What Motivates the North Carolina Rednecks to Block Tesla Superchargers?



Published on December 25, 2018 |
by Michael Barnard

December 25, 2018 by Michael Barnard

This week, Hickory, North Carolina, is the latest flash point between the old and the new. A trio of local men who drive and drive SUVs have decided to aggressively block access to the local Tesla Supercharger there. They threaten violence and must be expelled from the property by an employee shop where the Supercharger is located. What will motivate this male trio?

The world is changing. Some people are not suitable for change because of a combination of genetics, the choice of disadvantaged parents, and the place of birth (instructions: yes, not their choice). And they struggle to understand a world that does not respect them like respecting their father.

So, they act stupid.

These guys must be pitied. Except for those who radicalize and must be feared. And there are many of them today.

Let's start with this question: Really? redneck?

According to the Google dictionary, the definition of redneck is:

"Working class white people, especially those who are reactionary politically from rural areas."

Let's cut the picture a little and see.

The first truck was not a late pickup model. The other two are slightly newer, but are not read as a collection of children's trust funds. Working class: check.

Let's cut a little further.

Yup, those people are white. Check.

What about rural areas? Hickory is a city of 40,000 with a density of 1,300 per square mile, a little more than 1,000 per square mile that is needed to call it urban, but at 40,000, it's clearly a city. It's in the North Carolina area that is decorated with small towns, so it's a big city in the region. That's pretty rural. Check.

How about reactionary? Hickory is home to the speedway which is considered the birthplace of NASCAR. And pickup trucks that are jacked up certainly make a statement.

But their behavior that night certainly made them reactionary.

"(From someone or a series of views) who oppose liberalization or political or social reform."

Yup, opposing change for the better is what you want. And these good old men clearly oppose change for the better. Their pickup trucks and SUVs are jacked up and are undoubtedly modified to have worse gas mileage, not better.

And deliberately blocking EV slots in a city that covers 29 square miles – that's a fairly specific reaction.

So what?

Now, while one of these good old boys might be Democrats, I think it's safe to say that they are more likely to be alt-right.

So, we have right-wing, male, white skin. Gosh, what is the possibility that made them?

Climate change denies.

"Strong evidence has emerged from various studies reviewed by colleagues and published that if you scratch a white nationalist, a male, a right-winger, you will find denier of climate science too."

That a less enlightened person on the right considers electric cars to be more of a problem than a solution is no surprise. Pew Research conducted good research on this matter some time ago as part of climate change attitude assessment.

Basically, conservatives tend not to believe in the science of climate change to start – though, the conservative majority of the US reluctantly accepts the reality if not the severity of the threat. But they are also far less likely to accept any solution for global warming.

They don't like fuel efficiency standards and they don't like electric cars.


Well, the conservative mindset is basically suspicious about change. They don't like it much, so they try to avoid it more than most people.

And these good old boys only brought ignorance full of ignorance to the next level with personal protests against the inevitable, which they clearly didn't interest.

But let's spread the context a little.

What's interesting is that Hickory is a data center hub, home to Google and Apple's data center, and makes 40% of the world's fiber optic cables. It has replaced the city's historic industry in making furniture. At one point, 60% of USA furniture was made in and around Hickory. Now, the money has shifted.

It is an inheritance industry that is replaced by a modern economic industry that requires fewer workers with very different skills and education, and that change may occur in the last 20-30 years.

These boys may be children of mothers and fathers who work in furniture factories and grow up hoping to work in the factories themselves, able to buy pickup trucks, NASCAR races, and the like. But now they can't. The work of the furniture factory has dried up. New jobs need education that they and their parents may not know.

And then Tesla set up a supercharger in the city, maybe to serve rich people, modern economics who drive from Atlanta to Washington (based on placement). That must be stinging too. There is no gas station work for them and their friends.

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Tag: conservative, ICE hole, NASCAR, north Carolina, redneck, Tesla, supercharger tesla, Tesla Supercharging

About the Author

Michael Barnard is the Chief Strategist with TFIE Strategy Inc. He works with startups, existing businesses, and investors to identify significant bottom line growth opportunities and cost reductions in our rapidly changing world. He is the editor of The Future is Electric, a media publication. He regularly publishes low-carbon technology analysis and policies on sites including Newsweek, Slate, Forbes, Huffington Post, Quartz, CleanTechnica, and RenewEconomy, and his work is regularly included in textbooks. Third-party articles about analysis and interviews have been published on many news sites around the world and have reached # 1 in Reddit Science. Most of his work comes from Quora.com, where Mike has been the Primary Writer every year since 2012. He is available for consultations on involvement, speaking involvement and Board positions.


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