Home environmentalism green energy recent No Cars for the Working Class
Home environmentalism green energy recent No Cars for the Working Class

No Cars for the Working Class

The electric streets of La La Land are full of Teslas, Rivians, Mercedes EQS’ and even pricier offerings from the rare earth mines of China. Here a Tesla Cybertruck, looking like a ramp some sportier vehicle will jump, passes Bentleys, canary yellow Lamborghinis and ice blue McLarens.

In the posher parts of California, from Beverly Hills to the Bay Area, the green revolution has come. The ubiquitous EVs charging in the driveways of seven figure mansions are shadowed by solar panels on the roof and sit side by side with signs declaring, “Hate has no home here.”

Neither does affordability.

The vast majority of electric cars, approaching 1 million, can be found in California. Compare that to the paltry 5,000 EVs in Arkansas or even the under 50,000 in a sizable wealthy blue state like Massachusetts. The entire industry of sleek shiny cars that run on batteries only exists because California taxed other car buyers to subsidize Tesla and its emerging counterparts.

California’s heavy subsidies and mild weather, its wealthy cities and conspicuously virtue signaling elites, made EVs possible, and made it impossible for them to evolve outside its warm leftist ecosystem. The vast majority of Californians (like most Americans) can’t afford, can’t use and won’t drive electric cars, but like so much else, the Newsom elites don’t tend to notice.

Electric car owners in California live in “communities with mostly white and Asian, college-educated and high-income residents” who are mostly “concentrated in Silicon Valley cities and affluent coastal areas of Los Angeles and Orange counties.” That’s why most electric cars are luxury SUVs marketed to very exclusive groups in very exclusive areas.

Outside of these enclaves, there isn’t much of an EV industry and there never will be one. Electric cars are not an emerging product, but a niche one as subsidized toys for the rich.

That’s a problem because the Biden administration, like a lot of Democrat states, is moving to ban cars by 2035. It’s one thing for California’s elites to once again disregard over 90% of the state on the assumption that a one-party system and aggressive ballot harvesting can overcome most obstacles, but the car bans have also extended to Maryland (46,060 EVs with 0.91%), Massachusetts (49,440 EVs and 0.91%), Connecticut (22,030 EVs and 0.75%), Oregon (46,980 EVs and 1.24%) and New York (84,670 EVs and 0.75%) among other blue states.

How do you get from those numbers to total adoption in a little over a decade? You don’t.

The assumption that most car owners would drink the Electric Vehicle Kool Aid and jump on board ignored the basic realities of energy, engineering and economics. There isn’t enough power, materials or money to make 2035 anything other than a political four-car pileup.

GM and Ford have lost billions trying to push electric cars. GM promised to sell 1 million EVs by 2025. In the first quarter of 20244, it sold 16,425 EVs. A year from now, it will need to have sold 250,000 of them. How is GM planning to get from 16,425 to 250,000 EVs sold? GM is bragging about the Cadillac LYRIQ. Last December, GM shut down production of the Chevy Bolt which ran to $26,000 and, unlike the LYRIQ, was too affordable and therefore not actually profitable.

GM is hoping that the Cadillac LYRIQ will tap into the same luxury EV market that Tesla, Mercedes and every EV SUV is already aimed at, but as usual it may be too late to the party Even liberal millionaires who care so much about the planet that they fly private jets to Tahiti to reconnect with nature at their second or third homes only need so many green cars.

Or as Edmunds’ Director of Insights Ivan Drury put it, most of those concerned about internal-combustion engines’ impact on the planet already bought electric vehicles.

The latest Gallup poll shows that the number of electric car owners slowly grew, but that those people are wealthy and most already have their cars. 7% of Americans now own an EV, only 9% would consider buying and 48% or half the country would not buy.

Who are these electric refusniks who won’t drink the electric kool-aid? The working class.

14% of EV owners are upper income while only 2% are working class. 61% of working class Americans won’t buy an electric car.

