Mack Thompson, Editor
It seems every time I watch the news or read the statewide paper I’m reminded of the opening line of the Hank Williams Jr. song, Country Boy can Survive. It goes like this, “Preacher man says it’s the end of time and the Mississippi River she’s a going dry. Interest is up and the stock markets down and you only get mugged when you go downtown.”
Those words ring pretty true today with one addition that Bocephus didn’t think of, gas prices. I’m old enough to remember the gas shortages of the 1980s. While we don’t have long gas lines and rationing yet, we do have the highest prices in our country’s history with no end in sight. Today, I’m not going to talk about what caused this to happen, that’s for another column. I am going to talk about what some are calling the cure to all of this …electric vehicles or EV’s.
The current administration is pushing EV’s as the answer to climate change and rising fuel prices.
You see, if you just had one of these non-pollutant EV’s, all your problems would just go away. Let’s look at a few of the drawbacks to this idea. First, the idea that we could quit pumping oil out of the ground is a non-starter. Most of the these new vehicles, just like the ones we drive now, rely heavily on plastics in their design.
Plastic is made from petroleum products. So, we are still going to need oil to produce these cars. Secondly is the price. The cars being manufactured today cost between $60,000 and $100,000. Thats a lot of change for most folks and a lot of us are at least two car families. I suppose the cost could come down, but I wouldn’t count on it. But you can just plug it into the wall and charge it for free some will opine. Most all of you get a monthly electric bill and know full well that stuff isn’t free.
And speaking of charging, if you do plug into the wall at home in your garage, the charge times run from seven to 12 hours. Of course you could buy specialized rapid chargers that are expensive and involve installation, if you want. And public charging stations are rare in our part of the world and take time to charge your battery which in the most advanced Tesla is 400 miles worth of driving. My editor recently went on a family vacation to Colorado. The trip was over a thousand miles and took over 22 hours to drive straight through. Imagine that even in the Tesla you would have to stop and find a charging station, then sit while your vehicle charges up, probably adding at least four or five stops to the one way trip and an additional fours.
Plus those stations charge for the electricity. While we’re at, it let’s talk about this abundant electricity we will be using. The climate change crowd wants to abolish the use of coal and natural gas to produce electricity in this country. Don’t even think about nuclear, so what does that leave us with? Hydroelectric dams, solar and wind are our current choices.
The power grid in this country would not last one hour if we were to rely on these sources. As we enter the summer months in our country many states will experience rolling blackouts and brownouts, this happens every year. What happens if we suddenly plug millions of cars and trucks into the system at night to recharge. At least that’s a good excuse for being late to work, a dead battery. Oh and while we are on batteries, most of the world’s batteries are made in The Peoples Republic of China – not to mention the computer chips these cars will need. I don’t see a problem there, do you? Do I see a day when we will be using electric cars? Sure I do, but not next week or even in the next decade. You see, when Henry Ford brought out his Model A, folks didn’t just turn old Buttercup out to pasture and go buy one, it happened gradually and over time. This may too if we can solve our problems with all of the above issues.