Donald Trump goes on electric car rant full of lies and hilarious nonsense

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Donald Trump went on a rant about electric vehicles during a rally this weekend, and it was full of lies and hilarious nonsense.

Note: I don’t like to get too political at Electrek. Those who know me personally know I’m as apolitical as it gets. I don’t believe the biggest changes come from politics. I’m not biased toward any side in politics, but I am biased toward electric vehicles and I do like policies that encourage them, especially those that incentivize them in a way that represents their benefits for the environment. Since Trump has a real chance of becoming president again, it’s important to cover his views and policies on electric vehicles.

The former president has been all over the place with his comments on electric vehicles.

Most of the time, in his rallies, he has brought them up as a talking point to ridicule them – focusing on the premise that “don’t go far” and “charging is a pain”. He went as far as calling them a “hoax”.

But he has also claimed that he is “all for electric cars” and during his 2020 campaign, he tried to take credit for incentives put in place during the Obama administration.

In practice, the former president was trying to put in place policies to slow down electric car adoption – at the request of some automakers, to be fair. The Trump administration attempted to eliminate the tax credit for electric vehicles in the original version of their 2020 budget, though the provision never passed.

Furthermore, Trump was actively seeking to roll back vehicle emission standards that were encouraging automakers to produce more electric cars.

With this new 2024 campaign, the former president has been clearer about the fact that he is against any initiatives that would accelerate the rollout of electric vehicles.

President Biden did make electric vehicles an important part of his administration and therefore, it’s not surprising to see Trump taking a more consistent negative stance on them.

At a new rally in Las Vegas over the weekend, the former president talked about electric vehicles for a minute:

Trump made several false or misleading statements about electric vehicles in his speech:

  • There are no charges.
  • Electric trucks weigh more than twice – triple as much as gasoline and diesel trucks
  • “they have to fix every bridge in the US to handle the weight”
  • Insinuates that electric boats would “sink because of their weight”
  • Implies that electric boats are a serious electrocution risk in the open ocean

Forget about the ridiculous hypothetical choice between electrocution and a shark attack, there are a lot of misleading statements in there.

There are definitely a lot of charging stations in the US. There are over 168,000 EV chargers in the US, including over 37,000 fast-chargers.

However, it’s true that the US needs to continue the build out of charging infrastructure to continue supporting the growing fleet of electric vehicles.

Electric trucks don’t weigh “twice” and certainly not “three times” as much as diesel trucks.

If we are talking about pickup trucks, it’s true that battery-powered pickup trucks generally weigh more, but it’s closer to 20% more rather than 100 or 200%, as Trump is claiming. For example, the Ford F150 Lightning is about 1,000 lbs heavier than its fossil-fuel-powered counterpart, depending on the trim.

However, it’s more likely that Trump was referring to class 8 trucks since he was talking about the effect on the infrastructure, and semi-trucks account for the vast majority of the impact on infrastructure.

This is where his argument completely falls apart since class 8 trucks have an overall 80,000 limits of tractor, trailer, and load combined, which has been raised by 2,000 lbs for electric trucks. Therefore, they can only be 2.5% heavier overall.

In short, there’s zero evidence that electric trucks are destroying infrastructure. Bridges are indeed being replaced in the US right now, but that’s because the current administration recently passed a massive bi-partisan infrastructure bill.

Finally, no, electric boats don’t “sink because they are heavy,” and electrocution is not a major concern of electric boats because batteries are well sealed and isolated, and also electricity dissipates quite fast in any significant body of water, like an ocean since Trump was talking about sharks being present.

Electrek’s Take

That was a lot of nonsense. If you found the above interesting, I would ask you to do a quick exercise and this is not particularly about Trump. It applies to any public figure.

When a public figure talks about something you are well versed in, in this case, for me, electric vehicles, it often exposes that they talk confidently about subjects they have little to no knowledge about.

Then, you have to ask yourself, do they do the same about every other subject, but I don’t realize it because I’m not as well versed in those?

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