Buttigieg Says Americans Won’t Be Driving ‘Old’ Gas-Powered Cars In 2050

 December 26, 2023

In an era of rapid technological advancements, the future of transportation is becoming clear.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg predicts a significant decline in combustion engine vehicles by 2050, with electric vehicles taking the forefront in the automotive market.

During an interview on Fox Business Network's "Varney & Co.," Buttigieg shared his vision for the future of American transportation. He noted that the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is on the rise and expressed confidence that the transition away from combustion engine technology is inevitable. Buttigieg's comments underscore the administration's commitment to reducing carbon emissions and fostering innovation in the automotive sector.

The Inevitable Shift to Electric Vehicles

Buttigieg emphasized that electric vehicles are becoming more popular each year and are also a key part of the administration's environmental strategy. He mentioned the administration's ambitious target: EVs should make up half of all vehicle sales by the end of this decade. Such goals demonstrate a resolve to lead in the transition to cleaner, more sustainable modes of transportation.

Concerning the United States' position in the global EV market, Buttigieg pointed out the lost ground to China during the Trump administration. He stressed the necessity for the U.S. to regain its leadership in EV technology and production. This acknowledges the geopolitical and economic implications of the shift towards electric mobility, reflecting the broader international race for technological supremacy.

Jobs are also at the forefront of Buttigieg's advocacy for electric vehicles. He highlighted that the growth of the EV sector is generating employment opportunities, particularly in the industrial Midwest. This focus on job creation aims to address economic concerns associated with transitioning industries and assures workers that they will not be left behind.

The Benefits of Going Electric

In his discussion, Buttigieg highlighted the practical advantages of electric vehicles over their combustion engine counterparts. He pointed out that EVs are generally cheaper to maintain, suffer fewer breakdowns, and save money that would otherwise be spent on fuel. These benefits make EVs increasingly attractive to consumers and will likely accelerate the shift from traditional gas-powered cars.

"Well, no, you’re not going to meet a lot of people who ever go back after they’ve got electric, and I think that really tells you something. That shows you that the lower maintenance, the fact that it costs less to maintain, the fact that they break down [with] less frequency, and the cost savings that you get by not having to buy gas or diesel are I think why you almost never meet somebody who has an EV who says, I want to back to the old technology."

It is clear from Buttigieg's remarks that the experience of owning an EV is convincing enough to keep drivers from returning to gas-powered vehicles. He argues that once drivers experience the benefits firsthand, their preference for electric cars solidifies, which he believes will contribute to the broader adoption of EV technology.

Global Trends and Environmental Concerns

The transition to electric vehicles is not isolated to the United States. Countries worldwide are setting targets to phase out combustion engine vehicles, reflecting a global shift towards more environmentally friendly transportation solutions. This international trend underscores the need for the U.S. to remain competitive in the EV market.

The competition is particularly fierce with China, which has made considerable progress in EV production. This rivalry adds an extra layer of urgency to the United States' efforts to innovate and increase its manufacturing capacity in the electric vehicle sector.

The environmental aspect cannot be overlooked either; traditional combustion engine vehicles are a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, and their phase-out is critical to addressing climate change.


  • The increasing popularity of electric vehicles and the expected decline of combustion engine vehicles by 2050.
  • The United States' goal for EVs is to make up half of all vehicle sales by the end of this decade.
  • The competition with China and the need for the U.S. to lead in EV production.
  • The creation of EV-related jobs, particularly in the industrial Midwest.
  • The practical benefits of EVs include lower maintenance costs and savings on fuel.
  • The global trend towards phasing out combustion engine vehicles and the environmental imperatives behind it.

About Aileen Barro

With years of experience at the forefront of political commentary, Robert Cunningham brings a blend of sharp wit and deep insight to his analysis of American principles at the Capitalism Institute.

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