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EVs are winning over largely conservative areas as buyers look to save money

Peter Johnson

Jun 5, 2023

At least Democrats and Republicans are beginning to agree on one thing – EVs can save you money (and the environment). Although EVs are often associated with liberal-leaning voters, more and more conservative buyers are going electric to save money on gas and experience the latest performance and technology.

Electric vehicles hit a record 7.2% share of new vehicle sales in the first quarter, with several new, longer-range models hitting the market, according to Cox Automotive.

Across the nation, counties with the highest EV adoption rate have predominantly been higher-income, tech-focused liberal areas. However, according to the Washington Post, this is beginning to change.

In Collin County, Texas, where Donald Trump won over 5% more votes in the 2020 election, the EV market share was ahead of the national average at 8.7% last year and is expanding quickly.

Its neighboring county, Denton, which is also primarily Republican, saw EV sales grow to 7.3%, surpassing the national average of around 6.2% last year.

Some buyers near Plano mention protecting the climate as the reason they went electric, but most were intrigued by EVs for their performance, high-tech features, and style.

Kate Allen, a Frisco resident and property manager, echoed why many buyers are making the switch – to save money on gas. Allen said:

I used to drive a Mercedes-Benz SUV, and I went to go fill up my gas tank, and it was over $4 for premium gas. So I went the very next day, and I traded it in for an electric vehicle.

She also said that when she first bought her electric car, it was the only one parked at the residential buildings she owns. Now, there are about half a dozen. Allen is not the only one who feels this way, either.

Tony Federico, a former Marine who votes Republican, bought a Tesla Model 3 in 2018, saying he was attracted to the EV’s cool tech and “how this is going to help my pocketbook.” The EV surge in largely conservative areas is happening in several places around the US.

EVs popping up in predominantly conservative areas

Clusters of EVs are popping up in traditionally red-voting areas. Washington Post highlights St Johns County, Florida (home to St Augustine), Hamilton County, Indiana (north of Indianapolis), Union County, North Carolina (southeast of Charlotte), Monmouth County, New Jersey (bordering the ocean), and Kern County, California, among areas that voted for Trump in 2020 and saw EV adoption higher than the national average.

Although California is known for leading the nation in EV sales by a wide margin, Florida and Texas, two reliably conservative states, took second and third in 2021, according to the US Department of Energy.

In addition to featuring the latest tech and performance, EVs also offer more convenience. Buyers – both liberal and conservative – are realizing they can charge their cars at home and no longer need the unnecessary gas trips, oil changes, and maintenance required with ICE vehicles.

Red states are also drawing significant investments from EV and battery makers, stemming from the Inflation Reduction Act’s incentives.

Companies have announced over $210 billion in US EV and battery manufacturing investments, with roughly 90% of it going to the traditional automotive belt that spans from the Midwest to the Southeast.

Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Michigan, Indiana, Kansas, and Ohio are slated to see new jobs stemming from these investments.

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