Pete Buttigieg, casually known as “Mayor Pete” since he was mayor of South Bend, Indiana, for eight years, was nominated last week by President-elect Joe Biden to be secretary of transportation. Buttigieg reiterated what he wants for the future of electric cars in the US late yesterday afternoon.
Buttigieg on electric cars
Biden stated on the clean energy and environmental justice page of his website that he intends to accelerate the deployment of electric vehicles, including more than 500,000 new public charging outlets, by the end of 2030 and restore the full EV tax credit to incentivize the purchase of EVs. Buttigieg will be expected to implement Biden’s clean energy initiatives.
[Biden] will ensure the tax credit is designed to targeted middle class consumers and, to the greatest extent possible, to prioritize the purchase of vehicles made in America. And, he will work to develop a new fuel economy standard that goes beyond what the Obama-Biden administration put in place.
As transport secretary, Buttigieg will oversee the Federal Highway Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. He’ll oversee an agency with an annual budget of more than $85 billion and a staff of more than 55,000 employees.
On December 15, Biden issued a statement about Buttigieg’s nomination:
I am nominating him for secretary of transportation because this position stands at the nexus of so many of the interlocking challenges and opportunities ahead of us. Jobs, infrastructure, equity, and climate all come together at the DOT, the site of some of our most ambitious plans to build back better. I trust Mayor Pete to lead this work with focus, decency, and a bold vision — he will bring people together to get big things done.
Buttigieg will need to be approved by the Senate before he can assume the role.
Infrastructure isn’t new to Buttigieg; he put forward a $1 trillion infrastructure plan in January when he ran for Democratic nominee for president.
We perused the responses to Buttigieg’s tweet. Despite Buttigieg explicitly stating the need for clean energy-powered public charging, a lot of responses brought up the irony of charging electric cars with fossil-fuel-powered electricity. They and he are both right.
The students of Allegheny Climate Solutions pitched for electric school buses, which Electrek fully supports:
There were also a lot of people asking for high-speed rail and sustainable mass transit, which Buttigieg backs. An electric high-speed rail system would be a huge asset for the US.
Unusually for Twitter, most comments beneath Buttigieg’s tweet were thoughtful, forward-thinking, and constructive. There was a surprising lack of trolls. There’s clearly a public appetite for a rapid transition to sustainable transport.
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