Electric vehicles not ready for prime time

It seems like a great idea, let’s save gas and run our vehicles on electricity. Although many of us know that the time is not right to switch everyone over to electric vehicles, the U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm set out to prove us wrong.

But her plan backfired.

Her trip proved there were not enough chargers, many chargers take forever to charge a vehicle and many of them don’t work. And these problems will only be compounded as more electric vehicles hit the road unless government officials like Granholm and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg do something to prepare the nation for more of these vehicles.

This is especially scary for over-the-road truck drivers who carry perishable goods and livestock. Unfortunately, nobody ever thinks about this until after they put rules and deadlines in place.

In the meantime, Granholm traveled from Charlotte, N.C., to Memphis, Tenn., to bring attention to the billions of dollars the government is spending to convert U.S. drivers to electric vehicles.

Kudos to her for doing something that would convince many people who oppose electric vehicles, but it’s too bad it didn’t go as planned.

I’m not against electric vehicles but we are not at a point where going all electric is feasible. At this time, these vehicles are too expensive for most Americans, many of the components that go into building the vehicles must be shipped here from other countries, and because they use electricity — most of it from coal — they are far from being able to save the world from climate change. And the main concern I have, being from North Dakota, is how they perform in 30 below zero temperatures? I have heard that a charge doesn’t last as long in cold temperatures as in moderate to warm temperatures.

One person accompanying Granholm on the journey was an NPR staff writer, who reported that at one point in their trip they were worried there would not be enough charging stations in Grovetown, a suburb of Augusta, Ga. To compensate, Granholm had her advance team use a gas-powered vehicle to block one of the working chargers. A family with a baby who were overheating in the hot weather waiting to charge their vehicle called the cops about the gas-powered car blocking the charger.  Not a good look for the energy secretary.

I think electric vehicles work best for those people who just use them to drive to and from work and they plug them in when they get home in the evening.

I currently drive a 2007 Toyota Tacoma — the first brand new car I ever bought — and I will have it until it dies. If it does die, I would consider a hybrid vehicle because it might save me in the long run when gas prices are high.

But I do wonder when electricity prices are going to catch up to the electric vehicle conversion.

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