Donald Trump launches absurd rant on electric cars: “We have to get rid of them”

Former President Donald Trump launched a nonsensical rant about electric vehicles at a rally in Pennsylvania last week. Trump claimed that an all-electric vehicle gets “38 miles per gallon” and even suggested that “we need to get rid of all that.”

Trump is campaigning ahead of the upcoming midterm elections in November, and he found himself in Pennsylvania last week to stage a massive rally.

We usually try to avoid the broader politics when it doesn’t actually affect politics, but in this case Trump undoubtedly has extremely strong influence over a large portion of the population in the United States, and he used this influence to spread misinformation about electric vehicles at the rally.

The former president first pointed out that gas prices were much lower when he was in power and that he was not pushing for electric vehicles like the current administration:

While Trump says he wasn’t pushing for electric vehicles during his tenure, he was perfectly willing to take credit when American automakers made big investments to build electric vehicles in the United States.

Additionally, in 2020, Trump said, “I’m all for electric cars,” and even added, “I gave great incentives to electric cars,” taking credit for the electric vehicle incentives. of the Obama era.

But it looks like Trump is no longer “all for electric cars” after mocking the Biden administration for “being all electric.” His rant also included a lot of misinformation about electric vehicles.

He started by claiming that electric cars are “twice as expensive”.

This is completely wrong no matter how you look at the question. The average new car selling price in the United States in June was $48,000 compared to $66,000 for the average new electric car selling price.

So yes, EVs are more expensive on average than new gas-powered cars, but nowhere near twice as expensive, and also, that doesn’t take into account the breakdown by segment. Many automakers have started their electrification effort from the top of the market, so on average there are more EV models available in higher-end segments. But if you compare an electric vehicle to a fossil fuel vehicle in the same segment, they are very close in price before taking into account the cost of operations, which is much lower for electric vehicles thanks to fuel and energy savings. maintenance.

After that comment, Trump launched into a bizarre anecdote of someone he apparently knows bought an electric car and went on a road trip:

A friend of mine wanted to do something for the environment, so he went out and bought an electric car. And he’s been on a certain trip, I won’t say from where, Kentucky, and he’s a good person, he wants to do what’s right, and now he understands, hey, not so well.

Trump’s rant was hard to follow, but he made clear claims that are easy to prove.

For example, he claimed his friend was getting “38 miles per gallon” in his electric car:

He bought an electric car and he traveled often from Kentucky to Washington, and he did. He would get down, park the car and come back. It was getting like 38 miles per gallon.

First of all, the idea that a battery-powered electric car could get “miles per gallon” doesn’t make sense, but suppose Trump was actually talking about MPGe or equivalent miles per gallon, which is a metric used by the EPA. to compare efficiency.

The electric car currently on sale in the US with the lowest MPGe is the Audi e-tron S with 63 MPGe – a far cry from the poor efficiency that Trump talked about in his rant.

Trump then claims that this friend called him to complain about how “his trips take forever” because he can only “drive for two hours before he has to recharge his car.”

This anecdote could potentially be true, but it is most likely an exaggeration. Most electric cars have a range of at least 200 miles, giving you over two and a half hours of driving at 75 mph and many electric cars have a range close to 300 miles.

Then Trump made a strange comment about the time it takes to charge the vehicle:

It took me longer to recharge in this fucking car than I could spend in a drive-in. It took me two and a half times.

This one is difficult to demystify because it is difficult to understand what he means by “drive-in”, like a drive-in cinema? And “two and a half times” what?

Most automakers making electric vehicles today are aiming for charging that takes less than 30 minutes from 10% to 80% state of charge, which is the most common charging session on the road. However, it is important to note that most charging is done at home overnight.

I just got back from a 4,000 mile road trip from Quebec to New Orleans and across the East Coast, and never had the opportunity to charge for more than 30 minutes, and most of the time, I needed to stop and eat anyway.

Unfortunately, it looks like Trump’s misinformation about EVs is going to fuel the weird stereotype that EVs are for lefties when in fact they’re just a more efficient way to move people than fossil fuel transport.

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