Tag Archive for: face the nation

‘He’s Not Wrong’: Margaret Brennan Presses Buttigieg On Trump’s Stance Over Electric Vehicles Purchased

CBS host Margaret Brennan pressed Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg on former President Donald Trump’s stance on the amount of electric vehicles (EVs) purchased, noting Sunday that Trump’s take wasn’t “wrong.”

Buttigieg appeared on “Face the Nation” to discuss President Joe Biden’s current push for the adoption of electric vehicles in the U.S., as well as campaign strategies for climate change. Brennan questioned the Secretary of Transportation on Trump’s campaigning against electric vehicles, playing a clip of the former president calling out that, while millions have been spent on subsidizing electric cars, only a low number of purchases has resulted.

“I want to ask you about something that we hear quite a lot about on the campaign trail and that is electric cars, electric vehicles. Donald Trump repeatedly talks about President Biden’s decision to force the industry towards making 56% of car batteries electric by 2032, 13% hybrid,” Brennan stated before playing a clip of the former president. “He’s not wrong on the purchasing.”

“Oh, he’s wrong,” Buttigieg responded.

“He’s not. Of the 4 million vehicles purchased, 269,000 electric vehicles were sold in the U.S. market. It’s up like 2%,” Brennan stated.

“And every single year more Americans buy EVs than the year before. This is really important —” Buttigieg stated.

“But why aren’t we seeing it move more quickly —” Brennan jumped in.

“Every single year more Americans buy EVs than the year prior. There are two things that I think are needed for that to happen even more quickly. One is the price, which is why the Inflation Reduction Act acted to cut the price of an electric vehicle. The second is making sure we have the charging network we need across America. But I want to talk about the bigger point here, and I take this personally because I grew up in the industrial Midwest literally in the shadow of broken-down factories from car companies that did not survive into the turn of the century because they didn’t keep up with the times,” Buttigieg stated.

Brennan continued to push back on Buttigieg, stating “many of those autoworkers are concerned electric vehicles require fewer humans to manufacture,” to which Buttigieg responded that Biden was focused on making the “EV revolution” an “American-led” one.

“Because of these tariffs we’re talking about that President Biden says he’s going to roll out?” Brennan asked.

“Well, also just making sure we invest in America’s capacity. Making sure that we are on-shoring or friend-shoring the materials and the processing of what goes into these EVs — making sure that America masters these processes because, look, there’s no way that we’re going to get to the middle of this century with the technology that we counted on a century ago. Now there are, obviously, a lot of voices here in Washington who are interested in keeping the status quo,” Buttigieg stated.

“He says it’s going to be one of the first things he does, if he’s reelected,” Brennan responded.

“[Trump] would be happy to see Americans trapped with dirty and expensive fuels. The reality — and I know he’s made a lot of promises to the oil and gas CEOs about some of the favors that he believes his administration will deliver for them —” Buttigieg stated.

“But it obviously is resonating for him because he wouldn’t bring it up so frequently if there wasn’t some anxiety that he’s tapping into,” Brennan noted.

The Biden administration announced on May 14, 2024 that tariffs would be imposed on Chinese EVs. The move would quadruple levies to 100%, as well as raising certain rates for Chinese green energy and EV components such as minerals and batteries. The administration’s move follows the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision in late March 2024 to effectively require 67% of new models sold to be electric or hybrid by the end of 2032.

While recent data from Gallup shows the number of Americans who own electric vehicles has increased 4% from a year ago, fewer Americans are indicating they might consider buying an EV in the future. In 2023, 4% of Americans owned EVs, 12% stated they were “seriously considering buying” and 43% stated they “might consider in future” while 41% noted they would not be buying an EV, according to Gallup. Data from 2024. likewise, indicates that 7% currently own an EV, 9% are “seriously considering buying” and 35% “might consider in future” while 48% stated they would not buy one.

AUTHOR

HAILEY GOMEZ

General assignment reporter.

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