by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The advent of electric vehicles is providing the Democratic Party with new ways to spit in the face of the working class and embrace corporations.
On Tuesday, Democrats in the Virginia General Assembly shot down an effort by Republicans and Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) to repeal a law requiring that 35% of new cars sold in the commonwealth be electric vehicles by 2025 and 100% by 2035.
The standards were passed under Youngkin’s predecessor, Democrat Ralph Northam, and conform Virginia’s electric vehicle requirements to California, a state that has been dominated by Democrats for decades.
In Washington, D.C., the Department of Energy, only after being called out, recently decided to revise regulations that allowed electric vehicle manufacturers to arbitrarily overstate the efficiency of their cars by a factor of six to comply with the Department of Transportation’s fuel efficiency regulations.
Electric vehicles are not affordable for most working- and middle-class families. According to Kelley Blue Book, the average cost of an electric vehicle was $53,000 last year. But that has not stopped the Democratic Party from attempting to force the entire country to buy electric cars.
Since the turn of the century, the Democratic Party has increasingly embraced coastal and elite voters at the expense of the working class. A white-collar government contractor living in Fairfax County, Virginia, and earning a six-figure salary is not going to struggle to afford an electric vehicle.
But a working-class family in southern Virginia’s Hampton Roads region will not be able to buy an electric vehicle on a $60,000 annual salary.
In its bid to assuage the environmental lobby, Democrats in Virginia and D.C. are disregarding the needs of working-class families by showing favoritism to a portion of the auto industry that only caters to households with high incomes. Forcing people to buy electric vehicles despite their higher costs will price the working class out of new vehicles and make car ownership a luxury of the elite.