Trump’s still got it, folks. Despite no longer being the President, he still picked up right where he left off in terms of nonsensical rants. This time the former President took aim at electric vehicles at a midterm election campaign event in Wilkes-Barre (pronounced Berry), Pennsylvania on Saturday night. It was his first public appearance since the FBI raid in Mar-A-Lago.
Oh my, did he make some out of pocket claims. That’s why we’re going to break them down line by line. It won’t be easy, but it’s important to separate fact from fiction when talking about EVs – especially when one of the “most influential people on the planet” is speaking about them.
Watch the whole rant here:
Let’s get cracking.
“When I was in office, gas was $1.87 a gallon.”
No, it was not. The last time gas was $1.87 per gallon was February 2016, when Trump was famously not the President. If I remember correctly the President at that time was Barack Obama, a person known for not being Donald Trump.
The cheapest gas ever got during Trump’s presidency was in April of 2020, when gas hit $1.97 per gallon. That was mostly due to incredibly low demand brought on by the global pandemic. So no, right off that bat his claim isn’t true. Bad start for the former President. Maybe he can pick it up with his next claim.
“We weren’t talking about going to all–electric cars, which are twice as expensive.”
Dammit, Mr. former-President. Wrong again. According to Electrek, in 2020, Trump said he was all for electric cars, adding, “I’ve given big incentives to electric cars,” which reportedly was Trump taking credit for Obama-era incentives.
In terms of pricing, the average electric car does cost more than the average ICE car, but it certainly is not double. With the coming EV tax credits, that delta will most likely shrink.
“A friend of mine wanted to do something for the environment. He went out and bought a[n] electric car”
Not sure about this one. Who knows if Trump has friends who want to do something for the environment.
“He made a certain trip. I won’t say from where… Kentucky.”
Jalopnik cannot confirm that Trump’s friend made a trip from Kentucky.
I’m going to paraphrase this next one, because it’s so meandering that I can’t be bothered to transcribe it.
Basically, Trump’s friend makes a fairly regular trip from Kentucky to Washington, D.C. He had an ICE vehicle that would get – what Trump claims – 38 mpg. He doesn’t really say that though, the way he structured his “sentence” makes it sound like the EV got 38 mpg, which isn’t really the case. Context clues are important when dealing with this fellow. Maybe he was talking about MPGe, but I really doubt it.
Anyway, he then transitioned to hybrids, but after a while Trump’s buddy got an EV because he “wants to save our country… wants to save our atmosphere.” Good on this guy, tbh. Let’s get back into the quotes from Trump.
“He called me and said ‘I’m exhausted. This damn trip… it took me forever. I’d drive for two hours and then I’d have to have my car charged.
We have no idea what sort of car Trump’s friend was driving, but it’s probably just straight up not true to say he could only drive for two hours.
“In two cases I couldn’t find a place to charge it.”
That’s just dumb. You bought an EV. Plan your route. There are so many apps and built-in navigation systems that will direct you to charging stations and even plan your entire route for you.
“It took me more time to charge the damn car than I could spend in it driving.”
Just no. It didn’t, it just didn’t. That’s not how it works. Go to any charger and the longest it would take is maybe an hour if they’re working properly. Now that isn’t to say that some of these chargers don’t work, but I find it hard to believe this is the case every single time.
We don’t know where the trip in… Kentucky starts, but let’s just assume for the sake of argument that it’s the state capitol: Frankfort. From Frankfort to D.C. is a 550-mile trip, according to Google Maps. Trump’s math just ain’t mathing right with this one.
“He said it took me two and a half times.”
I’ll be honest, I cannot suss out what the hell this means. Two and a half times what? We may never know.
Trump’s friend should have known all of this going into his purchase of an EV. He probably did, if we are being honest. EVs aren’t exactly the best roadtrip vehicle, but they are entirely more capable that what is being described by Trump.
This speech, while incredibly misleading, will likely not really sway the hearts and minds of Americans. All it will do is reaffirm two camps: either Trump is a dummy or EVs are the devil.