Letter: EV cars work well for most situations


A recent letter to the editor stated why not an EV. We’ve owned EVs since 2015, Our first EV had a limited 80-mile range, but since I had a short commute that was fine. The car was very quiet, responsive and charged quickly at home (at less $/mile than our hybrid).

When we moved to Whidbey in 2016, we worried about range, but on island it worked well. I would take our EV to work on occasion. I’d get to and from Redmond or my wife to/from Seattle when we needed. Our second EV, a Chevy Bolt, is a great affordable car with a 250 mile range. The range allows us to go from Whidbey to Portland. We have a 10% reduced range in the winter when we run the heater and the battery is a bit sluggish when cold. Gasoline engines get fewer mpg in the cold, so that’s the same reduced range per tank.

When we first got an EV, charging infrastructure was sparse. We charged at home with a Level 1 charger (120V) or at the dealership. It’s gotten better, everywhere except on Whidbey. We upgraded to a Level 2 charger (240V) and that’s served us. Our Kia Niro EV gets about 275 miles on a charge, which works for the travel we do, especially given the plethora of charging stations along I-5 and even at QuickStop type of stores in Canada. For us, PSE had a rebate program that covered our charger and the installation. Nowadays the units are much less to buy and install.

When we started buying EVs, the batteries were made overseas. Today battery plants are coming back to the U.S., partly due to the incentives which reward U.S. built batteries. Partly because U.S. car companies have learned they need to control their battery supply chain.

Everyone should look at what they need their vehicle to do. If you need to travel 300-400 miles every day, then an EV won’t work yet. If you need to travel 100-200 miles everyday, an EV will work fine. For us the EV makes perfect sense. The car has a range that allows us to travel from Whidbey to Vancouver BC or Portland, on a charge, in the winter. The cars are very inexpensive to run and maintain. We have been all EV for six years and can’t imagine going back given all the benefits we see.

David Stenberg