A Tesla Model S sedan is plugged into a Tesla Supercharger electrical vehicle charging station. Credit: Saul Loeb/Getty

Automakers are now learning an important lesson: Not all car buyers are wealthy environmentalists.

This should be obvious but apparently isn’t, which is why the auto industry is now wringing its hands over electric vehicle sales problems. General Motors, Ford, Mercedes, Nissan, Toyota and even Tesla have raised red flags about slowing demand. GM scaled back plans for 2024 and said it would delay the opening of a new electric truck factory. Ford is considering cutting shifts at its F-150 Lightning plant. Nissan is transferring more resources to hybrids rather than EVs. Mercedes has described the EV market as “ brutal.” And Toyota’s chairman, Akio Toyoda, said last week that “ people are finally seeing the reality” of EVs.

The problem, it seems, is that the so-called next wave of EV buyers isn’t cooperating. The EV is not trickling down. At least not for those prospective buyers.

But this should have been obvious. It […]

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