Reader's View: Coal is dying, electric cars are the future – Duluth News Tribune

The claim that, “Cold Minnesota winters sap the battery life from electric buses and electric passenger cars by up to 40% when temperatures are above 20 degrees and the heater is running,” was rather humorous. Electric vehicles perform better in warm weather. On the off-hand chance the writer, Isaac Orr of the Center of the American Experiment, meant to say the performance of electric vehicles degrade when the temperature is below 20 degrees, he is still guilty of exaggerating the performance loss of the typical electric vehicle.

While driving an electric vehicle in Minnesota during subzero temperatures, I have experienced a significant loss of range but never the excessive degraded performance claimed in the column. Nor have I ever felt range anxiety when traveling.

Until the Northland has additional fast-charging stations, travel will require more planning. But the benefits of electric travel outweigh the disadvantages. Just because one experiment with electric mass transit didn’t pan out is no reason to belittle the idea of electric transportation.

The column came off as the unremarkable rants of a committed climate-change denier. During his time at the Heartland Institute, Orr even bought into the Trump administration’s quackery of “beautiful, clean coal.” Not only is coal dirty, it is now one of the most expensive methods of generating electricity, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Coal is dying because of simple economics.

Renewables and electric cars are the future. Even General Motors is planning on all but eliminating the internal combustion engine. Orr and others at the Center of the American Experiment need to embrace the new reality. Their meritless opinions have no place in determining the future of renewable energy in Minnesota.

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James N. Bragge


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