Pete Buttigieg: Rural Drivers Should Buy Electric Cars Because They Use the Most Gas

Secretary of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg listens during a press briefing at the White House, Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Sunday rural and suburban voters should buy electric cars because they burn the most gasoline.

“The people who stand to benefit most from owning an EV are often rural residents, who have the longest distances to drive, they often burn the most gas,” Buttigieg said in an interview with MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart.

He also argued low-income suburban drivers would benefit from electric vehicles because gas near urban areas was more expensive.

“They would gain the most from having that vehicle, but these are the very residents who have not always been connected to electric vehicles that are viewed as kind of a luxury item,” Buttigieg said.

He promoted Biden’s Build Back Better social entitlement bill for restoring a tax credit of up to $12,500 for union-made electric vehicles, noting “families who once they own that vehicle will never have to worry about gas prices again.”

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg looks at an EVgo charging station during an electric vehicles event outside of the Department of Transportation October 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. Electric vehicle advocates and manufacturers convened at the Department of Transportation to showcase electric vehicle capabilities and their expanding availability. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

White House Deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre reaches to retrieve her mask as U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg speaks during the daily briefing at the White House on November 08, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Buttigieg’s comments track with the White House messaging for all Americans concerned by high gas prices to buy an electric car.

President Joe Biden touted electric cars as a way to beat high gas prices in a speech last week.

“For the hundreds of thousands of folks who bought one of those electric cars, they’re going to save $800 to $1000 in fuel costs this year,” Biden said, referring to the $112,595 electric Hummer pickup he test drove at a General Motors factory in Detroit earlier this month

Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said last week the best strategy to tackle high gas prices was to get Americans off fossil fuels and onto clean energy and electric cars.

“That is the best strategy long term to protect American consumers from these energy price shocks,” she said.


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