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Biden admin ‘astonished’ Americans not switching to electric vehicles

Remarks come as country narrowly avoids Biden declaring 'climate emergency'

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Yudi Sherman

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July 21, 2022

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07:44 AM

Biden admin ‘astonished’ Americans not switching to electric vehicles

The Biden administration is “astonished” Americans are not just switching to electric vehicles to escape skyrocketing gas prices, says Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. 

“I’m still astonished that some folks – and I felt this as I was testifying in Congress yesterday – some folks seem to really struggle to let go of the status quo,” Buttigieg said in an interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box Wednesday after pushing electric vehicles. The secretary also blasted “naysayers” who are “speaking as if the only power sources that exist are solar, wind or hydrocarbon.” 

The remarks come as the country narrowly avoided Biden declaring a “climate emergency” today, which would have enabled him to reroute federal resources to fund “climate-related” efforts. It is unclear exactly what the emergency is or how it can be solved, but the White House is “still considering it.” 

According to Buttigieg, the answer lies with electric vehicles. 

“The more pain we are all experiencing from the high price of gas, the more benefit there is for those who can access electric vehicle,” Buttigieg told Congress Tuesday. 

Buttigieg has been pushing this narrative for some time. 

“To support the transition to electric vehicles, we must build a national charging network that makes finding a charge as easy as filling up at a gas station,” tweeted Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg last month after suggesting the previous month that Americans buy electric cars to avoid high gas prices. 

“The people who stand to benefit most from owning an EV are often rural residents who have the most distances to drive, who burn the most gas, and underserved urban residents in areas where there are higher gas prices and lower income,” Buttigieg said last year. “They would gain the most by having that vehicle. These are the very residents who have not always been connected to electric vehicles that are viewed as kind of a luxury item.” 

Biden also hailed the “transition” to electric vehicles. 

“And when it comes to the gas prices,” Biden said in response to a reporter in Tokyo recently, “we’re going through an incredible transition that is taking place that, God willing, when it’s over, we’ll be stronger and the world will be stronger and less reliant on fossil fuels when this is over.” 

Indeed, a November Cars.com report showed that over two-thirds of Americans would consider switching to an electric vehicle if gas prices continue to rise.  

As it happens, the country that recorded the strongest growth in the electric vehicle market last year was China, with a 53% share of the global market. China remains the Biden family’s most lucrative locale, particularly after Biden this month gave one million barrels of oil to a Chinese company tied to his son, Hunter.

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