The Politics of Electric Vehicles - The Road to Autonomy

The Politics of Electric Vehicles

Mike Murphy, Republican Political Strategist, Co-Host of Hacks of Tap and CEO, EV Politics joined Grayson Brulte on The Road to Autonomy podcast to discuss the politics of electric vehicles and their impact on the 2024 election.

The conversation begins with Mike discussing his cross-country journey from central New Hampshire to Los Angeles in a VW ID.4 electric vehicle over the summer, and how this adventure led to the founding of EV Politics. Today, electric vehicles have become full of politics and a presidential campaign issue.

I just do not like the bashing because I am a free market conservative. I think people to aught to make a choice and these cars have become loaded with politics.

– Mike Murphy

When consumers choose to buy and drive a non-Tesla electric vehicle, they feel overwhelmed by the fact that public charging networks are unreliable — leading to charging anxiety. Which is further stoking the political divide with EVs.

This could all be changing as the EV industry moves to the North American Charging Standard (NACS) created by Tesla and developed into a standard by SAE International. Drivers of non-Tesla vehicles will soon have the ability to use the Tesla Supercharger Network, increasing their ability to access reliable charging.

In a national survey of 600 voters with household income of $50K+ representing 67% of U.S. 2020 electorate, EV Politics conducted a campaign style poll to gather the pulse in America of electric vehicles.

When asked what their biggest concern about owning an EV is, the top two answers were expensive (58%) and insufficient range for trips (53%). Outside of the top two answers, 43% of respondents cited unreliable charger networks.

From a political perspective, both Republicans and Democrats agree that cost and insufficient range for trips are their biggest concerns when it comes to buying an EV. However, they disagree about what their friends and relatives will think if they bought an EV.

If You Bought An EV, What Would Your Best Friends And Relatives Think About That?

If You Bought An EV, What Would Your Best Friends And Relatives Think About That? - The Road to Autonomy
If You Bought An EV, What Would Your Best Friends And Relatives Think About That? | EV Politics Project

Electric vehicles are not perceived as cars, they are perceived as political statements.

– Mike Murphy

Then there is Elon Musk. Is he a good ambassador for electric vehicles? It all depends on who you ask. Republicans have a favorable opinion, as 61% agree while only 34% of Democrats agree. Then there is China and the underling issue of Chinese EVs coming to America. How will this potentially impact the politics of EVs and how Americans view EVs?

The future of mobility around the world is going electric. Do we want America to be a big player in that or do we want to be Britain in the 70’s and we just keep closing Rover plants?

– Mike Murphy

America has a choice to make as it relates to the future of mobility. If politics overtake commonsense, America will be left behind. America has to invest in the mining and refining of critical minerals in the U.S. Controlling the EV supply chain is a national security issue and one that should not be taken lightly as the world transitions to electric vehicles.

With the 2024 presidential campaign underway and the possibility of a change in The White House, the question around EV subsidies will continue to linger. What impact could a second President Donald Trump administration have on the EV industry? Would Tesla be invited to The White House to promote American ingenuity? Or would the company continue to be sidelined as it has been for the past four years? These are all outstanding questions that will be answered over the next 12 months.

Wrapping up the conversation, Mike discuss how he see the EV market evolving over the next four years from a political standpoint.

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Recorded on Tuesday, January 23, 2024