Letter: In Defense of Electric Vehicles
To the Editor:
I don’t get the point of Willem Post’s Jan. 1 letter, “Small Gain for a High Cost.” To lump all electric vehicles in the category of coal and natural-gas fire-breathing machines is simplistic, at best. It has been shown that even if an electric vehicle is charged from a coal-fired electric plant, it still is a cleaner option (one tailpipe versus thousands of tailpipes). Electric vehicles can be charged from non-fossil-fuel sources simply by choosing that option on your power-provider bill or by installing your own wind generator or solar panels. Electric vehicle technology provides numerous advantages:
∎ Never having to fill up at the gas station again.
∎ An incredibly simple power train.
∎ The “tank” is full when you leave home or work.
∎ Very little preventative maintenance (no oil changes, filters, belts, hoses, fluids, etc.)
∎ No engine “warm up” is required; you can get in and drive away (or program the car heat to come on from your cell phone).
∎ Knowing you are reducing our reliance on oil, both foreign and domestic.
A comparison of monthly current lease rates are: Mitsubishi MiEV, $316; Honda Civic Hybrid, $276; Honda Civic, $204.
Yes, electric vehicles do have limitations; you are not going to take that spur-of-the-moment trip to California without frequent stops. Yes, the current technology is relatively expensive. (In 1983, the DynaTAC cell phone cost $3,900 — equivalent to $10,000 in today’s money.) Yes, if you still need a breakfast burrito, you will have to stop at the mini-mart.
The technology is different, but it requires only that we change our petroleum-based thinking. Thank god we changed our driving technology over 100 years ago, or we would still be shoveling manure out of the streets.