February 24th, 2024

Electric vehicles have many benefits for their owners


By Lethbridge Herald on February 9, 2024.

Editor: 

It has long been a trueism that the media thrive on bad news, not on good news. 

Bad news sells, because bad news, apparently, is news, good news is not.

 The same thing applies also to public perceptions of reality – humans are more prone to imagine bad scenarios than good ones. Discussion of the role of electricity versus fossil fuels is a case in point.

 On Feb. 2 Tom Moffat, an EV owner for the past three years, gave an upbeat account of the advantages of driving one. He pointed out benefits that any EV owner could only agree on: an EV works fine in the winter even at 30 degrees below zero (we’ve all done it), you have the unique advantage of a cabin heater that warms up your ride far faster than it takes an ICE (internal combustion engine) to get warm; you do charge more often but range anxiety is not an issue when the car knows when it needs to charge, knows where the chargers are and will navigate to one as needed for a typical 20-minute stop. 

As an EV owner myself for over three years I have learnt to relax in the knowledge that even if you choose to ignore all the car’s charging suggestions and notifications, it will, in the last resort, limit your highway speed so that you can make it safely to the next charging station. 

The network of chargers has grown exponentially; at a busy stopping point such as Canmore or Kamloops second and third sets of chargers have been installed, so, in our part of the world at least, it is rare that one ever has to wait one’s turn. 

The required infrastructure is already a mature system that is growing to meet growing needs. Tom mentioned other benefits like charging at home, where the extra burden on one’s monthly electricity bill is barely noticed, which makes driving an EV virtually cost-free for most of the year since most of us typically don’t do long highway trips except when going on holiday. 

The majority of trips are around town, where the magic of regenerative braking makes energy consumption virtually the same as when driving the highway. 

On this topic, if you take a trip to Cameron Lake, the long winding drive up from the Waterton townsite uses lots of energy, but you get most of it back when you come back down the road when the motor is now functioning as an alternator — no wonder EVs are the most common type of car in Norway. 

That is just some of the good news, and we have not yet mentioned that because EVs last longer, you can buy one more affordably on monthly payments spread over a longer period than the usual maximum of seven years; nor have we even mentioned the moral imperative of doing all we can to save our planet from the ravages of fossil fuels before it is too late.

 I must squeeze in one last benefit: I have yet to spend any money at all on maintenance apart from for the repair of a flat tire in 2021.

A week before Tom’s letter, a very different one was printed that attempted to discredit all efforts to electrify. It denied that rising  CO2 levels were a problem, actual or potential, on the curious grounds that since CO2 is essential to plant growth, there can be no such thing as too much carbon in the atmosphere. Predictably the letter also dismissed EVs as impractical in a climate such as Alberta’s but presented no first-hand evidence for this notion.

 This should not surprise us, since a person who dismisses EVs is someone who doesn’t own one, who has most likely never driven or ridden in one, and whose opinions are therefore based on the common misconceptions about EVs that have become popular to repeat because being negative is more popular than being affirmative. 

Does that mean that bad news is always based on popular misconceptions? On the contrary, bad news is not always based on misconceptions. When bad news is based on accurate, truthful and balanced analysis of what is wrong, it is always a good thing, especially if you don’t like to hear it. 

The starting-point for solving human problems always has to be a full and frank acknowledgment that there is a problem, and what that problem is. 

That is the first step and a positive one. Measurement of the amount of CO2 in the air is as good a statement of the problem as you can get, especially when it is made in conjunction with observed changes to global climate. It has revealed a problem that is clearly bad news. 

But it is bad news that can spur hope and above all effort to address the problem in every way available to us.

Can EVs ever be bad news then? Well, maybe for some people. It is still true that if you want to drive the Alaska highway you won’t buy an EV. If your needs are for hauling large loads to Winnipeg or Wisconsin you won’t buy an EV, unless it’s an electric semi. 

If you don’t do either of these things but are convinced that at some point in the future you might conceivably want the option of making a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Alaska, pulling a utility trailer, before chargers have come to line the highway, then by all means pay the extra cost, to your budget and to God’s creation, of burning fossil fuels every day of every year to get groceries and get to work — simply to keep your future options open. 

Doing so will add a whole new dimension to the phrase: ‘It’s a no-brainer.’

Timothy Pope

Lethbridge

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Fedup Conservative

Thanks Timothy for proving lies to the Reformers comments about what a disaster EV are. As someone who has spent a lot of time in Europe I know how far behind we are. While in Ireland in 2019 we learned that all taxis in the UK we’re switching to EV and the taxi drivers fully supported it.While in Norway we had our eyes opened with all the EV being used including Snow Mobiles, cold weather wasn’t a problem to them. People were thrilled by what was happening and unlike these Reformers were concerned about Global Warming and trying to do something about their children’s future. Thanks for writing this we certainly agree with you from talking to others who own EV. Isn’t it too bad Danielle Smith and Pierre Poilievre don’t give a damn about the future, the oilmen we know certainly do.

