Buttigieg claims surge in gas prices will benefit electric car buyers

The Build Back Better plan proposes granting $7,500 subsidies toward the purchase of electric vehicles

Updated: July 19, 2022 - 8:15pm

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Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg on Tuesday suggested that rising gas prices would ultimately benefit the country by increasing demand for electric vehicles.

Appearing before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Buttigieg told Republican Florida Rep. Carlos Giménez that the rising price of gas would make electric cars more commercially viable.

“The more pain we are all experiencing from the high price of gas, the more benefit there is for those who can access electric vehicles,” he said, according to the Epoch Times.

He went on to assert that America "could have no pain at all by making EVs [electric vehicles] cheaper for everybody.”

President Joe Biden's Build Back Better plan proposes granting $7,500 subsidies toward the purchase of electric vehicles and $12,500 if the car is both American and union-made.

“So the people from rural, to suburban, to urban communities can all benefit from the gas savings of driving an EV,” Buttigieg continued.

The average cost of an electric car stands at roughly $60,000, while the average cost all new vehicles is roughly $45,000, according to Edmonds. The $15,000 difference would buy roughly 3,000 gallons of gas, assuming $5 per gallon. Average mileage for light vehicles in 2020 stood at 25.7 miles per gallon, according to the Department of Energy.

The average American auto owner would therefore be able to drive a non electric vehicle for roughly 77,100 miles before incurring the same cost as the initial purchase of an EV. Should gas prices decline to even $4 per gallon, a non electric car driver would get close to 100,000 miles in before matching an EV purchase cost.

Biden's proposed subsidies would effectively cut these figures in half, though the average cost difference would still cover years' worth of gas for the non EV buyer.