Donald Trump’s Presidency Won’t Impact Car-Buying Decisions for EV Shoppers

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Concerns about America’s future have run rampant since the night of November 8th, 2016. Suddenly, we’ve come to see our own social-media-driven bubbles, the emergence and impact of fake news, and how easy it is to accept what we already believe while adopting blinders for anything else. Questions have arisen regarding how the American government will amend laws surrounding health care, taxation, and even the auto industry.

President-elect Donald Trump made few friends among Ford Motor Company’s upper management while campaigning for the presidency, lambasting the automaker for shipping its small-car production to Mexico and threatening to impose a 35% tariff on vehicles imported from our southern neighbor. Although Ford’s small cars may have received the majority of the campaign’s attention, it looks as if electric and hybrid cars are expected to bear the brunt of the new administration’s policies—but the fallout won’t dissuade shoppers.

CarGurus’ post-presidential election survey revealed that although Donald Trump’s election has heightened consumer skepticism regarding future fuel prices and incentives for EVs and hybrids, the majority of shoppers looking for an efficient vehicle still don’t expect their car-buying decisions to change.

On a positive note, of more than 1,000 shoppers surveyed, 35% believe auto prices will increase. That figure far outweighs the counterpoint (to which only 8% subscribe), yet the majority of shoppers—57%—remain confident that vehicle prices won’t change.

In regard to fuel, however, the opposite plays out: Just about 46% of shoppers expect their expenses at the pump to rise, while only 21% expect fuel prices to drop, leaving 32% confident gasoline won’t see a change in cost. Compounding this is the overwhelming expectation that government incentives for EV and hybrid sales will decrease. 75% expect the new administration to rein in these sales drivers, as opposed to the 25% who expect to see incentives increase.

Regardless, shoppers don’t seem to be letting their dire expectations alter car-buying plans. 67% claimed decreased government incentives would not affect their decision to buy an electric vehicle.

Interested readers can view the survey’s full findings here.

Will the Trump presidency impact your decision to buy an EV?

-Matt Smith

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