Buttigieg slammed for urging electric car purchases to counter gas prices

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Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was torn by criticism on Monday after arguing that more Americans should buy electric vehicles so they “never have to worry about gas prices again.”

The former mayor of South Bend, Ind., claimed on MSNBC’s “Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart” that families who own electric vehicles would see a “$12,500 reduction” in transportation costs.

“The people who will benefit the most from owning an electric vehicle [electric vehicle] are often rural residents with the longest distances to travel, who burn the most gas, and underserved urban residents in areas with higher gas prices and lower incomes,” said Buttigieg.

“They would benefit the most from having this vehicle,” he added. “These are the same inhabitants who have not always been connected to electric vehicles considered as a kind of luxury item.”

According to Kelly Blue Book, the average price for a new electric vehicle in October of this year was $55,676. In contrast, the average price of a new compact car was $25,240, less than half that amount. The average price of a new compact SUV was $34,122, while the price of an electric vehicle was even higher than that of an average new sports car ($44,981).

Conservatives on Twitter mocked Buttigieg’s argument that buying an electric vehicle would save Americans money.

“Everyone can probably afford electric cars in the world Pete Buttigieg lives in,” Trump’s White House communications chief tweeted. Mercedes Schlapp. “Average Americans struggling with record gas prices? Not really.”

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg called on Americans to buy more electric vehicles so they “never have to worry about gas prices again.”
Reuters/Yves Herman/file photo
Buttigieg claimed families with electric cars can get a “$12,500 discount” on transportation prices.
Buttigieg claimed families with electric cars can get a “$12,500 discount” on transportation prices.
(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File

“You realize that even though it’s all-electric, you’re still beholden to the price of fossil fuels, right?” tweeted commenter Emilie Zanotti. “IT JUST RUNS ON TWO DIFFERENT KINDS OF FOSSIL FUELS.”

“Let me assure you there is very little overlap between ‘families who can afford a $50,000 electric car,'” he tweeted. Amy Swear from the Heritage Foundation,” and “families who worry about gas prices because an extra $50 a month is actually a week’s worth of groceries.”

“Do you know what a lot of families could do with that extra $50 a month or $1,300 a year? Swearer added. “Have peace of mind in an emergency fund when their 10-year-old van needs a new heater.”

Hot Air Editor-in-Chief Ed Morrissey wrote that instead of worrying about gasoline prices, Americans “will have to worry about skyrocketing electricity prices due to the high demand electric vehicles will create…and power outages electricity when supply cannot meet demand in a regulated environment.

In addition to the higher list price, AAA estimated that owning a new compact electric vehicle costs about $600 more per year than a gas-powered compact vehicle, despite lower fuel and maintenance costs.

Buttigieg’s promotion of electric vehicles came five days after the administration announced the Department of Energy would release 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to combat rising gas prices.

On Monday, the national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline was $3.39, about $1.27 higher than the same time last year, according to AAA.

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