Lefties who can see income inequality and disproportionate impact everywhere carefully refuse to see it in their policies which would bar the majority of the country and most minorities from car ownership. A 2020 survey found that 87% of EV owners are white. In a 2023 survey, black people were the most likely of any group to say that they would not get an EV.

After decades of lecturing everyone about systemic racism, capitalism and the evils of white men, a group of rich white people have decided to make it impossible for minorities and the poor to buy new cars. But what’s a little systemic racism when it means enriching China to save the planet from the threat of cars whose components can actually be made in America?

While Secretary of Transportation in Absentia Pete Buttigieg scolds the “racist highways”, his administration is pulling off the single great example of disproportionate impact in generations. The average price of an EV is $53,469 and the average black household income is $41,500 while the average white household income is $68,000. You can still get a perfectly good family car for only $20,000, but good luck finding an EV that isn’t actively on fire in that price range.

A policy of no cars for the working class or minorities may be a little bit awkward, but in the electric kool-aid world, much like the Mercedes EQS and the Chevy Bolt, not all people or cars are created equal, and not all people should be allowed to own cars. Most actually shouldn’t.

Environmentalism ushers in a neo-feudalism in which things have to be taken away from us to save the planet. And the people most likely to feel the loss are those at the bottom.

Hike the price of cars by $15,000 and the ones most likely to notice are those for whom that isn’t a monthly paycheck, but much of their annual income. Raise the price of airline tickets to compensate for carbon footprints and it’s the poor who won’t be able to visit grandma. Nickel and dime everything from supermarket bags to soda bottles and it’s a regressive green tax.

Much of the green nickel and diming is invisible. Prices just go up a little bit on everything. But lefties have put the working class on a collision course with mobility, employment and independence. A car ban is not like a lightbulb ban or even a gas stove ban.

Americans used to love cars because they were freedom on wheels. Decades of regulations and cheap imports from Asia have turned the driving experience for most Americans into a series of warning beeps, government tracking devices, and warnings not to do this and that, while slowly inching along in one of several semi-identical white, black or dark black boxes.

And now even that is on the verge of disappearing.

A car ban means most Americans will not be able to own, they will lease. American car ownership, like free speech and every other form of freedom, will become a distant memory.

Unless the drivers of America outrun the EV banners of the Biden administration leaving them behind like Sheriff Buford T. Justice or Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane eating their non-green dust.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Thank you for reading.


  1. Excellent points. The cost of the EVs always seemed crazy to me. Some kind of delusional mentality to think the average persons just squeaking by financially could afford that.

  2. Anonymous16/4/24

    I appreciate the 'neo-feudalism' reference. It's not difficult to imagine the nation existing as a number of powerful 'city states', if indeed we're not already there. Outside of the city states is a vast territory of serfs working in agricultural production, energy (until that's taken off the table as well), etc., all to service the city states.

    I would find great humor in seeing a group of the 'Evergreen' leadership crossing the road on their way to dinner, when unfortunately struck by a 1968 Chevelle SS, 427 L88 engine with 645 HP, all dressed up in candy apple red metal flake paint. (I shall have to pray for foregivness later today, but this would truly be a "Yes! There is a G_d" moment!

    Rock on, Daniel. Keep telling the truth!

  3. Anonymous16/4/24

    The war against fossil fuels is a scam. It is a war against mobility. They do not want the slaves being able to move around, meet people and talk against the elite controllers.

  4. betsybounds24/4/24

    One of the interesting things about this scam is the extent to which its potential success relies on its being able to scam large numbers of wealthy people as well. Look at 'em out there: They are quite visible, driving around in expensive electric cars that only people in their income range can afford. But hey, they are evidently happy to be constrained by the high-cost, low-distance-range vehicles themselves, in order to (ahem) save the planet--which they evidently think they should do.

    So: this is not merely a matter of the rich trying to shut the working classes and the poor down. It is also, and even more exclusively, a matter of empowering people who, incidentally, are rich: It is about power, in other words--and about making sure that even large numbers of the rich are under powerful thumbs.

  5. Anonymous25/4/24

    "It's not just a car, it's your freedom" GM ad copy from another place and time.


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