Trump-voting states are less likely to embrace electric vehicles
Politics influences whether electric vehicles are taking off in various states, according to a new report.
Why it matters: That finding, part of wider new analysis from the research firm BloombergNEF, arrives as EVs are bound up in 2024 politics.
- Former President Trump, the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, is bashing President Biden's pro-EV policies, as are some rivals.
- Meanwhile, EVs are dicey politics for Biden as leaders of the striking United Auto Workers fear the EV transition will leave workers behind.
Driving the news: BNEF finds links between median income and share of EVs in a state fleet, but "there is a greater relationship to date between the political leanings of a state and its EV adoption."
Yes, but: Many forces affect where EV adoption is relatively robust or low, they find.
- Policy matters. California is the runaway leader, but multiple states with relatively high sales follow its vehicle emissions policies.
- State purchase subsidies are in play too. So are sales laws — states that allow EV makers to bypass dealerships and sell directly to consumers tend to have somewhat higher uptake.
The intrigue: There are other influences as well. For instance, New York and Illinois lag "peer blue" states, even though both are run by pro-EV officials.
- One possible reason, aside from banning direct-to-consumer sales, is they have densely populated cities where charging can be tough, the report theorizes.
What's next: The report finds opportunities for automakers, charging providers and policymakers.
- Some states where adoption has yet to really take off — like Texas, Michigan, Georgia, and Illinois — have "strong fundamentals" around incentives or manufacturing bases.
- Automakers that can break through in these burgeoning markets may gain a competitive edge, the BNEF report states.
What we're watching: Auto politics are center stage this week.
- Biden joined the UAW picket line in Michigan on Tuesday — and didn't mention EVs in remarks to workers.
- Trump speaks at an auto supplier in the state Wednesday night while GOP hopefuls are debating in California, where more criticism of Biden's EV policies is likely.
The bottom line: EVs are on the ballot in 2024.