Letter to the Editor: Beware of flimsy talk about electric cars


A recent Guest Commentary by Reid Beveridge (“Does state’s electric vehicle proposal make sense?” March 29) presented not only breathtaking misinformation but told a one-sided anti-electric car story. Beveridge’s main target was the governor’s mandate. But the anti-mandate story that Beveridge gave was of low quality. Several earlier anti-electric car letters and commentaries were similarly weak, but space limits me to just focus on what Beveridge wrote. However, it is to the newspaper’s credit that their large and detailed article (“Del. agencies engaged in building out EV infrastructures,” March 31) showed that our EV future is in better shape than Beveridge implied.

Beveridge said, “There are only one or two commercial charging stations in eastern Sussex County,” and “(Charging stations) don’t exist.” So here is what I did (on March 29): I pulled out my smartphone, launched my web browser and typed into the search bar the words, “Sussex Delaware EV charging stations.” In just a few seconds, I got back lots of links to locations, details, maps and names of at least about 10 times as many Sussex charging stations as Beveridge said.

The rest of Beveridge’s essay had other shortcomings. I would suggest that you read the Wikipedia entry titled, “Phase-out of fossil fuel vehicles.” It is very good, very detailed, very complete, pretty long and very referenced (with 216 internet links). More than 50 countries (including China and India) have mandated national internal combustion engine car sales bans. Their deadlines for stopping these car sales are mostly from 2030 to 2040. About a dozen car brands have even announced they will stop making any internal combustion cars after 2035. And more than a dozen other U.S. states are going to use the California standards, too. Did Beveridge know about all this or did he just not want to talk about it?

He uses in his argument the statistic that, in the USA, only “1% or 2%”  of the cars are now electric. He ignores the reports that say USA electric vehicle sales are now 6% of all car sales. And that percentage is estimated to go up to 10% by 2025 and to 30% by 2030. In California, EV sales are now 18% of new car sales. One internet source said 22% of 2022 car sales in China were electric. In Norway, some 80% of new car sales in 2022 were fully electric. How can the Norwegians be buying so many electric vehicles and not have problems with charging stations? Think about that for a minute.

Check the Wikipedia entry titled, “Electric car use by country.” From that entry, I learned that, in the year 2019, China already had 500,000 electric trucks and buses and 6 million EV cars on their roads. Did they have trouble finding — or building — electric charging stations? Comparable figures for the USA are really pitiful (from the iea.org website).

I really am surprised and disappointed with the takeover of the public mainstream mind-set by the negative attitude and anti-knowledge crowd. When I was a kid, atomic power, space satellites, transistors, jet planes, nuclear-powered submarines, progress, books, newspapers, knowledge, wisdom, etc., were all the rage and respected by all. Everybody used to keep up with this stuff!

What happened to “can do”? What happened to “American know-how”?

Today, it is: “Oh, the mandates are killing us!” and “Oh, we should keep the fossil industry going and just not talk about all of its soot, smoke, ashes, lung diseases, pollutants, oil spills on land/beaches/oceans, carbon dioxide, pipelines damaging views of farms and scenery, lawsuits and other qualities of backwardness!” All this, while the rest of the First World countries in the world are pulling ahead of the USA.

We are trying to save the planet. More electric vehicles will help us do that. But going to a “green” economy and a “sustainable” future is going to take six things: work, time, patience, money, thinking and strength. Moreover, we have another big and growing problem: damage from extreme weather. This has already started, globally, and records have been broken in every weather component or category. We don’t know, as of now, if our weather may get even more extreme, as the temperature on this planet continues to increase. But, if we get much more extreme weather damage, then don’t be surprised when insurance costs start to increase even faster every year. In Florida, there is now an insurance crisis because of climate change.

My two cents: What we need is rational thinking and rational actions by you, me, the next generation and all the ones after that.

Arthur E. Sowers


Members and subscribers make this story possible.
You can help support non-partisan, community journalism.