Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg struggled Sunday on CBS’ Face the Nation to explain why the Biden administration has only manged to build “seven or eight” electric vehicle (EV) charging stations thus far.

As Breitbart News has noted, while the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 allocated $7.5 billion for EV stations, as part of building a national EV charging infrastructure, no EV charging stations had been built by the end of 2023.

Only about seven or eight had been built under the program by April — while the fossil fuel industry has been cashing in by lobbying to have the stations built at existing gas stations.

The transcript from CBS follows:

MARGARET BRENNAN: –obviously it’s resonating for him, because he wouldn’t bring it up so frequently if there wasn’t some anxiety that he’s tapping into. And let me ask about a portion of this that I think does fall under your portfolio and that’s the charging stations you mentioned. The Federal Highway Administration says only seven or eight charging stations have been produced with the $7.5 billion investment that taxpayers made back in 2021. Why isn’t that happening more quickly?

SECRETARY BUTTIGIEG: 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- a small device into the ground, there’s utility work, and this is also, really, 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–

MARGARET BRENNAN: Seven or eight, though?

SECRETARY BUTTIGIEG: –Engaging them and the first handful- 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.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Right. But- but that gets to the point about not being able to make long distance travel possible quickly, if you don’t have the infrastructure there to support it.


MARGARET BRENNAN: So you recognize it should be–

SECRETARY BUTTIGIEG: Most of the charging infrastructure right now is being provided by the private sector. The reason that we’re investing federal dollars is to fill in some of the gaps in areas where it is not yet profitable for the private sector to do it. Now, again, the majority of charging will happen at home …

Major reasons for the delay include local zoning restrictions and red tape, which the Biden administration has not done much to cut through — unlike President Donald Trump, who tended to eliminate it wherever possible for his administration’s projects.