In a speech by South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, an EV proponent, standing behind him, Donald Trump mocked EVs as inefficient and “ridiculous.” The Republican governor invited the former president to the state capitol on Saturday for an event introducing Trump’s campaign for leadership in South Carolina. It was Trump’s second campaign event of the day, following a speech in New Hampshire in the afternoon.
“They want mandatory electric cars. The car drives about two hours,” Trump said of Democrats, while McMaster, who supports his 2024 campaign, stood behind him. But as AP national political reporter Meg Kinnard noted in a tweet, McMaster signed an executive order only a few months ago to attract EV-related businesses to the state.
“What are you going to do? Everyone’s going to be sitting on the freeway. We’re all looking for a little plug-in. ‘ Does anyone have a plug-in? My car just parked and we’ve been driving for an hour and 51 minutes. This is ridiculous ,” Trump sneered. At this point, McMaster laughed.
But it must have been an awkward moment for the governor, who has poured his support and political power into electric vehicles in recent years. In October, he signed an executive order prioritizing hiring for businesses related to electric vehicles and establishing a job training program. He also formed a task force to plan electric vehicle infrastructure. In 2021, South Carolina won a $155 million contract for Oshkosh Defense to build community delivery vans for the US Postal Service, which it says will create more than 1,000 jobs. BMW is also investing $1.7 billion to boost its electric vehicle manufacturing capabilities in South Carolina.
“As the industry continues to move toward electric vehicles, South Carolina will walk with it — working to ensure our state will continue to be seen as a great place for manufacturers and suppliers to do business,” McMaster said in signing the order. .”in autumn. “With these investments come well-paying jobs that our employees are ready to accept.”
But when Trump invited him to speak at the podium on Saturday, McMaster didn’t mention anything about electric vehicles. Instead, the governor heaped praise on the former president, saying, “In November 2024, we will re-elect Donald Trump and we will see freedom and prosperity like never before.”