce greenhouse gases from passenger vehicles by 2050, we need to quicken the turnover of gasoline-powered vehicles.”
Cassady cautioned that the plan should not be viewed as a revised version of Cash for Clunkers.
“We can learn from how it was designed and need to get under the hood on what we need to do differently,” she explained. “We shouldn’t just do what they did, because the goals are different.”