OP-ED: All electric vehicles heck, we'll probably need to go back to horses! – Kern Valley Sun

What happened to the good old days of the horse and buggy? Chances are, we may have to find out. Believe me that would be much more reasonable than for everyone in the U.S. to go to mandatory all-electric vehicles (AEVs) by 2035.

Doesn’t anybody do serious investigations or use their common sense anymore? Why is it that we, the public, can see not only the foolishness but the disastrous effect of making AEVs mandatory, but all of our lawmakers have jumped blindly on to the electric bandwagon? Switching to all-electric vehicles may attempt to solve one problem, but it will immediately create many more.

Having retired from the oil and chemical industries after 38 years, what’s all this talk about not renewing oil and gas leases? Then, cutting back on the number of permits issued for new explorations? Plus, all this talk about moving away from oil and gasoline-powered cars in California by 2035? I’ve got some real concerns, like “What World do our lawmakers live in?” and, “Have they considered all the pros and cons of such a move? As I see it, the cons far out-way the pros!” At soon to be 75 years old, that’s not much of a problem for me. I most likely won’t be around long enough to worry about it, but my children and grandchildren will!

Imagine this — You are almost late for work, you stop at a gas station, fill up, and make it to work just in the nick of time.

Same scenario, but, with your all-electric-vehicle (AEV). Oops, this station doesn’t have an AEV charging set-up; now you’ll need to go searching for one. Whew, the superstore down the road has a bunch (4 or 5). Now you are guaranteed to be late — you can’t just “fill up and go.” Charging your battery will take time. How much time? That depends on how low your batteries are, what type they are, the AEV model you have, and how powerful the charging station is. Even with high-powered chargers, a “quick charge” can take 15 to 30 minutes to bring the battery up to even 80%.

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Takes that long huh? That’s nothing compared to the time needed for fully recharging. On the 120 volts from your house, it can take anywhere from four to 12 hours to fully recharge your vehicle batteries, depending upon the vehicle, model and type of batteries. Even with the more powerful charging systems, we are told it takes around one hour for every 15 to 25 miles that you want to go, up to your vehicle’s maximum travel. What’s that going to do to your time frames?

Stop for a moment and consider — even if the charging station has, say, two to 10 chargers, once we go to mandatory all-electric vehicles, how long will the lines be for those chargers and how long will you have to wait for “your turn”?

So, Mr. Smarty Pants says, “That’s easy, I’ll buy a hybrid, and just fill the gas tank side.” With what? Gasoline and oil are said to be going to be outlawed by 2035.

How many times have you lost the power in your house because it was summertime, and too many air conditioners were in use? How many “emergency power shutoffs” have we been through? What’s it going to be like when all those electric vehicles need that power too? Can you say, Chernobyl? Nuclear power plants?

Do you think the electric companies can afford to build more plants? Then you haven’t seen the articles in the newspapers about SCE settling for $1.1 billion as a result of the 2017 wildfires and the resulting mudslides in that area in 2018. Then, another $2.2 billion also in 2018 as a result of the Woolsey fire in California. Then there is PG&E, facing 86 wrongful death lawsuits from the Camp Fire in 2017 and talks of filing for bankruptcy after their stocks dropped by 51%. Hello Big Brother, the government will have to take over! What’s that going to do to your monthly electric bill?

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Granted, AEVs will be wonderful for the environment in one way, less air pollution, but do you know that you will most likely be replacing the batteries in your vehicle several times during the life of your car? It’s true. Just look at the stories on the Internet. How about the recent article about the AEV whose batteries overheated and exploded, sending hot batteries up to, and starting a fire in a second-floor apartment? Reason for concern? Some have shown that they need to be replaced every five years or so, at around $1,400 per changeout. What then do we do with the old batteries? Yes, some parts of them can be recycled, say the lithium ions, but what about the rest? Bury them? Pay a recycling fee? Some recyclers charge a “recycling fee” (another expense), or will we just see them alongside our roads like the discarded sofas, mattresses, and Christmas trees there now?

You will have to change your driving habits for sure! You’ll probably need to start to grandma’s house a little early so that you can account for the recharging stops. Then maybe, fewer trips to grandma’s house? Or, add a day or two for your yearly vacation, just for charging batteries.

Let’s say the theme park or aquarium opens at 10 a.m. tomorrow, and we live 200 miles away. Better get the vehicle charged overnight to make it by opening time tomorrow. Then what do we do after spending the day at the park? Rent a motel room, or come home really late after recharging the car? What do we do in the meantime? Decisions, decisions!

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There are many pros and cons about going to all-electric vehicles, but I really don’t think we should be jumping into this change without further study. Why jump for one problem without full consideration of the ones we will be creating?

Seriously, this is just common sense. I’m sure you can see it, so why can’t our lawmakers? To recap, much more investigation and thought must be put into these decisions before making it mandatory everywhere! Or, are we just going to be sheep? That’s just my two cents. Too bad I can’t just sign an executive order and make it a law.

Alan Price is a retired safety engineer who worked for a major oil company in California. He is the current president of the Havilah Historical Society.



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