Shark Tank Star Lays Into Biden Over E.V. Push

The automotive industry is transforming significantly as it shifts towards electric vehicles (EVs). The Biden administration has implemented various initiatives to promote EV adoption as part of its broader climate and energy policy. However, not everyone is on board with the government’s involvement in this transition.

Kevin O’Leary, famous for appearing on “Shark Tank,” has expressed skepticism towards the EV mandate. In a recent interview with Fox Business, he criticized the government’s attempt to mandate a conversion to electric vehicles. O’Leary believes that forcing this change is not the solution.

Others share O’Leary’s critique. Ex-President Donald Trump has promised to roll back electric vehicle policies if he wins the election. Bob Lutz, who previously held executive positions at General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler, also expresses skepticism regarding the readiness of the infrastructure and the market demand for electric vehicles.

O’Leary expands the discussion beyond the automotive industry shift and questions the feasibility of replacing hydrocarbons entirely. He believes that while countries can diversify away from hydrocarbons, no path to complete energy security involves replacing them entirely.

However, the Biden administration points to significant electric vehicle (E.V.) advancements. The White House reports that since President Biden assumed office, E.V. sales have increased more than fourfold, resulting in over four million electric vehicles being used on the roads.

Even with these advancements, there’s a possibility that the government might ease its regulatory approach. According to The New York Times, the Biden administration is considering reducing the speed at which it imposes restrictions on vehicle emissions. This strategy aims to accommodate automakers and labor unions, who maintain that they require more time to develop a comprehensive network of charging stations across the country and to reduce the expense associated with electric vehicles.

One of the main reasons why people hesitate to switch from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to electric ones is the price. O’Leary emphasizes that the mid-market, where most cars are sold, is too expensive for electric vehicles. However, the pricing gap between electric and gas-powered vehicles is closing. According to Cox Automotive, the average transaction price for a new E.V. at the end of last year was slightly higher than that of a new gas-powered vehicle.

Another concern raised by O’Leary is the potential decline in mileage as E.V. ages. He explains that lithium batteries, commonly used in electric vehicles, experience memory loss over time. This can decrease the battery’s capacity to store electricity and, therefore, a reduction in overall mileage. However, studies have shown that the average battery degradation is around 2.3% per year, considered minor.