Thursday Edition: Are EVs over?

Plus: Real talk about gun violence.

1. Buyer’s Remorse on EVs

Are Americans over the electric vehicle craze? (The Washington Times)

A new McKinsey & Co. consumer survey: 46% of U.S. electric car owners want to switch back to gas-powered cars.

Why? 35% cited the lack of charging infrastructure, 34% said the costs of owning an EV were too high and 32% found planning long trips too difficult.

  • Only 9% of all drivers surveyed said current charging infrastructure meets their needs.

Other polls have shown similar findings: Over the past year the share of Americans not intending to buy an EV increased from 41% to 48%, per a Gallup survey in April.

  • According to a Yahoo Finance-Ipsos poll from October, 57% of Americans were unlikely to purchase an electric car as their next vehicle.

Let’s not overhype this trend: Yes, the growth rate for EV sales has slowed, but business is still booming.

  • Electric car sales grew on average 61% per year between 2020 and 2023, and are projected to continue to grow 21% annually, according to a new BloombergNEF report.

  • Passenger EV sales are expected to exceed 30 million worldwide in 2027 and grow to 73 million per year by 2040.

  • A record 1.2 million EVs were sold in the U.S. last year.

Bubba’s Two Cents

There’s a lot of hostility toward electric cars in conservative media, stemming mostly from skepticism about left-wing green energy initiatives (never mind that Republicans buy twice as many Teslas as Democrats). It’s reasonable to oppose costly subsidies for clean projects because you think the government shouldn’t be picking winners and losers. But that shouldn’t blind conservatives to the reality that demand for EVs and clean tech is real and isn’t going away.

2. Real Talk About Gun Violence

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy declared gun violence a public health crisis this week, but the issue is less about Americans shooting each other than it is about them shooting themselves. (WaPo)

The data: The majority of gun deaths are suicides, not homicides.

  • In 2022, the most recent year of full data, 56% (27,032) of gun-related deaths came from people taking their own lives, compared to 41% (19,651) which were homicides.

  • Preliminary 2023 CDC data indicates a 5% decline in gun deaths.

Bigger problems: Drug overdoses, which unlike gun deaths have been rising instead of falling, kill exponentially more Americans than guns.

  • In 2017, when the opioid crisis was declared a public health emergency, there were three overdose deaths for every two gun deaths.

  • In 2022, there were two opioid deaths for every gun death.

Studies have shown media reporting on gun violence doesn’t reflect the reality.

Bubba’s Two Cents

While overdoses claim many more American lives than guns, our surgeon general’s never spoken out against drug decriminalization policies in places like Oregon the same way he’s advocated for stricter gun laws. In fact, Murthy’s made comments suggesting he supports decriminalization for certain drugs, like marijuana. What explains this? Is it simple partisanship? While I think politics plays a role, the media is a more important factor. If the press shines a spotlight on a problem, it makes the public take notice and voice concern. It’s natural that politicians and public officials are going to respond. That's why media coverage needs to reflect how big the problem really is.

3. The Misinformation Is Coming From Inside the House

We should be more worried about the misinformation coming out of prestigious newsrooms, argues journalist Matt Yglesias. (Slow Boring)

A new study published in Nature: Concerns about online misinformation are exaggerated, as research shows few people see it, and mostly those actively seeking it out.

But there’s a whole category of misinformation that doesn’t fall under the conventional definition used by most experts — false and misleading claims pushed by the mainstream.


And I think erroneous ideas that are perpetrated by mainstream institutions — what I’m going to call “elite misinformation” — are a really big deal in an underrated way.

One example:

As Yglesias explains, the claim that governments are subsidizing fossil fuels to the tune of trillions of dollars a year is based on an IMF analysis which characterizes “governments’ failure to impose a carbon tax as a ‘subsidy’ for fossil fuel use.”

Chart: International Monetary Fund

Bubba’s Two Cents

Media has a massive public trust problem. Many people in the industry have sought to explain the issue away by claiming it’s being caused by right-wing mis- and disinformation. The government’s responded by propping up clumsy initiatives, like the disastrous and short-lived “Disinformation Governance Board,” to crack down on misinformation. Has this helped at all? No. Has it made things worse? Probably. Would it be better for the media to look inward and reflect on whether its own practices and behavior caused the decline in public trust? I’m betting yes.

4. Centrism Scores a Win

Voters opted for moderate candidates on both sides of the aisle during Tuesday’s primaries. (Elections Daily)

The biggest news was incumbent Democrat Jamaal Bowman’s whopping 17-point loss in the race for New York’s 16th congressional district.

  • Among other controversies, Bowman, a member of the progressive “Squad” and fierce critic of Israel, had been under fire for claiming reports of sexual violence against women on Oct. 7 were “propaganda.”


  • Two far-left incumbents lost their seats in the Colorado State House, while two moderate Republicans defeated Trump-endorsed candidates in the state’s congressional primaries.

  • Sheri Biggs upset firebrand pro-Trump pastor Mark Burns in a primary runoff for for South Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District.

  • Republican moderates won out over “MAGA” candidates in Utah, where Senate candidate Trent Skaggs lost by 20 points and incumbent Gov. Spencer Cox fought off a hard-right challenger.

5. The Government vs. The Market

Voters on the left and right have very different perspectives on why prices are so high. (Axios)

A new Axios Vibes survey: Overall, 41% of respondents blame government spending for inflation, 39% say it’s the fault of greedy corporations boosting their profits and 20% of respondents believe supply chain disruptions are responsible.

  • 56% of Republicans, 41% of independents, and 26% of Democrats blame the government.

  • 54% of Democrats, 41% of independents, and 23% of Republicans blame businesses.

Bubba’s Two Cents

So many issues circle back around to one of my favorite frameworks: Do you think the world is better off market driven or government directed? In this case, if you think the latter, you probably want the government to step in and stop corporations from hiking their prices, as President Biden has proposed. If you’re in the former category, you probably want the government to lay off spending and let the market do its thing.

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