Workers in the US automotive sector are not only concerned about potential job loss due to the transition to electric vehicles (EVs), but many also have reservations about purchasing EVs themselves. This sentiment poses political risks for both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.
During interviews with striking members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) across the country, concerns about high EV prices and charging infrastructure emerged. Some workers expressed a lack of confidence in both Biden and Trump to protect their jobs amidst the transition to EVs, leading to overall dissatisfaction with the presidential candidates.
Opinions were gathered from automotive workers on picket lines at various car plants, including the Ford assembly plant in Michigan, the General Motors parts warehouse in Texas, and the Stellantis parts warehouse in Oregon. The perspectives of these workers are significant not only for the future of EVs and the UAW but also for the political landscape in battleground states like Michigan.
President Biden regards his support for EVs, including subsidies for charging infrastructure and manufacturing, as a key achievement of his administration that will improve American competitiveness and combat climate change. On the other hand, former President Trump seeks to gain the support of automotive workers by arguing that EVs will lead to job losses. Trump plans to deliver a speech in Michigan as a counterprogram to a Republican primary presidential debate.
Recently, Biden visited a GM picket line to show solidarity with the UAW and expressed support for the union’s demands for fair wages and labor standards. However, some automotive workers voiced their concerns about EVs. Some are hesitant to embrace the new technology due to concerns about reliability, autonomous driving capabilities, and a lack of charging infrastructure.
While some workers are open to the transition to electrification, others predicted dire outcomes, believing that EVs will eliminate their jobs. The UAW is currently on strike, seeking improvements in their contract, including better wages and an end to wage tiers that disadvantage newer employees.
It remains to be seen how the concerns of automotive workers regarding EVs and their impact on employment will influence the political landscape in the upcoming elections. It is clear that addressing these concerns and ensuring a fair transition to EVs will be crucial for both President Biden and potential future candidates.
– E&E News – Auto workers’ doubts about EVs pose political risks for Biden and Trump.
– Washington Examiner – Auto sector workers divided over shift to EVs as Biden and Trump vie for union support.