Despite opposition from station owners, listeners, first responders, and legislators from both parties, many electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers are reportedly deleting AM radios from new vehicles, a move which could directly undermine the dominance of conservative talk radio.
AM radios are being removed from the newest EVs by automakers including BMW, Volkswagen, Mazda, and Tesla owing to noise interference created by electric engines.
According to detractors, the removal of AM radios from all Ford cars, including electric vehicles and gas-powered vehicles, will be a death blow to a significant chunk of the 4,185 AM stations in the United States.
AM radio is an essential tool for Americans to access news, political commentary, weather emergency coverage, and programs in other languages.
Additionally, since eight out of ten of America’s most popular radio talk shows are conservative, it will disproportionately affect conservative talk radio.
According to the National Association of Broadcasters, over 82 million Americans listen to AM radio stations each month.
Conservatives on social media were quick to protest the move:
Sen. Edward Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, urged manufacturers in a letter to rethink their choice because of the possibility of an emergency when drivers could not be able to access the internet and crucial safety information.
“Despite innovations such as the smartphone and social media, AM/FM broadcast radio remains the most dependable, cost-free, and accessible communication mechanism for public officials to communicate with the public during times of emergency. As a result, any phase-out of broadcast AM radio could pose a significant communication problem during emergencies. Although the auto industry’s investments in electric vehicles are critical to addressing the climate crisis and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, automakers need not sacrifice the benefits of radio in the process.” The Senator wrote.