Electric cars have the potential to dramatically reduce carbon emissions, but that does not seem to be a priority for President-elect Donald Trump.
He has suggested that climate change is a hoax created by China to hurt U.S. businesses, and his statements on the campaign trail indicate policies that will boost fossil fuels.
Some of Trump’s campaign promises include deregulation of exploration for fossil fuels, and a pledge to “bring back coal.”
But Trump has owned at least one electric car.
Last year, his campaign told The Washington Post that a Tesla was one of two American-made cars in Trump’s collection, along with a Cadillac Escalade. Given the timing, it was almost surely a Model S sedan.
Those two vehicles shared garage space with Ferrari, Maybach, Mercedes-Benz, and Rolls-Royce models, according to an article published last year detailing Trump’s aristocratic lifestyle.
Trump’s ownership of the Tesla and Escalade resurfaced in a recent Washington Post article noting that Cadillac parent General Motors might be the president-elect’s “favorite” carmaker.
In the late 1980s, Cadillac and Trump partnered on “Trump Series” limousines, and GM was a regular advertiser on Trump’s television show, The Apprentice.
Trump was also previously a regular at GM events, such as the 2013 launch of the current-generation Escalade, The Washington Post noted.
However, the paper notes that there is “no evidence” that Trump’s past business dealings with GM have influenced his conduct as either a candidate or as president-elect.
Trump in fact said very little about the auto industry during his campaign, with the few comments he did make mostly focused on the outsourcing of jobs.
Since the election, Trump has named both GM CEO Mary Barra and Tesla CEO Elon Musk—CEOs of the companies that made the two American cars he owned—to an advisory group of business leaders.
Ford CEO Mark Fields has said the automaker plans to lobby for lower emissions standards in anticipated future discussions with the president-elect.
While Trump has said very little about electric cars and vehicle emissions standards, the composition of his cabinet does not seem to indicate that reducing emissions will be a priority.
His pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency is Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a climate-science denier who has sued that very agency multiple times.
Former Texas Governor Rick Perry, Trump’s choice for Department of Energy head, is an ardent supporter of the fossil-fuel industry who once vowed to eliminate that agency.