The electric vehicle sector is becoming depoliticized. That’s the conclusion of a recent Washington Post article about the growing popularity of EVs in conservative areas.
Despite the common association of EVs with liberal environmentalists, conservatives are also choosing EVs due to their superior product benefits. In Collin County, Texas, electric vehicles represented 8.7 percent of new vehicle registrations in 2022, well above the national average of 6.2 percent. Collin County has voted for Republican candidates in every presidential election since 1968. Neighboring Denton County, another Republican stronghold, also saw above-average EV growth in 2022.
What’s more, the rapid growth of EVs among conservative Texans is happening in spite of disincentives from the state government. Governor Greg Abbott recently signed a law that establishes a $400 EV registration fee at the time of purchase, as well as a $200 registration fee for each subsequent year of EV ownership. These fees are designed to prevent Texas’s gas tax revenues from diminishing.
The growth of electric vehicles in Republican areas extends beyond Texas. Other conservative regions with above-average EV market share include Hamilton County, Indiana; St. Johns County, Florida; and Union County, North Carolina.
Conservative electric vehicle enthusiasts tend to be much less concerned with environmental issues than their more liberal counterparts. Bill Schofield, a Republican voter in Denton County who runs a business converting gas-powered cars to EVs, told the Washington Post that he got interested in EVs because they were the “cool new technology,” not because they would save the planet. Another huge advantage of electric vehicles for conservatives is that electric vehicles were not affected by the record surge in gas prices in 2022.
In spite of the growing popularity of electric vehicles among Republicans, the lion’s share of EV hotspots continue to be high-income Democratic counties. As a result, Republican areas still represent the greatest growth opportunity for EVs. The EV industry must take this into account and put more of an emphasis on non-environmental benefits in their marketing campaigns.