United States Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg appeared on Capitol Hill this week in a hearing about high gas prices, where he engaged in a back and forth with GOP lawmaker Carlos Jiminez (FL) high gas prices and the cost of electric vehicles.
Buttigieg was questioned by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Tuesday about high energy prices. “The more pain that we are all experiencing from the high price of gas, the more benefit there is for those who can access electric vehicles. That’s why we’re hoping you and your colleagues might reconsider opposing the reduction of UV upfront prices with tax credits,” Buttigieg told Rep. Jiminez.
Jiminez appeared stunned. “So, you’re saying, the more pain we have the more benefit we’re going to get? I think that’s what I heard you say,” he said to the Secretary. “That’s what you heard me say?” Buttigieg asked. He continued, “I know you want me to say it so bad. But honestly, sir, what we’re saying is that we could have no pain at all by making EVs cheaper for everybody. And we would love to have your support on that.”
Buttigieg went on to press for Republican support on subsidies for electric vehicles, to which GOP Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) responded by pointing out the cost of “an electric vehicle” in Kelly Blue Book coming in at “about $55,000.” Buttigieg answered, “I’m struck by this $55,000 number that keeps going around. I knew this might come up so I just pulled a few of the latest prices…a Chevy Volt…is $26,595.”
The average cost of a gallon of regular fuel in the United States currently is $4.40, according to AAA. Buttigieg has stated in the past that switching to an electric vehicle could save American families up to $12,500 a year.
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