Which Uses More Electricity – a Refrigerator or an EV?


Rep. Thomas Massie questioned Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg about the administration’s goals for electric cars and the timeline for it. Massie put out the scientific facts, and Mr. Buttigieg gave political answers,  tacitly admitting he didn’t know the science of it.

Representative Massie began his questioning by making it clear he’s bullish on energy independence And the technology that could make it happen. Massie is alarmed at the naivete of those promoting the rapid adoption of these technologies with the existing infrastructure.

Mr. Massie asked Mr. Buttigieg if he supported “President Biden’s non-binding executive order stating that 50% of electric vehicles sold in the United States should be electric by 2030.”

He does.

Massie then asked if he also supports Biden’s order that “by  2035 that 100% of the federal fleet federal government fleet should be electric.”

Buttigieg does.


Then Massie asked, “Which uses more electricity? We’re talking about residential electricity here, a refrigerator when it’s running, or an electric car when it’s charging in your garage?

Buttigieg: “I would expect a car.”

Massie: “Would you say it uses twice as much or 25 times as much?

Buttigieg: “I would think closer to 25 times.”

Massie: “It’s actually 50 in the instantaneous moment but over the course of a year, if I take the numbers from the US Department of Energy about the average household. [Depending on] how many vehicles they own and how far they drive over the course of a year, American households would use 25 times as much electricity for their electric cars as they would for their refrigerator if they had 100% adoption.

“If the average family has two vehicles, do you think it would strain the grid if everybody plugged in 25 refrigerators in every household?”

Buttigieg: “Well, if we didn’t make any upgrades to the grid, sure. I mean if we had yesterday’s grid with tomorrow’s cars, it’s not going to work. That’s one of the reasons why we believe that infrastructure includes electrical infrastructure and argued for that to be included as it thankfully was in the partisan law.”

Massie: “Do you do you think by 2030, which is when Biden says 50% of cars sold should be electric, do you think the grid will be capable of handling electric cars?”

Buttigieg: “We’re working with the Department of Energy every day. We’ve established a joint office of energy and transportation to map out some of the needs.

“Obviously some of this gets outside of my lane [sounds like all of it is outside of his lane] and we’ve been discussing with, for example, the truck stops that are looking at what their power needs would need to be. An interchange where today they’re mainly filling up on gas in order to accommodate, and then, as you mentioned, a lot of the scenario for this, is also residential. But it’s also worth pointing out that while a typical driver who drives electric is using more electricity, at the end of the day, they’re using less energy because of the efficiency benefits of getting that energy produced.”

Massie: “The problem is that we don’t have the capacity to produce that energy. You aptly used the word “need.” You could say “want” as well. There’s “needs” and “wants” to make this fantasy work by 2030, but the reality is the capability is not going to be there. The average household uses 17% of its electricity for air conditioning, and that would mean the average household uses 1870 kilowatt hours per year for air conditioning.

“If that average household plugged in electric cars, do you know how much more electricity they would use in comparison to the air conditioning that air conditions their whole house?”

Buttigieg: “No, but again, I would emphasize it…”

Massie: “Let me help you with that first before we go on because the numbers are important. It would take four times as much electricity to charge the average household’s cars as the average household uses on air conditioning.

“Do you think that could be …reached … So if we use the goal by 2030 that Biden has… a 50% adoption instead of 100% adoption, that means the average household would use twice as much electricity charging one of their cars as they would use for all of the air conditioning that they use for the entire year.

“Do you think this could contribute to rolling blackouts and brownouts in areas of the country where air conditioning is basically considered essential?”

Buttigieg: “Not if we prepare. Look, the fact that people who have electric vehicles are going to use more electricity can’t be a reason to give up. The idea that America is inferior to the other countries that have figured this out just doesn’t sit well with us in administration. And that’s why we’re investing in better grid.”

Massie: “In the time that I have left let me say, I’m not saying we shouldn’t prepare. I told you at the beginning of this I’m bullish on this technology. But the numbers and the rate of adoption has been developed using political science, not engineering. They’re impractical, and if we blindly follow these goals that Biden has set out, it will cause pain and suffering for the middle class.”

I hate to say this about Mr. Buttigieg, but…

The Stoessel clip below reviews the electric car envisioned by Democrat dreamers in our administration.

They begin with the truism, “Battery technology that’s key because we need to store the electric power, but storing large amounts of energy and batteries has a problem.”

Uh Oh!

“Batteries are really lousy at storing energy. They leak energy. They don’t hold a lot.

“Physicist Mark Mills says cars are great, but oil begins with a huge advantage over the chemicals that are in a battery. Oil has about 5000% more energy in it per pound.

An “electric car battery weighs 1000 pounds…it’s replacing about 80 pounds of gasoline.”

“But they’re going to get smaller and better, and they’ve gotten way more powerful, long-lasting, and affordable. All of this is just a prologue to what the next batteries are going to do,” says John Stossel.

As Mark Mills says, “engineers are good at making things better but they can’t make them better than the laws of physics permit.”

“The people who imagine an energy transition would want to build windmills and solar panels to store all of that energy in batteries, but you do the arithmetic. You’ll find out we need to build about $100 trillion worth of batteries to store the same amount of energy that Europe has in stores now for this winter.

“And it would take the world’s battery factories about 400 years to manufacture that many batteries – 400 years.

Another Problem!

“Politicians don’t mention that that leads to another problem. They say every car will be electric. California will require all new cars sold to be zero-emission vehicles.

“If that were somehow to happen, that means a lot more electric vehicles drawing power from the grid. But the grid is already limited, so limited that last summer, California’s governor told people don’t use their electric cars. [He asked] residents to avoid charging their EVs in order to conserve energy.

“Roughly speaking, you have to double your electric grid to move the energy out of gasoline into the electric sector. No one is planning to double the electric grid in California, so they’ll be rationing when there isn’t enough electricity.

“Cities will simply turn some of the power off.

“Our president says we’re going to achieve a carbon pollution-free electric sector by the year 2035 and all of the media believe it. It’s amazing that all these smart people and supposed leaders say these things.

Mills describes it as an “extraordinary accomplishment propaganda,” adding, replacing oil and gas with wind and solar “it’s almost infantile.”

“So what we’ve done now is had our energy systems designed by bureaucrats instead of by engineers and what we’re getting is worse energy, more expensive energy, and higher environmental impacts. That’s what we’re doing… for electric cars. I like them.

“Maybe I’ll buy one, but I won’t pretend it’ll make me some kind of environmental hero. There’ll be lots more electric cars in the future, and there should be because that’ll reduce demand for oil which is a good thing when you do the math arithmetic on the scales of demand to operate a society. With billions of people, with five or 6 billion people…we’re going to need everything. Everything includes fossil fuel….”



  1. The dear leader of our current administration can’t formulate a complete sentence, can’t ride a bike and doesn’t know where he is 3/4ths of the time and people listen to him? Seriously?

  2. Hey, don’t worry about it. The left is planning to outlaw personal transportation with their UN promoted 15 minute cities; you won’t be allowed to own a car so there won’t be any need to charge their batteries. Take the bus!


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