Current GOP frontrunner Donald Trump criticized the automotive industry’s electric vehicle transition during a weekend event in Michigan.
Trump made the remarks at the Lincoln Day Dinner, hosted on Sunday, June 25, by Oakland County Republicans. The presidential candidate told attendees that the “maniacal push” towards widespread electric vehicle adoption would “decimate” Michigan manufacturing jobs. Trump also targeted gas-powered vehicle bans, currently planned in multiple states such as California. “If somebody wants an electric car, I’m all for it,” he noted. “But you should be able to have a choice.” The former president’s visit to Michigan is the first since his campaign announcement in 2022.
Trump’s comments come amidst a period of intensified collaboration between OEMs and lawmakers. The Biden Administration has released a slew of incentives and federal loans targeting growth in the electric vehicle market, including the consumer tax credits in the Inflation Reduction Act. Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, is also supportive of the sector and is seeking to lure more EV-related manufacturing jobs to the state. Automakers have issued a flurry of roadmaps, some more ambitious than others, promising to shift their operations away from gas-powered cars while investing heavily in supply chains and facilities to boost electric vehicle production.
In regards to his primary Democratic opponent, Trump told attendees that President Biden was working against their interests. “Sadly, none has betrayed Michigan more than crooked Joe Biden…He betrayed your state because he’s allowing people to take away your jobs.” However, whether the former president’s views on electric vehicles will resonate with voters and lawmakers remains to be seen. Republican politicians in the state, which he lost in 2020, have yet to uniformly endorse his presidency, despite his substantial lead over the GOP’s second-place candidate Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.