Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg came prepared with a list of prices to a hearing where a GOP congressman claimed electric vehicles are too expensive.
Pennsylvania Republican Representative Scott Perry said suggestions have been made that Americans “should buy an electric vehicle and absolve themselves of that 80 per cent increase per gallon”.
“Just look at a Kelly Blue Book, the price of an [electric vehicle] is about $55,000”, said Mr Perry, before adding that “it’s actually more than that because there’s $7,500 per car subsidy paid for by about $48bn in taxes on the same people … so it’s closer to about $60,000. That’s about $20,000 more than a gas-driven passenger car”.
In response, Mr Buttigieg argued that “nobody I know, certainly not me, thinks that all or even most Americans can easily afford electric vehicles.”
“That said I’m struck by the $55,000 number that keeps going around,” he added. “I knew this might come up so I just pulled a few of the latest prices. A Chevy Bolt so an American made 2022 EV is $26,595. If you want a pickup truck like a Chevy Silverado EV or a Ford, F-150 Lightning, the starting prices of those are $39,930 and $39,974 respectively.”
Buttigieg went on to say that “the first time I got a plug-in car, for example, Chasten and I got one, it was $14,000, had about 15,000 miles on, it was a [Ford] C-Max … it was a combo plug-in hybrid,” he noted.
“But what we’re seeing in terms of the dynamics now is we’re close to the point — and may actually be there on certain models and under certain circumstances — where the extent to which your car payment would go up, is actually already outweighed by the extent to which your gas bill would go down, even factoring in the cost of electricity,” the secretary said.
In the wake of the exchange, some political reporters and critics shared their thoughts about how Buttigieg handled the conversation on Twitter.
“This exchange with Pete and GOP’s Scott Perry shows why many Dems continue to think he’s one of the best communicators in the party”, Politico reporter Alex Thompson tweeted.
“What a polite way to tell someone they’re full of s**t”, Alonzo Bodden wrote.
“Ya know what sucks, before Pete SLAPPED this GOP shill back into submission – I actually thought ALL EV’s start at around 50K because that’s what every inbred OIL bought Republican has been spewing since the beginning of TIME”, another Twitter user said.