Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a strong supporter of both the environment and American unions, Electrek reported. That’s why she wants to trade in her Tesla Model 3 for a union-made EV. Just one problem: she can’t find one.
The issue came up in a recent interview on “Face The Nation,” Electrek revealed. In the clip, AOC speaks about her need for a vehicle with the range to safely travel between Washington, D.C., and Queens, New York, a distance of 240 miles. At the time that she bought her car in 2020, a Tesla was her best option.
Tesla’s five million EVs aren’t union-made. In fact, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been outspoken against unions, even interfering with unionization efforts, Electrek explained.
However, at the time she bought her car, most other EVs weren’t, either, Electrek said. The only exception that was manufactured in the U.S. was the Chevy Bolt. The Bolt is an outstanding vehicle, Electrek said — but with a maximum range of 247 miles and slow charging speeds, it wouldn’t have been ideal for AOC’s situation.
Today, as she says she’s “looking into trading in our car now,” the selection is only slightly better. While many foreign manufacturers use union labor, in the U.S., aside from the Model 3 and the Bolt, AOC would be limited to the Ford F-150 Lightning, the Hummer EV, the Cadillac Lyriq, or the E-Transit — none of which are a good fit for her range needs. The upcoming Chevy Blazer and Equinox could be what AOC is looking for, however, as both reportedly have build options that reach about 300 miles per charge.
As her appearance on “Face the Nation” highlights, AOC’s support for union-made electric vehicles is more relevant than ever right now. Recent strikes by the United Auto Workers against major manufacturers have put a spotlight on several issues, not the least of which is the industry’s transition to electric vehicles, Electrek explained.
Commenters on the “Face the Nation” YouTube clip were split between accepting her answer and feeling as though she was caught out for making a big non-union purchase.
“Do as I say, not as I do,” said one.
Said another, “Asked & answered! We need all jobs to be unionized!”
“The simple truth answer is that the Tesla is one sweet ride!” said a third.
Electric vehicles don’t take as many hours of labor to make as gas-powered ones. Union workers are concerned this will mean lower pay and fewer jobs in an industry already feeling the squeeze. The UAW hasn’t called to halt the industry’s evolution — the union has only said that it should be a “just transition” with fair contracts for the workers.
As Electrek pointed out, it needs to happen soon. Otherwise, the companies at the heart of the U.S. auto industry won’t be able to provide all the affordable and eco-friendly cars that American buyers are starting to look for.
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