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Car Bans Could Be a Deciding Factor in 2024

Car Bans Could Be a Deciding Factor in 2024
Urban Democrats love them, everyone else hates them.
By Daniel Greenfield

9 Democrat-run states, California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington, have moved to ban cars by 2035.

The Biden administration has exploited EPA emissions standards to accomplish the same thing.

The green push to ban cars and force everyone to buy electric vehicles is a core part of the program and also highly unpopular with families struggling with high prices and inflation. Electric vehicles are far more expensive and much less reliable than cars and most can’t afford them.

59% of Americans oppose a ban on cars while only 40% support it. But, in worse news for banners, support for the ban has consistently fallen over the last years by 7% while opposition to it has increased. Republicans and Independents are obviously stalwartly opposed, but even among Democrats, opposition has grown until a third of Dems is opposed.

On a state by state level, opposition remains strong even in states whose Democrat governors unwisely chose to sign on to a 2035 car ban date. In Maryland, 60% opposed Gov. Wes Moore’s car ban while in New Jersey some 58% are opposed including 42% of Democrats. In Washington, 48% opposed Gov. Jay Inslee’s car ban while 38% backed it. Of those who opposed it, 31% were strongly opposed.

In Virginia, which was put on track to a car ban by following California’s illegal emissions mandates, 58% oppose a gas car ban while only 33% support it. Tellingly, while 42% strongly oppose a car ban only 12% strongly support one. Even among Democrats, support and opposition are nearly tied 44% to 43%. In Minnesota, 65% oppose a car ban while only 29% support it. (47% strongly oppose the ban while only 9% strongly support it.)

Nationwide, support for car bans is strongest among urban voters. And yet even there, ban backing never quite tops 50%. In suburban areas, support drops down to 31% and rural areas falls all the way to 24%. That stands to reason because to whatever extent electric vehicles are viable, it’s only in the core density of major urban areas. Outside them, they’re unusable.

Polls also shows support for a car ban is tied to income. Even the cheapest electric vehicles are out of the price range of most Americans. That’s why opposition to car bans climbs for families making less than $40,000 and even those making up to $80,000. The proposed car ban means families being unable to replace their minivan. It means mothers who can’t drop off their kids at school and fathers who can’t drive to work.

A car ban is an extinction level event for American families. If it goes through, 53% of Americans won’t be able to buy a car. Imagine how much their lives will change.

Pro-ban politicians act as if there will be a smooth transition from cars to electric vehicles.

The reality is that electric vehicles are not viable in any way, shape or form. America’s biggest car companies have spent and lost billions trying to make electric vehicles.

Ford is losing $32,000 on every electric car it sells. In 2023, it lost $3 billion on its EV boondoggle. Ford claimed that it will make 2 million electric cars by 2025 (at which point it would then lose $64 billion) but it only sold 61,575 electric vehicles in 2022. GM shut down the Chevy Bolt, its cheapest electric vehicle after losing $7,400 on every one it sold. It promises to profitably sell 1 million electric vehicles in 2025, but it only sold 44,000 at a loss in 2022.

The math on electric vehicles simply does not work. Many people point to Tesla. But the truth about Tesla is it made money through the fines that California imposed on makers and buyers of cars. In 2022, Tesla made $1.78 billion from carbon credit sales. Companies that make actual cars have to buy the credits from Musk’s Saudi company and pass on the cost to consumers.

While subsidizing electric vehicles for the rich by fining working class car owners worked well enough for Tesla, it’s not a pathway to shifting the entire country over to electric cars. What will really happen by 2025 is that the vast majority of Americans will be cut off from the market. They’ll be left trying to keep old cars and used cars on the road for as long as possible.

Why aren’t politicians talking more about this? Some are operating in the D.C. bubble and don’t recognize the profound impact this will have on the lives of hundreds of millions of people. Others see a 2035 deadline as being so far in the future that it doesn’t need to be dealt with now. And still others are constantly reacting to a passing parade of crises and outrages.

Car bans are far from the only issue out there, but it could have a deciding impact in 2024.

Democrats have committed to a policy that is wildly unpopular outside their small base of urban college graduates who idealize 15 minute cities navigated by bike shares. And they’ve done so with limited pushback from a Republican party that is schizophrenic and feckless in its inability to focus, to make a coherent case and to message on the things that actually matter to voters.

The car bans are an act of cultural, social and economic warfare by an urban elite against the rest of the country. If successful, they would make life all but impossible in rural areas, and increasingly challenging in many suburban areas. They would tear apart families, wreck jobs and push struggling people underwater.

Politicians have gone from two cars in every garage to no cars in the garage at all.

It’s hard to think of any single policy to devastating in its scope and so likely to outrage the working class voters that Republicans are trying to court as car bans. And yet Republicans are failing to talk about them because they are as detached as Democrats from the consequences.

Republicans assumed that they would win in 2022 by passively profiting from the miserable economy. The midterms proved that to be a profound miscalculation. If Republicans want to politically profit from the poor economy, they have to do more than put up stickers pointing a finger at Biden. They have to connect the economic misery directly to Biden’s policies.

Car bans could be a deciding factor in 2024, but only if Republicans and moderate Democrats talk about them. Otherwise another disastrous radical policy will bury much of the country.

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