Tesla’s highly-anticipated launch of the Cybertruck on November 30 will likely prove to be a test of the company’s ability to overcome the partisan divide over EVs in the United States.
As per a report from Bloomberg News, electric vehicle ownership in the United States has become deeply tied to voting behavior in the country. This partisan rift reportedly goes beyond preferences that are linked to income and urban density, among others.
The partisan rift in the electric car segment has only become more notable in recent months, with some members of the Republican Party calling for a repeal of electric vehicle incentives passed under the Biden administration. The rhetoric of presidential candidates such as Donald Trump has also added to anti-EV sentiments in the country. Trump, for his part, has claimed that an EV revolution will pave the way for China to crush the US auto segment.
“The autoworkers will not have any jobs… because all of these cars are going to be made in China. The electric cars, automatically, are going to be made in China,” Trump noted during a Meet the Press interview.
Such sentiments, of course, ignore the fact that some of the United States’ most American vehicles are from Tesla’s list of most American-made cars for 2023 alone featured Tesla’s entire lineup in its top four positions. The Model Y topped the list at No.1, followed by the Model 3 at No.2, the Model X at No.3, and the Model S at No.4.
Ford Motor Co. Executive Chair Bill Ford has likened the polarization over EVs to the divide about vaccines during the pandemic. “I never thought I would see the day when our products were so heavily politicized,” the executive noted.
At the center of this partisan divide is Elon Musk, who practically built an EV empire selling electric cars to early adopters before engaging with conservative politics in the United States. As noted in an Automotive News report, Musk’s apparent attempt to help flip the script on EV ownership with the Cybertruck seemed to be highlighted by the company’s move from California to Texas, as well as the CEO’s actions themselves.
Tesla currently commands about 60% of electric vehicles ever sold in the United States, but the company is not resting on its laurels. The EV maker has noted that it is looking to reach a production rate of 250,000 Cybertrucks a year at some point in 2025. That’s significantly more than the combined sales of all-electric pickup trucks in the market today.
For now, at least, only time will tell if Elon Musk’s apparent attempts to make Tesla attractive to both sides of the political spectrum will be successful.
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