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CBS anchor tells Buttigieg Trump is ‘not wrong’ when it comes to Biden’s struggling EV push

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg He was asked by a CBS host about the Biden administration’s aggressive promotion of electric vehicles (EVs).

Buttigieg fired back at repeated attacks by former President Trump, who claims Biden is spending billions of dollars in federal funds on unpopular vehicles.

“You notice that he’s trying to save electric cars, but he’s not trying to save the gasoline cars that everybody wants. They’re obsessed with electric cars, and they’re costing them billions of dollars, spending hundreds of billions of dollars on subsidies for cars that nobody wants and nobody will buy,” Trump said.

Pete Buttigieg defended the billions of dollars the federal government has spent to install electric vehicle chargers. (Michael Reynolds/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“He’s not wrong when it comes to purchasing,” CBS host Margaret Brennan told Buttigieg in an interview on “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

Buttigieg rejects critics of EV future: It’s like the people in the 2000s who said landlines would last forever

“He’s wrong,” Buttigieg countered.

“Not true,” Brennen countered. “In the U.S. market, 269,000 electric vehicles were sold out of 4 million cars purchased, an increase of about 2 percent.”

“Every year, more Americans buy EVs than the year before,” he argued.

Brennan then clashed with Buttigieg over the lack of progress on building electric vehicle charging stations across the country.

“According to the Federal Highway Administration, $7.5 billion in taxpayer investments in 2021 have only installed seven or eight charging stations. Why aren’t they being installed sooner?” Brennen asked.

Pete Buttigieg

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg discussed electric vehicles on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” (CBS Screenshot)

“The president’s goal is to have 500,000 chargers installed by the end of the century. Installing chargers takes more than just sticking a little device in the ground. There are public works projects, and this is an entirely new area of ​​federal investment. But we’re working with all 50 states, and each state is receiving a flat rate of funding to do this work,” Buttigieg replied.

“But seven or eight?” Brennen interjected with a small chuckle at his answer.

“Again, 500,000 chargers by 2030,” Buttigieg continued. “The first few chargers are already physically under construction. Again, this is just the beginning of what’s to come. The reason we’re putting federal money into this is to fill a gap where the private sector hasn’t yet made a dent. Again, the vast majority of charging will happen at home.”

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A Gallup poll conducted in April found that Americans were less interested in buying an electric vehicle, with only 9% saying they were “seriously considering” buying one.

President Biden has previously set a goal of making 50% of car purchases electric by 2030. The White House has said the EPA's recent tailpipe regulations

President Biden had previously set a goal of 50% of car purchases being electric by 2030. (Anna Moneymaker/Pool/Getty Images | Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

But the Biden administration has finalized stricter emissions standards to help achieve the president’s goal of 50% of U.S. auto sales being electric by the end of the decade.

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