Skip to main content

Unbiased. Straight Facts.TM

Energy

EVs emerge as a major driver of political discourse ahead of 2024 election

Sep 28

Share

Electric vehicles are poised to be a major driver of political discourse leading up to the 2024 presidential election. President Joe Biden has made EV production a centerpiece of his administration’s platform ahead of his reelection campaign, but the carbon-combating initiative puts him at odds with an important part of his voting base.

One prominent issue linked to the EV push is the United Auto Workers (UAW) strike, which has now entered its third week. The labor dispute, involving nearly 20,000 workers on the picket lines, has increasingly come into conflict with Biden’s electrification agenda, elevating it to a central point of contention.

“On day one, I will terminate Joe Biden’s electric vehicle mandate, and I will cancel every job killing regulation that is crushing America’s autoworkers,” said Republican frontrunner and former President Donald Trump during an auto-workers focused rally in Michigan. “Yesterday, Joe Biden came to Michigan to pose for photos at the picket line, but it’s his polices that send Michigan autoworkers to the unemployment line.”

Among the concerns raised by the striking UAW members is the fear of a “race to the bottom.” Many EV manufacturing plants currently operate with low-wage, non-union employees. UAW members worry that this model could become the norm as gas-powered vehicles are phased out, which Biden aims to do by 2035, potentially leading to a decline in job security and compensation for autoworkers.

The UAW has also expressed apprehensions regarding the impact of EV production on the number of jobs available for autoworkers. Union members argue that EV manufacturing requires a smaller workforce compared to what is currently needed for building gas-powered vehicles, which could result in job cuts within the industry.

“EV powertrains are mechanically simpler than ICE powertrains,” the UAW said. “This simplicity could reduce the amount of labor, and thus jobs, associated with vehicle production.”

Meanwhile, automakers have cited rising costs associated with the transition to electric vehicles as a key reason for their inability to meet the UAW’s demands for wage increases, pensions and cost-of-living adjustments.

“If we signed up for the UAW’s request, instead of making money and distributing $75,000 in profit sharing the last 10 years, we would have lost $15 billion and gone bankrupt by now,” said Ford CEO Jim Farley. “There’s no way we can be sustainable as a company. That’s why we put our proposal in two weeks ago to say look, you want you want us to choose bankruptcy. Over supporting our workers.”

Biden, who has often touted himself as the most pro-union president in history, has thrown his support behind the UAW. He even went as far as joining striking workers on the picket lines to show his solidarity, the first sitting president ever to do so. However, the UAW has yet to officially endorse the president as he seeks a second term as the union continues its push for improved labor benefits.

“The unions built the middle class. That’s a fact,” Biden told striking autoworkers in Michigan. “Let’s keep going, you deserve what you’ve earned. And you’ve earned a hell of a lot more than you’re getting paid now.”

The divide over EVs has further deepened along party lines, with recent data from BloombergNEF highlighting the disparities in electric vehicle adoption at the state level.

Liberal states like California and Washington are leading the nation in EV passenger car sales during the first half of 2023, while conservative states such as Ohio and Texas are lagging behind.

As of the end of 2022, 30 states in the U.S. had an EV fleet share of less than 1%. Among those 30 states, Trump secured the popular vote in 20 of them, excluding swing states. Conversely, 16 states boasted an EV fleet share of 1% or greater over that same time span, with 13 of them having been won in the popular vote by Biden. Among all of these states, California held the highest EV fleet percentage in the nation, while Mississippi — a Republican-held state — had the lowest EV fleet share.

This partisan discourse over electric vehicles comes at a time when Republicans have initiated an investigation into a recent incident involving Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. The investigation centers on an incident where a staff member on energy secretary’s team allegedly blocked off an EV charger in Georgia to reserve it for her use. This act led a family in need of the charger to contact the police due to the staffer’s refusal to allow them access, creating controversy on a trip that Republicans said aimed to “boost the charade of the effectiveness of green energy.”

