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Mayor Pete Refused to Include Solar Panel on EV Charging Station. Power Comes From Fossil Fuels

Pete Buttigieg
Pete Buttigieg, Former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and Current U.S. Secretary of Transportation

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — As gas prices continue to soar and U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, insists people ditch gas powered cars for “clean” electric vehicles, REAL News Michiana has uncovered emails showing as Mayor of South Bend, Buttigieg ditched plans for solar panels on an electric vehicle charging station to rely on energy from fossil fuels.

It turns out, Buttigieg was right to not include the solar panels, because they simply don’t provide enough power. However, the revelations show just how unhonest he is when speaking about “going green” in moving toward 100% electric vehicles across the country.

Buttigieg made his national electric car push during a press conference with Vice President Kamala Harris earlier this week. His plan was nearly universally panned as tone-def and unrealistic.

According to a Fox Business report: Ryan Sitton, a former Texas energy regulator and founder and CEO of Pinnacle Reliability, previously told FOX Business that EV adoption would likely impose a roughly 30% increase in demand on the national grid, while Tesla CEO Elon Musk told Reuters it would double total global demand for electricity. 

And, Buttigieg is well aware that renewable sources just won’t cut it. In fact, he’s known how inefficient sources like solar power are since he was South Bend’s mayor when he pushed to get an EV charging station installed in Downtown South Bend.

“The charging station is powered by the same electrical feed that supplies the traffic signal at Jefferson/Lafayette. The electricity is purchased by the City from Indiana Michigan Power.” Therese Dorau, South Bend’s Director of the Office of Sustainability under Mayor Pete, said in an email in 2018.

Dorau went on to say, while solar panels would look more “green” the panels would not provide additional power and would simply add to the cost of the station itself.

“Our research into solar+charging indicated the small solar panel nearly doubled the cost while really only powering the display – not providing enough solar energy for any amount of EV charging. We did not see value to the taxpayers, although it would have made the station appear more ‘green’ to the general observer. The station we selected does not have a display or additional electronics aside from charging, so all power drawn is transferred to vehicles.” Dorau wrote.

Instead, all of the power for the station comes from Indiana Michigan Power — which receives less than 10 percent of its power from “green” renewables. Only .3% of IMP’s electricity is derived from solar energy, 8.4% comes from wind and another .4% comes from hydro. The majority of the grid is powered by coal, while nuclear energy accounts for about 40% of the electricity generation.

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