Pete Buttigieg ridiculed for Joe Biden’s $7.5 billion “massive failure”

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was pressed on Sunday about the low number of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations the Biden administration has rolled out across the country over the past three years, with his response garnering criticism and ridicule among social media users.

President Joe Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in November 2021, allocating $7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging. Of this, $5 billion is dedicated to building a network of chargers along major highways, called the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program.

While appearing on CBS News’ Face the Nation on Sunday, host Margaret Brennan asked Buttigieg, “The Federal Highway Administration says only seven or eight charging stations have been produced with a $7.5 billion investment that taxpayers made back in 2021. Why isn’t that happening more quickly?”

Buttigieg responded: “So the president’s goal is to have half a million chargers up by the end of this decade. Now, in order to do a charger, it’s more than just plunking a small device into the ground. There’s utility work and this is also a new category of federal investment. But we’ve been working with each of the 50 states, every one of them is getting formula dollars to do this work.”

He then reiterated Biden’s EV goal, “Again, by 2030, 500,000 chargers. And the very first handful of chargers are now already being physically built. But again, that’s the absolute very, very beginning stages of the construction to come.”

Newsweek has reached out the Department of Transportation’s director of public affairs for comment via email on Sunday.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg is seen on April 30 in Washington, D.C. Buttigieg was pressed on Sunday about the low number of electric vehicle charging stations the Biden administration has rolled out across…

Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

Following Buttigieg’s comments, he was mocked on X, formerly Twitter, on Sunday.

Chief White House correspondent at Today News Africa in Washington, Simon Ateba, wrote in an X post, “BREAKING- MASSIVE FAILURE BY BIDEN — Only 7 EV charging stations produced in 3 years instead of 50,000 per year to meet goal.”

RNC Research, an X account managed by the Republican National Committee (RNC), posted the video segment of Buttigieg’s response and wrote, “Pete Buttigieg has a VERY tough time trying to explain why ‘only 7 or 8 [electric vehicle] charging stations have been produced with the $7.5 BILLION investment that taxpayers made back in 2021.'”

J Hans, who, according to his X biography, is a combat veteran, Libertarian, and Make America Great Again (MAGA) supporter, replied to the RNC Research’s post, and asked, “Does Pete do anything well?”

Several other X users reposted the video with their own captions, including independent journalist Nick Sortor, who wrote, “Guarantee it doesn’t cost Tesla $1B each. Why does Pete still have a job?”

Steve Guest, Senator Ted Cruz‘s former communications adviser, posted on X, “CBS’s Margaret Brennan laughs in Pete Buttigieg’s face when he is unable to explain why only 7 or 8 electric vehicle charging stations have been built despite the Biden admin spending $7.5 BILLION to build chargers.”