Pop Quiz: Is the Average Tesla Buyer a Democrat or a Republican?
Tesla co-founder Elon Musk recently bought Twitter and–among other things–has been using his new platform to criticize prominent Democrats such as President Joe Biden. Tesla’s shareholders were so concerned about Musk’s “political influencing” hurting sales that they grilled him about it during his quarterly “investor day” call. But Musk may be more in touch with his customers than his investors think: it turns out almost as many of them are now Republican as are Democrat–and the gap is closing rapidly.
Is the average Tesla owner a Democrat or Republican?
Currently, 30% of folks who have bought a Tesla in the past four years identify themselves as Republicans, while 38% identify themselves as Democrats. This is very different than the rest of the EV segment, and there’s evidence that Republican Tesla owners are closing the gap.
Of the car buyers who purchased any EV since 2019, just 27% identify themselves as a Republican while 41% identify themselves as Democrats. One reason for this might be the lack of charging infrastructure in the states that are predominantly Republican, or the long driving distances required by living in those states. Finally, while we’ve had electric cars for over a decade, electric trucks are still very rare–and trucks are the vehicle segment of choice in said states.
The above Tesla numbers may even be a bit skewed towards Democrats. The results represent the number of Tesla owners who chose to identify their political affiliation as “Democrat” or “Republican.” It is likely that most Republican Tesla owners live in predominantly Democratic states (with the infrastructure to support their EV driving), so some may be hesitant to state their party.
Are more Republicans buying Teslas?
The number of Republicans “considering” buying a Tesla is rising quickly. This may be due to increased trust in Elon Musk, or Teslas once again being available for big tax credits, or just increased charging infrastructure in states that are predominantly Republican.
Here’s what we do know. In December of 2022, just 14% of Republicans surveyed said they were considering buying a Tesla–according to CNN. But by February 2023, that number had leapt to 17% of Republicans surveyed. Meanwhile, 22% of Democrats answered that they were considering buying a Tesla.
Alexander Edwards, president of a data analysis research firm called Strategic Vision, didn’t mince words:
“Republicans do buy Tesla, especially wealthy ones…Your Prius buyers and Tesla buyers are not the same group…The Tesla buyers are rich white males. They’re really about showing off a great sports car. So Elon is not concerned at all that people will stop buying his vehicles because he’s making fun of a Democratic president.”Alexander Edwards, president of Strategic Vision
The future of Tesla and EV sales
With the aforementioned tax credits, increasing approval of Musk, and proliferation of chargers, we can only expect to see the number of Republicans considering a rise. Tesla entering the pickup truck market may also help it win in red states.
Meanwhile, adoption of EVs among Democrats will likely rise, but they are already choosing other brands according to Finance Buzz. For example, the most popular EVs in several blue states (Oregon, New York, and Rhode Island) is the more affordable Hyundai Kona EV. Other predominantly Democratic states prefer the Volvo XC40 recharge, BMW i3, or the Volkswagen ID 4.
Next, find out why Tesla refused to recall cars that were crashing into first responders on autopilot or learn about Elon Musk’s meeting with House Republicans in the video below: