Pete Buttigieg Likens Americans Against EVs to Boomers Who Want “Landline Phones Forever”

By: Lauren | Published: Apr 20, 2024

Every generation struggles to change with the times and let go of their favorite products or gadgets. However, the world around us is constantly changing, and just like many generations before us, we need to adapt and change with it.

One of the biggest changes today’s adults will experience is the transition from gas-powered cars to electric vehicles. While it may seem like a big adjustment, many akin it to the switch from landlines to cell phones that our parents made not so long ago.

Electric Vehicles Are Unquestionably the Future of Transportation

For years, the world has understood that real and lasting change needs to be made as soon as possible in order to save the planet we live on. And one of the solutions to the growing climate change issue is to switch from gas-powered vehicles to electric ones.

A family plays in their yard in front of an EV charging

Source: Freepik

According to the US Energy Information Administration, around 30% of the total CO2 emissions in the United States come from gas and diesel vehicles. Therefore, transitions to electric cars will make an incredible impact in the fight against climate change. In other words, EVs have to be the future if America wants a real future for its children.


Some Americans Are Arguing Against EVs

While the vast majority of the country, including many of its government officials, agree that EVs are the future, others believe wholeheartedly that forcing a transition to EVs is as irrational as it is impractical.

US Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg speaks at a White House press conference

Source: @USMiniTru/X

However, the US Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, has a message for those Americans: “’Let’s be clear, the automotive sector is moving toward EVs, and we can’t pretend otherwise.”

Those Who Disagree Sound Like Baby Boomers Who Wouldn’t Buy a Cell Phone

Buttigieg continued, “Sometimes when these debates happen, I feel like it’s the early 2000s, and I’m talking to some people who think that we can just have landline phones forever.”

Several versions of cell phones displayed on a table

Source: Adobe Stock

For those who don’t remember, many Baby Boomers refused to buy cell phones when they first appeared in stores. But as we all know, it didn’t take long for them to realize just how valuable, easy to use, and convenient having a mobile phone really was. Now, everyone who fought against switching to a cell phone has one in their pocket.

Many States Have Already Implemented Legislation for the Transition

The truth is that, whether they like it or not, Americans will be transitioning from gas-powered vehicles to electric ones within the next decade. President Biden has implemented legislation called the Inflation Reduction Act which ensures two-thirds of all cars made in the USA are electric by 2032.

View of an auto manufacturing plant with a car being made

Source: Freepik

In addition, California and eight other states have already passed the Advanced Clean Cars II bill, which states that all new vehicles for sale must be zero-emission by 2035.

Biden’s Administration Is Ensuring American Auto Manufacturers Stay in Business

Secretary of Transportation Buttigieg also argues that while many have criticized President Biden’s EV plan, he is actually ensuring that the United States auto manufacturing industry doesn’t completely dissolve over the next decade.

President Joe Biden speaks to an audience at an events

Source: Shutterstock

Buttigieg explained that as EVs become the preferred choice among consumers, “President Biden wants to make sure that those EVs are made in America as more Americans choose EVs.”


Staying One Step Ahead of China

Additionally, Buttigieg said that, when it comes to EVs, the President doesn’t want the US to “fall behind China” but instead “claim the lead.”

Digital illustration of the Chinese flag

Source: Freepik

According to the Secretary of Transportation, China has built an incredible EV industry, “not because they’re big environmentalists over in China, just because that’s the economically smart play.”


Taking a Swing at Presidential Candidate Donald Trump

While Buttigieg was discussing the EV manufacturing industry in both the USA and China, he noted that former president and candidate for the 2024 election, Donald Trump, allowed China to get a head start. Something that President Biden is trying to rectify.

Former president and candidate for 2024, Donald Trump, pauses during a speech

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The Republican candidate has famously denied climate change and has already made several comments about his distrust of electric vehicles. In fact, if Trump wins in November, he may completely overturn Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act.


Trump Can’t Change State Law

Even though Donald Trump would certainly have a say regarding the federal regulations of gas or diesel-powered vehicles as president of the United States, he can’t change state laws.

Former president and candidate for 2024, Donald Trump, points at the audience during a speech

Source: Shutterstock

Therefore, no matter what happens in November 2024 or the following months, the Advanced Clean Cars II legislation that has already been passed in nearly a dozen states will likely remain in place.


Secretary Buttigieg Says EV Sales Are Only Going to Go Up

Some who believe that EVs will never become the future of passenger vehicles in the USA are citing Tesla’s decreasing sales as tangible evidence.

Exterior of a GM building/Exterior of a Ford building/Exterior of a Tesla building

Source: Shutterstock/Shutterstock/Adobe Stock

However, Buttigieg explained exactly why that’s happening: “Consumers have wanted and purchased more EVs every single year than the year before, and Tesla is facing more competition as GM, Ford, and other competitors make sure they get a piece of the EV market.”


Millions of Americans Will Still Want EVs Even If They Aren’t Mandated

Some say that America is more divided than ever before. Republicans and Democrats can’t agree on a single thing these days, and that includes what kind of car they want to drive.

A young girl standing in the woods holds up a cardboard sign that says “Protect Our Planet”

Source: Freepik

But it’s important to understand that there are millions upon millions of Americans who will purchase an EV as their next car, not because the president or their government told them to, but simply because it is what is best for the planet we live on.


Change Is Coming for Americans

With the US presidential election right around the corner, the divided nation feels in flux. The two candidates couldn’t be more different in their political views, and whoever wins, big changes are just a few short months away.

Two lines of traffic on the highway that goes on as far as the camera can see

Source: Freepik

The election will undoubtedly affect the country’s transition from gas-powered vehicles to EVs, but as Secretary of Transportation Buttigieg argues, no matter who sits in the Oval Office, the vast majority of Americans now actually want electric.