Pete Buttigieg Compares People Not Ready For EV Adoption To Cell Phone Skeptics: 'I Feel Like It's The 2000s'

Zinger Key Points
  • Electric vehicle adoption in the United States remains a goal of the current Biden administration.
  • U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg pushed back on the notion of lower EV demand in the United States.

Each year, more U.S. consumers are buying electric vehicles (EVs) than the previous year.

This fact was among the key points shared in a recent interview with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.

What Happened: Recent headline news about job cuts at EV manufacturer Tesla Inc TSLA may have sparked fear over demand for EVs in the U.S.

Buttigieg told Fox News that this was not the case.

"The automotive sector is moving towards EVs and we can't pretend otherwise," Buttigieg said.

The Secretary of Defense said Tesla is facing more competition, including from Chinese companies.

Buttigieg said several times that the data shows more EVs are bought each year in the United States than the prior year.

"I feel like it's the early 2000s and I'm talking to some people who think we can just have landline phones forever."

Buttigieg said it's important to not fall behind China in the race for electric vehicle production and that the vehicles need to be produced in the United States.

"There's a race going on, either China or the United States will dominate the EV future. We can't afford to fall behind China."

Buttigieg argued that it is not premature to be pushing EV adoption on American consumers as data shows demand. He also added that it is extremely rare for an EV purchaser to go back to a gas-powered car later.

The Secretary of Transportation said the goal isn't to go to 100% adoption overnight, but rather to get to 50% of new cars sold being electric in the U.S. by the end of the decade.

On the subject of affordability mentioned by the Fox News hosts, Buttigieg said the number one way for the government to support EVs is to make them more affordable with items like tax credits.

Related Link: Look Closer: Cathie Wood’s Ark Analyst Explains Why EVs Seem To Be ‘Entering, Not Ending, A Traditional Adoption Curve’

Why It's Important: EV sales totaled 1.2 million units in the U.S. in 2023, which represented a 46.3% year-over-year increase from the prior year.

Market share for EVs in 2023 as a percent of new vehicles purchased hit 7.6%, compared to 5.9% in 2022.

The top-selling EVs in the U.S. in 2023 were the Tesla Model Y and Tesla Model 3, with 394,497 and 220,910 units sold respectively. The Tesla vehicles grew unit sales in the U.S. 56.6% and 4.4% year-over-year respectively.

Tesla was the market leader in the U.S. for new EV in 2023 with 654,888 units sold, which was up 25.4% year-over-year.

Tesla has a market share of 4.2% for the overall new auto sales in the U.S. for 2023.

Buttigieg is well-known for his EV push and previously clapped back at a member of Congress who said the vehicles weren't affordable.

Read Next: Pete Buttigieg Vs. Tesla – Wouldn’t Call It Autopilot, Not ‘Common Sense’

Image: Shutterstock

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