Letter: Electric cars have major drawbacks


During my last years as an electrical engineer with ABB Power Engineering, my assignment was in the Northwest. Mr. Bill Merrill’s letter to the editor, makes some excellent points. There are larger issues with EVs many do not understand.

Unlike the propaganda, electric cars will not save the environment. It takes energy and resources to create the lithium batteries. To support EVs, the country will need a lot more transmission and distribution lines as well as new non-renewable generation.

We live on an island. Some years ago, Puget Sound Energy was forced to provide a second transmission line to the island. They took the cheap route and put our second transmission system side-by-side with the original transmission line. They should have utilized a submersible cable preferably to a Mukilteo area substation from the South End of Whidbey Island. That would have ensured Whidbey had power unless there was a complete power outage all along I-5. As a result, we must plan for long outages of power.

We had a weeklong plus outage on Whidbey after a windstorm. Since power outages like that provide opportunities for looting, we really need to make sure our police department can engage. That is not going to be possible with electric cars connected to a charging station with no electricity available.

There is a cold weather issue. Attainable mileage in an EV drops approximately 20% when the temperature is below 37 degrees. If the passengers also want heat, driving time between charges goes farther down.

The individuals on Whidbey buying EVs do not seem to have a clue as to the vulnerability EVs are for them and their families. Already we are seeing emails and texts from PSE asking residents to reduce power for hot and cold days as a result of all the new distribution loads. (EVs and other electrical appliances directed for us to use).

PSE is not totally to blame. Our state legislators have mandated new power sources must be renewable. The sun does not shine all the time in the Northwest nor does the wind blow.

Legislators providing mandates to implement technology they do not seem to understand is clearly the case in America today. The push for more EVs with debates and tax breaks with no plans to develop additions to the grid system will ultimately result in brownouts and/or blackouts across America.

Terry Sparks

Oak Harbor