Dallas and back
Karl Lauritzen [Letters, Oct. 8] correctly observed that my recent Trib column did not address every possible reader question on electric vehicles because space was limited. However, responding to his concerns, I note that his key claim, “A drive to Dallas or Houston is not happening in an EV now,” is absolutely untrue. With my Tesla range of 320 miles, the round trip to Austin or Dallas requires no charging on the road. A Houston trip involves one charge at one of the abundant EV stations along the route. A trip to Los Angeles is also feasible, with on-board navigation plotting the route and charging stops. In five years of EV driving in Texas, with its growing charger network, I waited only once for a charger — for about four minutes.
The charge time for commercial Level 3 chargers is highly variable, but 30 minutes is a reasonable average. And chargers are usually located near restaurants or shopping — helping to comfortably fill that needed rest break. Already, the Lucid Air charges at an incredible 20 miles per minute, and charging technology will certainly advance in 10 years. I did not state that local chargers for those without garages were adequate. In fact, I have long advocated for the city to increase charging infrastructure and I reported recent progress. And on the rare occasion an EV runs out of charge, the response is like that for gas cars — towing or the services of a mobile charging/refueling unit.
Lauritzen laments the environmental impact of EVs, particularly mining and transportation of minerals. All industrial activities have some environmental impact, but those of EVs are miniscule in comparison with gas vehicle damage: fossil fuel extraction with fracking and tar sands land scarring, fuel transportation, widespread oil spills, refinery leaks in Cancer Alley, constant tailpipe pollution which kills millions globally each year and massive planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions.
Finally, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recognizes that although the challenge is enormous, the world can and must by 2050 transition the transportation sector from fossil fuels, while modernizing the grid and generating all power from renewable energy. Driving an EV now contributes to reaching this goal and avoiding climate catastrophe. Illustrating the feasibility, in September 2021, 77.5% of new vehicle registrations in Norway were full EVs.
Alan D. Northcutt,
Regarding John Vickrey’s Wednesday letter, here’s another thought: How about birth control? How about women and men take responsibility for their own bodies? How about doctors and parents and others teach birth control and we wouldn’t have to worry about someone killing a baby? How about let’s stop feeling sorry for people who can’t afford to have children yet keep on having them anyway?