“Committee Republicans remain committed to preserving freedoms like vehicle consumer choice in the face of an unproven, burdensome, and expensive Biden Administration push to force all Americans to buy EVs,” wrote Reps. James Comer, R-Ky., and Pat Fallon, R-Texas, in a letter to Granholm informing her of the probe. “We request documents and information to understand the purposes, costs, and consequences of your summer 2023 EV road trip.”

Republican congressional members have claimed Granholm’s team needed to block off the charger due to the poor reliability of other charging stations in the area, infrastructure that her department has advocated for expanding. During testimony before the House earlier in September, Granholm acknowledged that the incident was the result of “poor judgment on the part of the team.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

POLITICS TOUCHES EVERYTHING THESE DAYS – SO IT MAY COME AS LITTLE SURPRISE THAT ELECTRIC VEHICLES HAVE BECOME A POLARIZING ISSUE.
NOW- NEW DATA SHOWS IT’S NOT JUST A TALKING POINT.

 

THIRTY STATES IN THE US HAD AN EV FLEET SHARE OF LESS THAN ONE PERCENT AT THE END OF 2022 – THAT’S ACCORDING BLOOMBERG NEF’S ANNUAL REPORT ON E-VS.

 

AMONG THOSE THIRTY STATES, FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP WON THE POPULAR VOTE IN TWENTY OF THEM BACK IN 2020. 

 

MEANWHILE, SIXTEEN STATES HAD AN EV FLEET SHARE OF ONE PERCENT OR GREATER OVER THAT SAME TIME SPAN, WITH THIRTEEN OF THEM HAVING BEEN WON IN THE POPULAR VOTE BY PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN. 

 

DEMOCRATIC CONTROLLED CALIFORNIA HELD THE HIGHEST EV FLEET PERCENTAGE IN THE NATION, WHILE REPUBLICAN HELD MISSISSIPPI HAD THE LOWEST.   

 

HOWEVER, THERE WERE ALSO SOME OUTLIERS TO THE TRENDS WITHIN THIS DATA.

 

LIBERAL LEANING NEW YORK WAS AMONG THE FIVE STATES WITH THE LOWEST EV SHARES OF NEW PASSENGER CAR SALES DURING THE FIRST HALF OF 2023, WHILE NEVADA, LED BY A REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR, WAS IN THE TOP FIVE. 

 

THIS POLITICAL DIVIDE OVER EVS COMES AS REPUBLICANS HAVE LAUNCHED A PROBE INTO A RECENT TRIP TO PROMOTE ELECTRIC VEHICLE ADOPTION BY BIDEN’S ENERGY SECRETARY, JENNIFER GRANHOLM. 

 

THE INVESTIGATION STEMS FROM AN INCIDENT WHERE A STAFFER FOR THE ENERGY SECRETARY REPORTEDLY BLOCKED OFF AN EV CHARGER IN GEORGIA TO RESERVE IT FOR HER USE.

 

THIS ULTIMATELY PROMPTED A FAMILY IN NEED OF THE CHARGER TO CALL THE POLICE OVER THE STAFFER’S REFUSAL TO ALLOW THEM ACCESS TO IT.     

 

REPUBLICAN CONGRESSIONAL MEMBERS ACCUSED THE ENERGY SECRETARY OF NEEDING TO HAVE THE CHARGER BLOCKED OFF DUE TO THE POOR RELIANCE OF OTHER CHARGING STATIONS IN THE AREA, INFRASTRUCTURE WHICH HER DEPARTMENT HAS ADVOCATED TO BUILD MORE OF.

 

GRANHOLM CONCEDED DURING HER HOUSE TESTIMONY EARLIER THIS MONTH THAT THE INCIDENT WAS A RESULT OF QUOTE “POOR JUDGMENT ON THE PART OF THE TEAM.”

By entering your email, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and acknowledge the Privacy Policy.