WATCH: Climate Czar John Kerry Says Electric Car Critics 'Are Engaged in High Levels of Disinformation'

January 17, 2024

Climate czar John Kerry said Wednesday that President Joe Biden's policies promoting electric vehicles and other aspects of his transition to green energy have faced attacks from people engaged in "disinformation."

"There has been a very, very clear policy, which, regrettably, has been attacked by people who are engaged in high levels of disinformation," Kerry, who serves as the special presidential envoy for climate, told Bloomberg Television. "They've been trying to scare people about the range of vehicles, so there's range anxiety out there."

Kerry also cited difficulties and delays in permitting and deploying renewable technologies as a reason for some of the pullback on a transition to renewables.

Kerry's comments came in response to Bloomberg's Lisa Abramowicz asking him about companies pulling out of electric vehicle production due to lack of demand. After he gave his response, co-anchor Jonathan Ferro questioned Kerry's characterization of electric vehicle problems.

"It's difficult for me to believe that the poor EV sales are a consequence of a misinformation campaign about range anxiety," Ferro said, as he brought up rental company Hertz's recent offloading of 20,000 electric vehicles from its fleet.

"It's really expensive to keep these vehicles," Ferro continued. "It's really expensive to go and buy one. I think what we're seeing is a reality check, not just about the ultimate destination [of a transition to renewable energy], but the pace at which we get there—a reality check because, for most everyday Americans, they can't afford this."

In response, Kerry listed developments from many top companies in America and across the globe that he said indicated they were willing to pay a "green premium" for materials made in a sustainable way.

"If the CEOs of those companies can persuade their boards and their shareholders that this is a valuable enterprise, then more people are gonna buy into this over a period of time. This is a transition. It doesn't have to happen overnight. There will be ups and downs. There will be bumps in the road."

Bloomberg reported in March 2023 that the average range of an electric vehicle was just under 300 miles on a full charge. Though an improvement from previous years, it was still behind the average range of a gas car on a full tank, which hit just over 400 miles, the Department of Energy said at the beginning of 2022.

Last summer, energy secretary Jennifer Granholm embarked on a road trip to promote electric vehicles, but she encountered difficulties charging the fleet of cars she brought along with her. The problems included a charging station in Georgia not having enough ports to accommodate her entire caravan, leading a staffer in a gas car to block the only open charger to reserve it.