Recently, Donald Trump shared a link (via Truth Social) to a September 2, 2022 Western journal article that described an electric car needing to be pushed up to a coal plant to get charged.

“Today at our mine off Corridor H an electric car from DC ran out of battery at the road entrance to the mine. Someone called one of our foreman and told him a car was broke down in the middle of our haul road,” [Senator Randy Smith] wrote.

However, the picture from the article looks like they are charging the 12 volt battery under the hood, not any sort of main drive battery pack.

Photo of car being charged

Is this really an EV? The only other picture was from behind but it was not possible to see if it had an exhaust pipe.

  • 2
    There's a side claim here: 'Giving the vehicle a tow was out of the question, he wrote, because “it was all plastic underneath and nothing to hook up to.”' I looked into that, and it turns out you need to take a screw-in tow hook from its location in the boot, remove a plastic cover from the bumper, and screw the hook into the revealed hole. Source. So strictly false, but I would have failed to find it too, so I am not casting stones.
    – Oddthinking
    Sep 7, 2022 at 14:46
  • Uh, don't all modern unibody cars and SUVs use a screw-in tow hook?
    – Nimloth
    Sep 7, 2022 at 15:29
  • Typo - linked WJ article appears to be dated to 4 Sep 2022 - not 2002. The article references a 3 Sep 2022 Twitter post by WTRF 7 News.
    – vsfDawg
    Sep 7, 2022 at 15:33
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    How did it "break down"? Seems to me it just ran out of fuel. Sep 7, 2022 at 23:39
  • @Nimloth: shrug I have never owned, or needed to tow, a car manufactured this century.
    – Oddthinking
    Sep 8, 2022 at 10:11

1 Answer 1


The vehicle appears to be a Kia Niro EV.

As mentioned in the comments, the Niro has only been available as a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid or a fully electric vehicle. The first-generation Kia Niro EV (fully-electric) had a black panel instead of a front grille, and this black panel is visible in the photo.

On the fully-electric version, the inlet for charging the high-voltage battery is next to the left headlight, corresponding to the location in the picture. See this article for close-up pictures of the charging port location. As shown on Wikipedia above, the plug-in hybrid version has the inlet on the left front fender instead.

Although most Level 1 (120-Volt) mobile chargers have black cords, a cursory Google search shows some Kia-branded chargers with orange-coloured cords.

  • 1
    @JiminyCricket. Click on the wikipedia link. The Kia Niro exists only as fully electric or hybrid. So if hybrids are part of electric than this is an electric car.
    – quarague
    Sep 7, 2022 at 6:35
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    The 1st gen electric Kia Niro had a distinctive panel covering the space that would be for the engine air intake grill on versions with a petrol engine, and that cover is visible in the photo (above the reg plate). So yes, this is a (very unremarkable) photo of an EV charging (not sure why it warrants a news report - if it was considered newsworthy every time a petrol-engine car ran out of fuel, we'd never hear about anything else) Sep 7, 2022 at 8:40
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    @user56reinstatemonica8 isn't the point supposed to be "oh look we can't manage without coal"? Although the coal has nothing to do with it (and it no longer powers cars). Yeah, we do know that the driving range of electric cars isn't great yet, but the battery technology is improving rapidly. Sep 7, 2022 at 13:21
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    @user56reinstatemonica8 Another question is did it actually run out of charge or was it setup for a photo op. From the picture alone it can't be said if it is actually out of charge and charging or just setup to look like it is.
    – Joe W
    Sep 7, 2022 at 14:43
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    @user56reinstatemonica8 "if it was considered newsworthy every time a petrol-engine car ran out of fuel, we'd never hear about anything else" Indeed, AAA got 194,000 out of gas calls in a single quarter recently. In order to make the news when you run out of gas you need to also commit aggravated arson or something.
    – Laurel
    Sep 7, 2022 at 23:37

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