President Trump claimed during Tuesday’s debate that his administration has given “big incentives” to electric cars, despite a consistent push from his White House to pull the plug on federal tax credits for the vehicles.
“I’m okay with electric cars, too. I’m all for electric cars,” Trump said during a climate change segment within Tuesday night’s debate. “I’ve given big incentives to electric cars, but what they’ve done in California is just crazy.”
Trump didn’t go into detail, but he was likely referring to Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s commitment last week to require 100% zero-emissions vehicle sales in the state starting in 2035, essentially banning the sale of new gas-powered cars by that year.
The president’s claims that he supports electric car incentives don’t hold up, however. The White House has repeatedly sought to kill tax credits, which offer consumers a $7,500 incentive to purchase an electric car, and Trump himself has threatened to end them.
The White House even proposed eliminating the incentives in its fiscal year 2020 budget request. The tax credit has already run out for Tesla and General Motors.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, meanwhile, has pledged to extend and expand incentives for electric cars.
“We’re going to make sure that we are able to take the federal fleet and turn it into a fleet that are electric vehicles,” Biden said during Tuesday’s debate. He also touted his plan to build 500,000 public electric car charging stations.