President Joe Biden has been promoting his infrastructure plan for a while. The automotive industry is on watch because part of the White House bill includes funds to expand the EV charging station network nationwide. Vice President Kamala Harris is making a host of celebrity appearances to help promote the initiative.
While there is broad support for growing the EV infrastructure, Harris is getting some blowback on her recent attempts to garner additional allies for the bill. Twitter is lighting up with criticism for Harris’ comments. Instead of earning more support for building a more robust EV network, she’s only managed to prove that she’s way out of touch with the average car-buying consumer.
Kamala Harris takes to Twitter after visiting an EV charging facility
To help kick off the new White House plan involving an additional 500,000 EV charging stations nationwide, Vice President Kamala Harris visited a charging facility in Maryland. Unfortunately, the public saw her visit as inauthentic, partly because of her awkward bumbling attempt to try and charge a vehicle, as Electrek pointed out in their account of the event.
But then, Harris took to Twitter to help spread the word about her visit and the EV charging station infrastructure plan. She tweeted about what she felt would be the most significant pain point to consumers driving EVs. From her vantage point, and likely because she was confused trying to charge a vehicle during her visit, the barrier Americans face most that prevent them from buying an EV is “figuring out where and how to charge” them, Harris posted on Twitter.
Twitter audiences critically respond to the vice president
Skimming the responses to the vice president’s tweet demonstrates just how wrong she was about “knowing where and how to charge” EVs. It’s not the charging that’s the problem. The cost and expensive nature of purchasing and owning an EV deter most Americans from buying electric.
Just a few of the Twitter responses included, “Nah, it’s the student loans,” “it’s pricing,” and in one Twitter user’s own words, “I cannot f***ing afford it.” Another Twitter user clapped back at Harris with sarcasm, saying, “drowning in hundreds of thousands of dollars in student debt, working a $7.25 an hour job, with $1,650 rent: oh, definitely a place to charge it,” citing back to Harris’ remark about charging being the most significant barrier keeping people from buying an electric car.
What the Biden Administration is hoping to do for the EV market
While Kamala Harris might not know how to charge an EV and be a tad out of touch with the struggles of car-buying consumers, there is merit to the White House infrastructure bill. According to the official White House Fact Sheet, the bill targets a long-term goal of clean-energy cars, including a goal of 50% of all vehicles sold be EVs by the year 2030. To accommodate such a goal, funding would be allocated to pave a path to those 500,000 additional charging stations across the country.
For anyone who sympathizes with all those Twitter responders, there’s something in the plan for you, too. Because EVs can be inherently expensive to purchase, own, and maintain, the infrastructure plan includes language for proposed tax credits for American-made EVs. CNBC says this provision might help sell more EVs in the long run, more so than additional charging stations.
So, what’s keeping you from buying an EV? If it’s the financial commitment that deters you now, President Biden’s infrastructure plan might be the answer.