Sixth best state
I got an unsolicited email recently that caught my attention, so read it, and I enjoyed the unintended humor within. For some reason, I received an email ostensibly through the Forbes Adviser, a financial site, to which I don’t subscribe. It was the headline that got me. “South Dakota is the sixth most accessible state in America to charge your electric car, new study finds.” I was surprised it wasn’t higher on the list. One thing I learned from the article is that the writer didn’t do her homework. Let’s see. Why would South Dakota be in the top six? Could it be that there are very few electric cars in the state, therefore few charging stations are needed? The article went on to say, “North Dakota is the most accessible state to charge an electric car with the best ratio of registered electric vehicles and charging stations within the state.”
The writer states there is a ratio of 6.83 electric cars per charging station in South Dakota. Apparently, Washington state, New Jersey, and Arizona are the states that have the least accessibility to charging stations. That could be due to the fact that there are more electric cars (and people) in those states than say, North or South Dakota. It’s likely their trips in electric cars are brief, daily commutes. In South Dakota it’s common to live at least 30 miles from a commercial business, thus our trips are planned to wisely use our resources of gas and time.
The writer accessed a Forbes Adviser chart from a study by the U.S. Department of Energy and rewrote it into prose. She must have been paid by the word, considering her repetitions. The headline, “South Dakota is the sixth most accessible state in America to charge your electric car, new study finds,” was followed two sentences later with this statement: “South Dakota is the sixth most accessible state in America to charge an electric car, new research has found.” Wasn’t that what she wrote in the headline?
Further down in her article, she expounds, “South Dakota is the sixth most accessible state in America to charge an electric vehicle with the sixth best ratio of 6.83 registered electric cars to a single charging station as a result of 410 electric vehicles registered in the state and 60 charging points.”
The hallmark of a good, professional writer is being succinct. She missed that mark.
I contacted the writer and we discussed her article, and the facts within. I learned she is based in England, thus she never thought about checking the facts in the chart and asking, “Why?” I explained that South Dakota has a population of 800,000 which explains the low ownership of electric cars.
I fear this is just another example of people doing the least they can to get paid for a job. We are seeing more of this every day. That is, if you can even get someone to come to work at all.
Peggy Sanders is a national award winning columnist and author who can be reached through this email: email@example.com.