Governor and presidential candidate Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has faced criticism for what some see as an inconsistency in his stance on electric vehicles (EVs).

While speaking on an oil rig in Texas, DeSantis criticized the Biden administration’s support for EV subsidies, claiming it was an attempt to control people’s behavior. However, journalist Linsey Davis pointed out in an interview that as governor of Florida, DeSantis himself had supported electric vehicle subsidies.

DeSantis denied an EV flip-flop. He told Davis that he had used funds from the Volkswagen settlement to improve EV infrastructure in Florida. However, this did not mean that he supported EV mandates.

DeSantis expressed his belief that EV production “should be driven by the market.”

DeSantis also linked the issue to broader concerns such as national security and economic vitality. He argued that lower gas prices are essential for America’s economy to grow.

The Biden campaign attacked DeSantis’s comments as unrealistic and accused him of climate denialism. They pointed to the energy cost increases and hurricane damage in Florida as examples of the potential consequences of DeSantis’s plan.

In October 2017, Volkswagen was fined $2.9 billion for violating diesel fuel emissions standards prescribed by the Clean Air Act. Each state received a share of the settlement money. DeSantis used Florida’s $68 million share to build 227 electric transit buses. 

Environmental activists have accused DeSantis of changing his views in an effort to appeal to oil executives. The Financial Times explains that many oil executives are considering supporting DeSantis over his rival Donald Trump in the Republican presidential primaries. This is due to DeSantis’s greater perceived electability.

Image Sources: NewsBreak and MikeAllan,