A recent guest column was highly critical of electric vehicles and subsidies used to support their adoption. It was written by an individual from a Washington, D.C., think tank, and it made several false or misleading claims which must be corrected.
Electric vehicles are affordable. There are at least eight new plug-in vehicle models available in Minnesota with a base price less than the average new car price in the U.S., available from such diverse manufacturers as Chevrolet, Honda, Kia, Nissan, and Mini.
After purchase, electric vehicles are less expensive to operate than their gasoline-fueled counterparts. As a result, the total cost of ownership is very compelling. There is also a robust market for used plug-in vehicles. Electric vehicles are well within financial reach for many Minnesotans today.
Electric vehicles are better for the environment. Thorough and unbiased studies by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Union of Concerned Scientists and others have shown that the lifetime carbon emissions of plug-in electric vehicles — including both their manufacturing and daily use — are lower than the emissions from gasoline-powered cars. The MIT findings are summarized on an informative, interactive website at www.carboncounter.com.
Electric vehicles are powered by an electric grid which is getting cleaner year after year. Driving an electric vehicle on the average U.S. grid mix today emits less CO2 than a gasoline car. In Minnesota, with abundant and growing wind and solar resources, we can drive electric vehicles on clean, locally generated fuel.
I am one of a large and growing group of Minnesotans who drive plug-in electric vehicles. I do so because it is convenient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly. The next time you see an electric vehicle display at the State Fair, a parade, or a street festival, stop by and have a chat. We’ll be happy to share our honest, local, personal experience with the benefits of driving electric.