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Poll: Nearly 66% say electric vehicle demand not meeting government’s push

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(The Center Square) – Demand for electric vehicles, nearly two-thirds of voters say, does not meet the push by government, according to a new poll.

The Center Square Voters’ Voice Poll, conducted in conjunction with Noble Predictive Insights, shows that nearly two-thirds of voters say the government is pushing electric vehicles too hard because there is insufficient demand. The poll of 2,510 voters included 1,044 Republicans, 1,126 Democrats and 340 true independents. It was conducted March 11-15 and has a margin of error of +/- 2%.

A majority also agree that the government should not spend more money on electric vehicles.

The poll follows automakers braking on production, including Ford postponing $12 billion of investment. Michigan, wanting 2 million EVs on roads by 2030, is 1.9 million behind.

Range anxiety, a sparse charging network, and a higher upfront cost paired with higher interest rates and inflation have cooled consumer demand.

The poll shows a small majority of voters support a level of intervention for electric vehicles but not a “moonshot” policy.

President Joe Biden’s administration targeted 50% of all new vehicle sales to be electric by 2030. The International Energy Agency estimated that 14% of all new cars sold in 2022 were electric, up from around 9% in 2021 and less than 5% in 2020.

Kelley Blue Book says the 2023 total vehicle market share was 7.6%.

Michigan will spend $23 million of federal funds on 40 locations statewide under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program.

Zachary Kolodin, director of the Michigan Infrastructure Office, says Michiganders can save money by going electric.

“Electric vehicles achieve high levels of performance while using fewer resources than traditional vehicles,” Kolodin said in an email to The Center Square. “EVs can also help Michiganders save money on expenses like maintenance and fuel. That is why the Governor Whitmer and the Biden administration have been working to lower the cost of EVs through the Inflation Reduction Act, which has brought U.S. inflation under control since it was passed in 2022.”

Rep. David Martin, R-Davison, says the electric vehicle mandate will remove consumer choice and manufacturing jobs in his district.

“Michiganders don’t want heavy-handed government meddling in the auto market,” Martin wrote in an email. “Customers aren’t buying enough electric vehicles to satisfy left-wing politicians, so the politicians are trying to use government mandates and handouts to boost lagging sales. EVs are more expensive but take fewer workers to build, so this government-driven, premature switch to EVs will force drastic layoffs of auto workers like those I represent in Genesee County. A top-down restructuring of auto manufacturing won’t work. Michigan drivers can decide what vehicle works best for their families.”

The poll’s release follows the “strongest ever” rules from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for light-duty and medium-duty vehicles phased in from 2027 through 2032.

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, welcomed the new rules.

“I appreciate EPA’s commitment to engaging with our automakers and autoworkers to develop an ambitious but achievable final rule,” Stabenow said in a statement. “It represents an opportunity for union workers to continue to build the vehicles of the future right here in the U.S. and tackle the climate crisis.”

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