WATCH: Jennifer Granholm Throws Staff Under the Bus After Charging Station Fiasco

Decision to use gas-powered car to block public electric vehicle charger showed 'poor judgment,' energy sec says

September 15, 2023

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Thursday addressed her now-infamous electric vehicle charging fiasco, saying her "young" staffers showed "poor judgment" when they used a gas-powered car to hoard a spot for Granholm at a crowded public station.

Granholm during a congressional hearing confirmed the ordeal, which took place during the Biden administration official's June electric vehicle promotion tour. She did not, however, take responsibility for the incident, instead blaming "somebody" on her team for making a "mistake."

"I wasn't saving the spot. But let me just say—I have a fantastic young staff. Just fantastic," Granholm said. "I just want to say that somebody made a mistake. … I didn't … It was poor judgment on the part of the team."

Granholm's charging fiasco occurred during the energy secretary's June 27 drive from South Carolina to Athens, Ga., which included a stop at a public station outside Augusta to recharge Granholm's electric vehicle fleet. But before Granholm's arrival, the energy secretary's advance staff determined the station would not be able to accommodate the caravan, as one charger was broken and others were in use. A Granholm staffer subsequently used a gas-powered car to hoard the station's only available charger until Granholm's arrival, prompting one angry family to call the police.

"There's literally a non-electric car that is taking up the space, they said they're holding the space for somebody else, and it's holding up a whole bunch of people who need to charge their cars," a member of the family said during a 911 call, which was first reported by the Washington Free Beacon. "There's other people who are waiting to charge, and they're still here, and they're not an electric car, and the sign says that … you can't park here unless you're charging. … They said that their person is going to be here in two minutes that they're holding the spot for."

Granholm hoped her summer tour would promote green driving and showcase the billions of dollars President Joe Biden has spent on electric vehicles and other climate-focused initiatives. Instead, the trip displayed the electric vehicle issues that are plaguing the Biden administration's green energy transition.

Electric vehicle drivers often struggle to find public charging stations, and those who do locate a station often encounter broken and crowded chargers. EVs are also expensive—Granholm's caravan included a Ford F-150 Lightning and a Cadillac Lyriq, both of which can cost more than $60,000.

Biden is nonetheless moving forward with regulations that effectively mandate electric vehicle adoption. The Democrat's Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have both proposed rules that force automakers to ensure two-thirds of the vehicles they sell are electric by 2032.