President Joe Biden and his administration are on a mission to convince Americans to transition to electric vehicles (EVs). But their messaging is comically bad.
In a tweet on Monday, Biden shared a picture of himself smiling in a GMC Hummer EV.
“On my watch, the great American road trip is going to be fully electrified,” the tweet declared. “And now, through a tax credit, you can get up to $7,500 on a new electric vehicle.”
On my watch, the great American road trip is going to be fully electrified.
And now, through a tax credit, you can get up to $7,500 on a new electric vehicle. pic.twitter.com/n3iZ9etL4A
— President Biden (@POTUS) January 30, 2023
The new electric Hummer looks nice and, on its face, seems like the kind of vehicle with the potential to entice fans of gas-guzzling SUVs and pick-up trucks to switch over.
But there was a problem with the tweet, and users quickly identified it: the vehicle in the picture is too expensive to qualify for the tax credit.
Riley Beggin, a Washington correspondent for The Detroit News, tweeted, “The GMC Hummer EV Pick-up Edition 1 POTUS is driving here costs >$110k and isn’t eligible for the tax credit.”
The GMC Hummer EV Pickup Edition 1 POTUS is driving here costs >$110k and isn't eligible for the tax credit https://t.co/hA268G10KH
— Riley Beggin (@rbeggin) January 30, 2023
According to the Internal Revenue Service’s website, the vehicle must be bought new to qualify for the tax credit.
The vehicle’s manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) cannot exceed $80,000 for vans, SUVs, and pick-up trucks. And it cannot exceed $55,000 for other electric vehicles. So the Hummer blows past the limit.
Check out some of the other reactions below:
Propaganda is when you promote a tax credit using a photo of yourself in a vehicle that doesn't qualify for the tax credit.
Qualifying means you can't make over a certain amount, the vehicle can't cost over a certain amount, and it must be manufactured by a favored corporation. https://t.co/T1tP5Une91
— Ryan Graham (@Graham4GA) January 31, 2023
We need a $7.50 tax credit on a dozen eggs. https://t.co/8zprlDhJIy
— Jon Gabriel (@exjon) January 31, 2023
That vehicle costs over $110k and doesn’t even qualify for their crony capitalism tax credit. #EVs
— FreedomWorks (@FreedomWorks) January 31, 2023
Gas prices have gone up for five straight weeks and Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.
Biden’s solution is to purchase a 100k+ car that doesn’t even qualify for his tax credit. https://t.co/1saswPiFdC
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) January 31, 2023
Why is @POTUS driving an electric Hummer to promote the $7,500 tax credit?
The Hummer EV costs ~$100K, tips the scales at 9,000 pounds, & is far worse for the environment than a mid-size gas car.
Plus, it doesn't quality for the tax credit because it's too expensive! 🤣 https://t.co/y7YTLGSl8B
— Brian Gitt (@BrianGitt) January 31, 2023
I can’t wait to spend $110,000 to get up to a $7,500 credit. https://t.co/xx6GWRXsMf
— Kimberly Ross (@SouthernKeeks) January 31, 2023
On top of not qualifying for the tax credit, the vehicle Biden is riding in in this picture has not received the best reviews. Car and Driver and CNET both complained about the quality of the materials on the interior and panned its range.
Apparently, Biden’s staffers did not read CNET’s review of it either because if you’re trying to reach ordinary Americans, this is probably not the vehicle to do it with.
“The GMC Hummer EV isn’t here to be practical. It’s a moonshot vehicle, an aspirational purchase that seeks to convince internal combustion, bro-truck holdouts that the cars of the future can be ‘badass,’ too,” it declared.
CNET summed up the Hummer as “so damn wasteful.”
“Moonshot,” “wasteful,” and “not practical” are not the words you want to see associated with a car the President of the United States is highlighting.
If Biden wants to encourage people to buy EVs, tweeting pictures of $100,000 cars will not help.
“Worried about high gas prices? Just buy a $100,000 car” is not a good message.
It will also set expectations that will likely leave potential buyers disappointed when they realize what they want in an EV is out of their price range.
Some car companies, such as Ford and Tesla, have announced they will lower prices for some models.
But according to Kelly Blue Book, the average new car sold in the U.S. for $49,507. Meanwhile, the average fully electric car sold for $61,448 — or 24% higher. So there’s quite a bit of room for prices to come down before electric vehicles will really start to be widely adopted.
Some EVs are more affordable. But they have shorter ranges than more expensive models, and some do not qualify for the tax credit. And the cheaper models lack the plush interiors and fancy features of the higher-end options.
Of course, there is still the issue of the limited charging infrastructure nationwide — making it hard to go on a “great American road trip.”
The high-end EVs might be cool or “badass,” but if you’re putting that image in Americans’ minds and they find out the car in their price range is nowhere near what they pictured, they’ll probably stick with their combustion engines for a little longer.
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