Even as House and Senate Democrats look to further subsidize electric vehicles, the New York Times admits the cars “remain largely the province of the rich.”
Senate Democrats recently passed their “Inflation Reduction Act” on a party-line vote, a plan that is estimated to eliminate nearly 30,000 American jobs and includes subsidies for consumers to buy electric vehicles.
The subsidies come as the average cost of an electric vehicle has hit $66,000 — a 13 percent increase compared to the same time last year. Today, the average price of a Tesla electric vehicle is nearly $69,000, a cost far out of reach for the nation’s working and middle classes that continue to be squeezed by inflation.
After the passage of the Democrats’ deal, the New York Times admitted that the subsidies for electric vehicles are unlikely to help most working- and middle-class Americans, instead giving a boost to upper-middle-class and wealthy Americans who are most likely to be able to afford electric vehicles.
The Times reports:
Policymakers in Washington are promoting electric vehicles as a solution to climate change. But an uncomfortable truth remains: Battery-powered cars are much too expensive for a vast majority of Americans. [Emphasis added]
The bottlenecks will take years to unclog. Carmakers and suppliers of batteries and chips must build and equip new factories. Commodity suppliers have to open new mines and build refineries. Charging companies are struggling to install stations fast enough. In the meantime, electric vehicles remain largely the province of the rich. [Emphasis added]
With so much demand, carmakers have little reason to target budget-minded buyers. Economy car stalwarts like Toyota and Honda are not yet selling significant numbers of all-electric models in the United States. Scarcity has been good for Ford, Mercedes-Benz and other carmakers that are selling fewer cars than before the pandemic but recording fat profits. [Emphasis added]
Still, Democrats have continued suggesting that Americans avoid sky-high gas prices by buying electric vehicles, despite the inability of many to do so because of the costs.
“Under my plan … we can take advantage of the next generation of electric vehicles, that a typical driver will save about $80 a month from not having to pay gas at the pump,” President Joe Biden said in March.
“Clean transportation can bring significant cost savings for the American people as well. So the people from rural, to suburban, to urban communities can all benefit from the gas savings of driving an EV [electric vehicle],” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in March, just as Tesla raised the prices of all its models.
Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC), running for Senate, blasted Democrats for what he said will amount to working- and middle-class American subsidizing the rich.
“I see that [Democrats] want to help rich people buy a Tesla and … want to hurt working families who are trying to afford gas,” Budd said. “They completely have it backward.”
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter here.