Over the weekend, former US president and noted reality TV star Donald Trump went on an unhinged rant about electric cars, presumably to pander to a group of die hard followers in Pennsylvania.
His peculiar conclusion? We should get "rid of this stuff," because charging infrastructure is still lacking in the country. If you're scratching your head, us too.
It's a bizarre perspective that serves to remind us that large swathes of the United States still see the electric car as a pointless and expensive replacement of the gas-guzzling automobile, even if that outlook seems increasingly dated in the era of Tesla and increasingly widespread adoption.
Trump's comments also just didn't make any sense. Case in point, he reminded the audience that gas prices were much lower during his tenure. Following that logic, though, in the face of soaring energy prices, why undermine the electric car if it serves as a much cheaper alternative?
Then there's the fact that the US is a global leader when it comes to manufacturing EVs, as Electrek points out, something that certainly should fall under Trump's purported efforts to "save America."
Trump also used his time behind the microphone to tell a confusing and incoherent story about a friend, who complained about having to stop during a road trip to charge his car.
This "friend" was only "getting like 38 miles per gallon," which is almost half of the least efficient EV currently on the market, according to Electrek — assuming, of course, Trump was actually talking about MPGe, or "miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent," the EV equivalent of miles per gallon.
Sure, EV charging infrastructure is far from where it needs to be in the country. Many chargers still rely on outdated technology that only offer a slow trickle of electricity.
In short, calling for electric cars to be banished is not only counterproductive, but a huge waste of time as well.
Was Trump responding to recent comments made by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who called for Trump to "hang up his hat and sail into the sunset," arguing he was too old to run again 2024, earlier this year?
As has always been the case, attempting to decipher Trump's latest outbursts into coherent thoughts is probably a fool's errand.
If the last couple of years have demonstrated one thing, it's the fact that EVs are almost certainly here to stay — so why not get ahead of the problem and proactively attempt to fill any gaps in EV infrastructure? The tech exists, even if it hasn't made it to all parts of the country yet.
Besides, Trump himself was a fervent supporter not too long ago.
"I’m OK with electric cars, too," he said during a 2020 presidential debate before losing to US president Joe Biden. "I’m all for electric cars. I’ve given big incentives for electric cars. What they’ve done in California is just crazy."