News and Analysis

Harris Mocked After Trying To Show How To Use Electric Car Charging Station: ‘Legitimately Stupid’
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris receives a briefing on electric vehicle investments in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Build Back Better Act at the Brandywine Maintenance Facility in Brandywine, Maryland, U.S., on Monday, Dec. 13, 2021. Harris announced a new electric vehicle charging plan that will outline the next steps federal agencies are taking to implement $7.5 billion in funding for chargers included in the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
Michael Reynolds / EPA / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris was mocked online on Monday afternoon after attempting to demonstrate how to use an electric car charging station in Prince George’s County, Maryland, as she seemingly struggled to understand how she would know that the car was actually being charged once it was plugged in.

“And there’s no sound or fumes,” Harris said after plugging the car in. “For all of us who are used to filling our tank, we, you usually can smell it and you can hear it and you can hear the guzzling sound. None of that.”

“So how do I know it’s actually working?” Harris asked SemaConnect CEO Mahi Reddy.

“It is,” Reddy said. “So typically, once you [inaudible] it’s actually charging.”

“But how would I know that?” Harris continued. “Tell me how I would know that.”


Some notable responses to the clip included:

  • Buzz Patterson, commentator: “I just can’t imagine how this person is our vice-president.”
  • Ian Miles Cheong, writer: “Kamala Harris has never gassed up any of her own vehicles. Here she struggles with an EV.” He continued, “This woman is legitimately stupid.”
  • Quinn Nelson, commentator: “Very good technique here—wouldn’t want the electrons to spray all over the ground in case it fell out.”
  • Aja Smith, commentator: “You would think this was an SNL skit.”
  • Jeremy Munson, state representative: “The guzzling sound is taxpayer dollars being sucked out of your wallets.”

Harris made the trip as part of the administration’s attempted rollout of “an EV Charging Action Plan to outline steps federal agencies are taking to support developing and deploying chargers in American communities across the country.”

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law makes the most transformative investment in electric vehicle charging in U.S. history that will put us on the path to a convenient and equitable network of 500,000 chargers and make EVs accessible to all Americas for both local and long-distance trips,” The White House said in a statement.


KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT: I see that it’s plugged in, so is it plugged into this enormous electric socket, right?

MAHI REDDY, CEO, SEMA CONNECT: Yes. Normally it’s a 240 Watt but you can go ahead and plug and that’s it.

HARRIS: Okay. There we are.

REDDY: That’s it.

HARRIS: And there’s no sound or fumes.

REDDY: There is nothing.


REDDY: And that’s all there is to it.

HARRIS: For all of us who are used to filling our tank, we, you usually can smell it and you can hear it and you can hear the guzzling sound.

REDDY: Correct.

HARRIS: None of that.

REDDY: None of that.

HARRIS: So how do I know it’s actually working?

REDDY: It is. So typically, once you [inaudible] it’s actually charging.

HARRIS: But how would I know that? Tell me how I would know that.

REDDY: So typically, excuse me, so typically you’re coming, you wave this card, and then what it would do is it would authenticate and then this light turns green.

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