In the 2020 elections, the Democrats won both houses of Congress and the presidency. At the time, the party most vocal about climate change taking power was thought to be favorable to Tesla, as the EV maker is the leading producer of sustainable products.
However, the relationship between Tesla and the Biden administration has been anything but smooth. Initial cracks between Tesla and the Democrats started to emerge after Tesla was left out of an EV summit held at the White House.
At the time, the EV summit attendees included executives from General Motors, Ford, and United Auto workers, as well as Stellantis, the company formed by the merger of Fiat Chrysler and France's PSA. During the Summit, President Biden congratulated GM CEO Marry Barra for leading the transition to electric vehicles.
To highlight the ridiculousness of this statement, at the time Biden made that statement, in the first 3 months of 2022, GM only delivered 457 electric vehicles worldwide. In comparison, in the same time frame, Tesla had delivered over 300,000 EVs and accounted for more than 70% of EVs sold in the US.
Following Tesla’s snub, relations between the EV maker and the Democrats went downhill even further, as Democrats in Congress introduced a new EV incentive bill.
The new bill was amended before it came into effect to be a flat $7,500 incentive. However, earlier drafts of the bill introduced by the Democrats stated Tesla buyers would get an $8,000 federal EV incentive while Ford and GM customers would get an additional $4,000 or a total of $12,000 in incentive for building their EVs in unionized factories.
However, the worst escalation between the democrats and Elon Musk/Tesla came after Musk announced his intention to buy Twitter and “restore free speech on the social media platform.”
Following Musk’s announcement, attacks by Democrats on the billionaire started to escalate. Last year Musk was accused of sexual misconduct, which the Tesla CEO has called a politically motivated attack by Democrats.
And most recently, as the United Auto Workers union, the largest auto union in the US, is holding strikes that shut down auto plants from Ford, GM, and Stellantis, there have been renewed attacks on Tesla by Democrats who disparage the company for not making its vehicles using a unionized workforce.
The strikes are now entering its third week, and although the UAW started slowly by shutting down 1 plant from each manufacturer, the strikes have now grown to over 38 locations across 20 states.
And yesterday Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) who represents New York’s 14th district was asked by Margaret Brennan of CBS’s Face the Nation why she drives a Tesla if she supports the UAW’s strikes.
In her response, AOC stated that she bought her Model 3 back in 2020 and that at the time there weren’t a lot of EV alternatives, however, AOC now says that she’s looking to soon replace her Model 3 with a Union-built EV.
This is not the first time AOC has said that she’ll replace her Tesla with a union-built EV from the 3 Detroit automakers however, given the fact that union rights are a hot political issue right now, there is a chance that the Congresswomen might actually go ahead and replace her Tesla now.
If politicians start selling their Teslas, there’s a chance that supporters of the same political party might join in and boycott the brand. This would unfortunately position Tesla in the middle of a political landscape and would signal a further rift between the Democratic party and Tesla.
Currently, we’ve yet to see mass boycott of Tesla products by individuals who support the Democratic party, however, we’ll be sure to keep you posted as the situation unfolds. Until then, make sure to visit our site torquenews.com/Tesla regularly for the latest updates.
So what do you think? Disappointed to learn that AOC, who is a champion of clean energy, is abandoning Tesla? Also, do you think the boycott of Tesla products by Democratic politicians will spill over to the general public and meaningfully affect Tesla’s sales? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
For more information check out: We Get Our 1st Clear View of The Cybertruck’s Interior During Israeli PM’s Tesla Visit With Elon Musk
Tinsae Aregay has been following Tesla and The evolution of the EV space on a daily basis for several years. He covers everything about Tesla from the cars to Elon Musk, the energy business, and autonomy. Follow Tinsae on Twitter at @TinsaeAregay for daily Tesla news