Editor:

We appreciate the opportunity to correct the misunderstandings of the letter writer, Jim Hayes. It’s important that the public have accurate information so they can make the right decision when purchasing their next vehicle.

On the matter of the cost to install EV charging, there will be some cases where the electric capacity is limited. We referred to software solutions that allow people to charge without overloading the electrical panel, and in virtually every instance, a simple 120-volt plug will easily fit within the existing capacity. That said, not everyone will be able to install charging equipment. But quite a few can.

The comment about “coal fired” EVs is an old trope originally written by the oil industry to dissuade people from switching to EVs. It has been proven that an EV powered with 100% coal-generated electricity is still cleaner than a gasoline burning car. But Hayes should know that coal energy is virtually nonexistent in California. Less than 10% of California’s electricity comes from coal, and none of that is generated in the state. Further, anyone who want to buy only clean energy can do so through their utility, whether Southern California Edison or Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power. Nobody forces you to use dirty electricity; that’s now a choice.

Lastly, Hayes asks, “Does anybody have a plan to dispose of these or recycle the toxic waste they represent in a decade or so?”

The answer is “yes,” Several battery recycling companies have begun operations, or are under construction. Volumes are still low as the EV batteries last a long time and are then used in stationary storage for solar energy before ultimately being recycled. The most advanced company, Redwood Materials, was started three years ago by the ex-CTO of Tesla, JB Straubel. He reports they are recovering close to 95% of the elements in batteries, and that eventually, all future batteries will be made from recycled content. 

Anything that is manufactured causes harm, but any comprehensive comparison between gas-burning cars and EVs powered by clean electricity shows EVs to be the better choice, by far. Let’s just get the facts straight.

Paul Scott, Zan Dubin Scott