The increasingly partisan divide in Congress over political spending on electric vehicles may be disconnected from reality.
That’s one of the potential findings of a nationwide poll released Monday by the Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA), a trade policy and advocacy group representing the industry around electric vehicles.
The poll, which collected responses last month, found there is broad bipartisan support for what it calls “smart policies designed to increase the adoption of electric vehicles”. According to ZETA, 79% of voters support consumer incentives that would help reduce the purchase price of electric vehicles and 69% of voters would support federal, state and local investments in electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Support for EV charging infrastructure by political affiliation. -ZETA
It also found that one in five U.S. car owners would “definitely choose” an electric vehicle as their next vehicle purchase, while 27% would “strongly consider” an electric vehicle, representing nearly half of vehicle owners with a very strong lean. favorably for the all-electric as a future vehicle.
The biggest difference between the views of Republicans and Democrats seems to be about the influence of electric vehicles on jobs and the economy. The survey found that 83% of Democrats view EVs as having a positive effect, while 27% of GOP respondents believe EV adoption will have a negative effect.
The impacts of EV adoption by political affiliation. -ZETA
The poll, which was conducted between February 14 and 22, surveyed 1,000 “likely voters who also rent or own vehicles”, aiming to reflect a wide range of demographics, including “ideology national and geographical distribution”.
Respondents also provided a consistent assertion that EVs in general are now considered “cooler” than gas-powered vehicles, reinforcing an earlier public impression that may have only held true for Tesla.
ZETA says the findings are proof that policymakers who support policies around EV adoption are on the side of mainstream public opinion. “By accelerating the rate of adoption of electric vehicles in the United States, the federal government will fight climate change, improve our public health, create well-paying jobs, and deliver huge savings to American consumers,” said Dan Zotos. , communications director of ZETA. .
Pre-production of the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning
That might not sound like news if you’ve been following EVs for a long time. The energetically independent aspects appealed almost equally to Republicans and Democrats. ten years ago, as recently as 2019, a Climate Nexus survey found that 77% of Americans have a positive opinion of EVs– without much variation between political affiliations.
An extension and expansion of the federal tax credit for electric vehicles in 2019 had bipartisan support before it was removed from a federal spending bill due to “extreme resistance” of the Trump administration. Trump also had criticized GM’s strategy to switch to more electric cars, saying “all-electric won’t work”.
Even if the motivations have always been different. In 2009, we reported that Democrats outnumbered Republicans nearly two to one in buying hybrids like the Prius.
2009 Toyota Prius
There have been earlier indications that the American public is not necessarily as polarized as politicians portray it to be. A few Pew polls conducted in 2021 suggested Americans are mostly aligned with the environmental merits of EVs and that the vast majority support the expansion of renewable energy. And going back to 2017, the Brookings Institution pointed out that US views on climate change have remained essentially constant since the Bush administration.
Despite this, the Democrats have not been blameless in exaggerating the divisions, as many have made “no climate, no deal” a mantra (or ultimatum) in negotiating the details of Biden’s infrastructure bill, which originally included more provisions for electric vehicle infrastructure and renewable energy.
Is Congress exaggerating our divisions on electric vehicle incentives and renewable energy spending? Leave us your comments below.