Buttigieg spars with Republicans above electric car costs

FILE – Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, center, speaks in the course of a briefing at the White Household in Washington, Could 16, 2022, as Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, left, and Environmental Defense Agency administrator Michael Regan, right, listen. Buttigieg says he is pushing airways to employ far more consumer-service people and acquire other steps to assist tourists this summer months. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File) Susan Walsh/AP

Buttigieg spars with Republicans over electric powered automobile charges

Breanne Deppisch

July 19, 04:58 PM July 19, 04:58 PM

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Republicans sparred with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg more than the price tag of electrical automobiles on Tuesday as some users of the Home Transportation Committee accused him of favoring the automobiles as the response to superior gas expenses.

The trade came Tuesday when Buttigieg appeared before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to testify about the administration’s development in implementing the bipartisan infrastructure regulation.

Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) applied the opportunity to press Buttigieg more than the large value of electric powered automobiles, which he pointed out are increased than the expense of an common compact vehicle.


Perry explained to Buttigieg that drivers in his district are “paying about 80% additional for gasoline” than they were being in advance of President Joe Biden’s inauguration, when fuel prices stood at just $2.39 for every gallon, according to AAA.

“I think it’s reasonable to say that even you have implied that [consumers] should purchase an electric motor vehicle and absolve themselves” of that value, Perry explained to Buttigieg. “Just wanting at Kelley Blue Reserve, the price of an EV is about $55,000,” he added.

Buttigieg responded: “First of all, I want to be obvious, no one I know, unquestionably not me, thinks that all, or even most Us residents, can simply pay for electric powered vehicles.”

“That said, I’m struck by this $55,000 variety that retains going about,” Buttigieg reported.

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“I knew this might occur up, so I just pulled a several of the most current selling prices: A Chevy Bolt, so an American-produced, 2022 EV, is $26,595,” he informed Perry.

“If you want a pickup truck, like a Chevy Silverado EV or Ford F-150 Lightning, the beginning costs of individuals are $39,930 [and] $39,974, respectively,” he mentioned.

The Chevy Bolt lineup been given a substantial cost slice very last thirty day period, dropping from $31,000 to $25,600.

That places it below the ordinary purchaser price tag of the Nissan Leaf, which was formerly the most economical electrical auto on the market place. (Though the Leaf carries on to qualify for the federal electric powered car or truck incentive, the Bolt does not.)

Business officials have acknowledged that while EVs could help you save motorists dollars around time, their large upfront prices place them out of attain for quite a few drivers in the United States. In accordance to the Kelley Blue Ebook variety cited by Perry, the regular price of an electric powered car stands at $56,437 — roughly $10,000 extra than the field ordinary.

Even so, the decreased-cost versions, these as the ones pointed out by Buttigieg, give a comparably extra reasonably priced option for some motorists searching to make the swap.

For the duration of the hearing Tuesday, Buttigieg also explained Transportation Division officers are working with the Section of Energy to support much better resource some of the things that go into electric powered car or truck batteries, the huge majority of which are made in China.

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“Ideally,” he explained, they are hunting to supply features in the U.S., “and if not in the United States, then in geopolitically friendlier territory.”

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