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Transitioning to EVs not insane

A recent letter, "Until EVs become practical, stop the insanity" (Dec 18) concludes with "If EVs ever really become practical, I’m all for it. Until then, stop this insanity and do what works." I'm not sure what the letter writer considers "works" and at what point he believes EVs will be practical; just that the EV mandate is "insanity". But is it really?

The focus of their argument is that our electric grid, the source of electricity for EVs, uses fossil fuels (hence the insanity?). The mining, extraction, refining and transportation of fossil fuels also uses fossil fuels, so I can counter that's insanity as well.

The incentive to move to EVs is to reduce pollution for both health and climate reasons. It's also the incentive for moving our electric grid to renewable and less-polluting sources of energy, which has been occurring.

In 2008, electricity generation by major energy sources was: coal, 2,016 billion kilowatt-hours (kwh); natural gas, 897 billion kwh; nuclear, 806 billion kwh; renewables, 353 billion kwh; petroleum, 85 billion kwh. By 2021 it is now: coal, 899 billion kwh; natural gas, 1,575 billion kwh; nuclear, 778 billion kwh; renewables, 826 billion kwh; petroleum, 37 billion kwh.

We can see that the use of renewables increased by 234% while coal declined by -55.4%. While natural gas (a fossil fuel) increased 175.6%, it worth noting that the carbon footprint of natural gas is one-third of coal.

And the recent breakthrough in nuclear fusion "marking a major step toward developing a new, sustainable form of energy that releases virtually no carbon dioxide or other types of air pollution,” is just decades away from being ready for large-scale application, like our electric grid.

Why transition to EVs now? Every gallon of gasoline burned creates 8,887 grams of carbon dioxide (CO2). A typical passenger vehicle (22 mpg and 11,500 mile per year) will emit about 4.6 metric tons of CO2 per year. In addition, motor vehicles collectively cause 75% of the carbon monoxide (CO) pollution in the U.S.

Breathing air with a high concentration of CO affects critical organs like your heart and brain. According to the EPA, as much as 95% of all CO emissions in cities are from motor vehicle exhaust. Other pollutants from exhaust are particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide; both contribute to health issues.

I would stipulate that not transitioning to EVs quickly is "insanity.”

Ronald Berg


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