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.

Gary Hutchins



Letter: Small Gain for a High Cost

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

To the Editor: Electric cars use energy generated mostly by fossil fuel power plants. Coal and natural gas power plants burn fossil fuels and emit carbon dioxide, so electric cars are responsible for some carbon dioxide reductions, but not much. At 12,000 miles per year, a gasoline-powered Honda Civic emits about 7,055 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. The carbon …