Former President Donald Trump has used social media to criticize electric vehicles (EVs) and President Biden’s policies in hopes of winning support from the United Auto Workers (UAW) for a potential presidential re-election campaign in 2024. Trump stated on Truth Social that the Biden administration’s policies would lead to the demise of Michigan’s auto industry and urged UAW members to vote for him.
Contrary to Trump’s stance, major automakers such as Stellantis, General Motors and Ford have committed to investing billions in the production of electric and electric vehicles in the United States. Additionally, there are numerous non-union factories producing electric vehicles in the country. The UAW is not opposed to the transition to electric vehicles, and global adoption of these vehicles is increasing rapidly. In June, 19% of new registrations worldwide were battery-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles.
However, electric vehicle adoption has been slower in the United States, with only about 7.2% of Americans purchasing battery-electric vehicles. Despite this, more than half of American car buyers have expressed interest in owning an electric car, and 53% believe electric vehicles will eventually replace internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. It may take some time to achieve widespread adoption, but the transition to electric transportation is underway.
Trump’s anti-VE stance may not be the most effective way to secure the UAW’s support and win a presidency. By rejecting electric vehicles and neglecting the global trend toward electrification, the U.S. risks falling behind China and Europe in the automotive industry. Allowing these regions to control the narrative around automotive powertrains could hurt U.S. auto exports in the long term.