Most voters don’t like electric cars, poll finds

Source: By Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner • Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2018

“Voters want to make their own decisions about what kind of cars and trucks to buy. And they definitely don’t want to pay for the toys of the rich.” That’s the takeaway from a poll being released Tuesday by the conservative free-market group American Energy Alliance.

• Positive, but …: It’s not because they don’t like the technology. In fact, they have a “generally positive attitude” toward electric cars. But 67 percent of voters “are resistant to the idea that they should pay for people to buy electric vehicles,” according to the polling results reviewed by John ahead of the release.

That response refers to the tax subsidies and credits given to electric-car purchasers by state and federal governments.

• What are the issues? But the problems with electric cars goes beyond subsidies.

Nearly in 7 in 10 respondents, or 69 percent, indicated that electricity customers should not be forced to pay for the cars’ recharging stations.

Another 72 percent said they “did not trust the federal government to make decisions about what kinds of cars or transportation technologies should be subsidized or mandated.”

About 80 percent of the respondents indicated that they prefer to make their own decisions about what types of cars or fuels they should buy and use.

• EPA to roll back auto rules: The poll comes as the Environmental Protection Agency is finalizing its proposal to lower fuel economy requirements for vehicles through 2025, which would favor sport utility vehicles and light trucks over fuel-saving cars.

With respect to the fuel economy rule, 51 percent of poll respondents “think that it is unfair that those who purchase larger vehicles subsidize those who purchase smaller cars, and less than half (just 45 percent) favor the program.”

• Mandate is ‘weak’: “The survey results indicate that support for the CAFE mandate is weak,” said Tom Pyle, president and CEO of the group that did the poll and Trump’s former energy transition chief.

“The survey results confirm that, with respect to electric vehicles, most people are unwilling to subsidize the lifestyles of the rich and famous,” he said.