On December 18th, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg appeared on Fox Business Network’s “Varney & Co.” During his visit and subsequent broadcast, he made an interesting prediction.
“[T]he share of EVs has been dramatically increasing every single year, and that’s continuing. Now, our goal is, by the end of this decade, to be about half-and-half. We think that that can and will happen. But what isn’t guaranteed is, first of all, is that EV revolution going to continue to be made in America? During the Trump administration, China really built a major advantage on EVs…I don’t know a lot of people who think that Americans in 2050 are still going to be driving that old technology, that combustion technology that we inherited from the 20th century.”
Let’s back this up here a minute, Petey.
China didn’t build any advantage. They refined some tech through the use of slavery, forced labor, and lockdowns, and their innovation hasn’t left anyone overly amazed either. Despite his desire to kneel for China’s President Xi Jinping, the Chinese haven’t left anyone more than appalled at their inhumane treatment in years. Their freedom-snatching Communist Party has destroyed an entire civilization, all in the name of making the top wealthier and keeping their impoverished poorer. People aren’t envious, they are ashamed of China.
Much the same, many Americans enjoy their Dino juice-powered vehicles; something host David Asman pointed out. Unsurprisingly, Buttigieg had something to fire back with in response.
“Well, no, you’re not going to meet a lot of people who ever go back after they’ve got electric, and I think that really tells you something. That shows you that the lower maintenance, the fact that it costs less to maintain, the fact that they break down [with] less frequency, and the cost savings that you get by not having to buy gas or diesel are I think why you almost never meet somebody who has an EV who says, I want to back to the old technology.”
Not everything is dollars and cents here. As Pete himself knows, money isn’t always the only factor, sometimes time is the most important thing. Much like people flying private instead of commercial when time is a factor, people like being able to fuel and go in under 10 minutes. Wasting the least amount of time sitting and maximizing the miles per day a vehicle can travel is something many Americans pride themselves on.
Wasting an hour at a supercharger behind a gas station or anywhere really is not ideal. It’s not something people want to do or will do on a road trip. Instead, they want to get gas, grab a bag of unhealthy munchies and a googley-eyed walnut as a souvenir, and keep moving toward their goal. People like the simplicity of the gas-powered automobile. Hell, it’s the love of the old, easily fixable engine that has inflated the prices of old “beater” trucks from the 80s and, before that, had little to no computers.
Despite the expectations, wants, and desires of President Biden, Transportation Secretary Buttigieg, or anyone else, America simply is not at a full green mindset yet. There is too much distrust and too many faults to make the jump. We want to keep our vehicles simple, running cleanly, and puttering down the road safely. That doesn’t mean more plastic and less steel, or more computers and airbags with less knowledge of how to drive.
Perhaps this is also why EVs aren’t catching on in rural America. People don’t have the infrastructure to support such an idea, and if they did it wouldn’t be useful to them when they need it. The farmer has cattle or other animals they need to haul at a moment’s notice. Keeping their vehicles on a charger all the time just “in case” they should need them is a waste of a resource. Meanwhile, a truck can sit for months or even years, and all it needs is a jump start and some fuel stabilizer to go again.
These brave men and women know how to put food on our tables, and they have been doing just fine with these fossil fuels. Maybe Pete needs to go see them and learn a thing or two about his food, where it comes from, and why EVs will never fully replace fossil fuels.