Mayor Pam O’Connor’s reticence to incentivize electric vehicles (EVs) with free parking runs counter to my experience as an EV salesman (“Ensuring free parking for EV, low-emission vehicles,” Sept. 6). I’ve sold more than 450 Nissan LEAF electric cars over the past three years and can assure you that the free parking in Santa Monica is a big deal to them.
It’s also a big deal for the economy of Santa Monica. The average internal-combustion car driver spends about $2,000 a year for their fuel. More than 90 percent of that money leaves our city. Those gas stations on the corner suck tens of millions of dollars out of our community every year.
As people switch to using renewable electricity instead of gasoline or diesel, they spend about 20 percent for the electricity compared to what they were spending for gas. This 20 cents on the dollar goes to the local utility and the 80 cents on the dollar stays in the consumer’s pocket. The EV driver can now spend those dollars for local goods and services, generating jobs and keeping that wealth here in our town instead of giving it to the likes of the Koch brothers or some Saudi prince. Our environment gets cleaner and our economy stronger.
Let’s keep the incentives for EVs until we reach parity with the cost of gas cars. It’s good for our community.