Duane Pendergast

Good points Timothy! It will be interesting to see if the current cost advantage remains after the electricity system is converted to renewable sources backed up and supported by batteries.

buckwheat

Can’t wait to hear how good they are when the battery dies off and you have to replace it or scrap the car as no one will buy it. Already EV’s sales are slumping. I know of one here in the City who traded in an EV in Sept with 24k on it. Went up for 48,000.00. Price has been reduced to 38,500or so and it still sits on the lot. It should be mandated that every time an electric vehicle is charged there should be a 15.00 surcharge to cover off the road tax being avoiding and a 16.00 a tire environmental charge on each tire due to the extra weight. Also, charging should be restricted to charging the vehicle only at charges that are powered by intermittent power such as wind and solar. Go green and mean it. Charging at night or no wind, you won’t go far. Insurance costs will go up as well due to the cost of repairs and the possibility of a fire burning down a home. Going to be a question on insurance applications. Prov Govts are already looking at ways to recover the lost road tax. In short, they survive on subsidies. Good luck.

SophieR

In 15 years, most of the cars on the road will be EVs. The average emissions for electricity in Alberta will be reduced by 70% without anyone freezing in the dark. And bucky will still be compaining.

Fedup Conservative

Without visiting Europe or talking to anyone who has one this genius expert with the big mouth knows everything. It’s not hard to understand why so many people have had with these fools who blindly support these Reformers and don’t care what they are doing to this Province and planet and our children’s future is it?

buckwheat

the CEO of Home Depot has it right. First you need a market, you can’t create one. The EV “market” is shoved with no demand, except for boutique demand and virtue signallers. Try and convince anyone who spends 70K on any vehicle that they bought a dog. Hope all the signallers have to forego charging so the rest of us can live in the comfort we have earned. You know the -30 C stuff.
toyota has news. https://lagradaonline.com/en/toyota-goodbye-electric-cars-new-engine/

going to hydrogen which requires splitting the molecule say from water, which requires energy. Hope the wind blows in Japan, oops nuclear.

Fedup Conservative

So while electric vehicle sales increased by 55% in 2022 over 2021 and there are over 10 million sold you come out with these stupid comments to prove how stupid you really are and we wonder why people state that you’re all mouth and no brains. How much dumber can you make yourself look? Of course you never bothered to research any of your stupid remarks before you spoke them did you?

buckwheat

Yeh no point in refuting facts is there. Ford just cut lightning production in half, Volvo dumping polestar. https://youtu.be/VvpP8v7DCSY. You spew like a braying jackass short on feed.

lumpy

While you just spew.

Fedup Conservative

Well friends in the business point out that because North America is so far behind Europe sales are slower this is what you can expect but when you have Danielle Smith cancelling more green energy production, along with 24,000 jobs and a $33 billion windfall for Albertans we are going to be a lot farther behind. Of course she can do no wrong in your weak mind, right?

lumpy

Oh yes, bucktweet, a fire burning down your home, as opposed to the thing filled with flammable liquid. Your Debbie Downer and crappy spins on all this is a big EYEROLL at you. smh!

buckwheat

And you are a hypocrite. Pat yourself on the back slaver

. https://earth.org/cobalt-mining/

Lethson

This is disinformation. EV batteries are designed to last the life of the vehicle.

lumpy

That’s how Bucktwit rolls…disinformation and garbage.
Cretin.

Lethson

I like the fact that southern Alberta’s solar resources are so good it’s easy to charge an EV emissions-free. It also makes the payback period on a solar installation a short one.

Fedup Conservative

My father was a power plant engineer for 38 years and 60 years ago was promoting solar panels for Southern Alberta knowing how we had some the best hours of sunlight in Canada. He got laughed at with people using the same sort of stupid excuses we see to day, yet friends who believed him put them on their roofs and say that it was the smartest thing they ever did.
Just like modern day TVs the prices will drop on these electric vehicles as soon as the industry gets going properly but with North American so far behind it’s going to take a lot longer. We certainly had our eyes opened in Europe especially in Norway where they have become very popular, but of course they have the wealth from their oil industry that Albertans have given away.

tfpope

I do like this fact as well. Solar is the other shoe I am just about to put on. Eventually it would be very satisfying to install a PowerWall that allows you to charge up your EV at night with the very same solar energy generated during the day.

buckwheat

Dream on virtue signallers. Insurance companies coming for you.

https://youtu.be/7IwL5KrSsk0?si=fJlCSIJIXMpJIhn7

SophieR

It’s telling that you deride ‘virtue’, being a consistent purveyor of ‘ignominy-signals’.



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