Letter to the editor: The challenges and promises of electric vehicles

Ralph Ragsdale

We keep hearing about the downsides of converting from cars and trucks with combustion engines to battery-operated cars and trucks — with assurances that future inventions and developments will solve all problems. The stickiest challenge identified to date, and it doesn’t appear to be one of technology, is what to do about those families who have one or two cars that will need overnight charging and who live in apartment complexes with street parking.

Anyhow, one huge advantage of going electric is as follows:

Despite the vast reduction in air pollution thanks to the invention of the catalytic converter, there is still some tailpipe pollution. In the U.S, instead of tailpipe pollution from millions of cars and trucks, pollution will instead be relocated to only 30,806 power plant stacks (24,645 existing plus 25% additional needed based on a projected estimate of the proportion of wind, solar and conventional power plant installations. At each power plant stack, a chemical scrubbing system will convert the air pollution to a chemical solid waste disposal issue that is considered less problematic to handle. The result will be a great improvement in air quality, particularly for stagnant air locations like Los Angeles and Denver.

So, even though we are turning our backs on a reliable source of energy, only recently independent on foreign countries, energy that has served us well for 200 years, there will be a silver lining to otherwise baffling decisions. When our children reach technological maturity, they will tell us whether we were smart or stupid.

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