Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., dismissed California's intent to ban sales of gas-powered cars by 2035, arguing that until there is new battery technology, electric cars will still be relying on fossil fuels for power.
During a press conference held at Resurrection Muscle Cars in West Palm Beach, Fla., Rubio fielded a question from Fox News Digital about California's ban, which the state approved soon before a heat wave led to an advisory for residents to limit charging their electric cars.
"Well, if they’re going to go to all battery-powered cars, then I guess they’re going to be charging their cars with coal and natural gas because that’s how you produce electricity because they don’t like nuclear plants," Rubio pointed out. "And I don’t think you can generate enough power for a state like California based on solar and wind. So in the end, it’s self-defeating."
Rubio did not oppose the idea of electric cars in general, and he was even confident that there will be technological advancements that make them practical and more prevalent.
"I don’t think you’re going to get there through government mandates that force you to get to that point," he said.
Republicans criticized California's ban when soon after the state's power grid operator said that a heat wave over Labor Day weekend could necessitate people not charging their cars in the evening hours to ease the burden placed on the grid.
"I think the silliness of it is, you’re going to ban electric cars by 2030, but you’re telling people please don’t charge your electric cars during the day because it’s putting pressure on the grid," Rubio said.
The Florida senator reiterated that he thinks the U.S. is "going to get there" when it comes to electric cars in time.
"But when you try to get there before the science gets there, the only thing you’re going to do is create ridiculous outcomes, heavier burdens, heavier costs, and in the end, people are going to go to Nevada and buy gasoline-powered cars and bring them back into California," he said.