Letter writer: You can charge your electric vehicles for free

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Kudos to Sarah Gilliam and her colleagues at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy for installing a public, solar-powered, electric-vehicle charging station at 46 Orchard St. [“Asheville Drivers Go Electric,” Sept. 14, Xpress].  But she forgot to mention one vital fact: There’s no charge to charge there!

EVs use so little energy that even profit-driven businesses like Ingles, Earth Fare and Whole Foods can give the juice away for free, just to attract customers into their stores. Imagine how quickly they’d go bankrupt if they gave away gasoline.

And then, imagine a day when we stop sending billions of dollars to people with names like Bin Laden; when we bring our patriotic sons and daughters home from the Middle East, alive and unharmed, once and for all. Thanks to SACE (cleanenergy.org) and the Blue Ridge EV Club (blueridgeevclub.com) for lighting the way.

— Dave Erb


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32 thoughts on “Letter writer: You can charge your electric vehicles for free

  1. boatrocker

    I agree, what a great idea.
    But…..can you say “kicking and screaming” on the part of the fossil fuel industry?
    We actually have loons who post here who are convinced that oil is an infinite resource.

  2. Negrodamus

    In all of the times that I’ve been to Whole Foods, I’ve never seen a vehicle parked at their two charging stations. If it’s not happening in Asheville, where’s it going to happen?

    • Lulz

      It never will. LOL, just look at the garbage that’s placed on the curb, especially moveouts from renters.

      • bsummers

        just look at the garbage that’s placed on the curb

        As everyone knows, LOL, this is the crucial measure of whether electric cars will take root and supplant the infernal combustion engine.

        • Lulz

          LOL, as everyone except you and your friends realize, that will never happen. Simply because the batteries are toxic and also super expensive to replace. On top of needing hours to recharge, You gonna travel long distance on batteries?

          As for the comment above, Asheville is simply a joke on itself. Why they pretend to be every lefty loony cause under the sun except when it actually impacts them. The the hypocrisy sets in. And that includes being the biggest polluters, the most vile, violent, and loudmouth bigots and hate mongers, the biggest snobs, the most materialistic and in general the most pretentious elitist buffoons around. For example, your bestest female friend around Gordon Smith claiming to care about hunger while being photographed in Greenlife. That in itself defines the typical Asheville moron in a nutshell.

          • Negrodamus

            I think we have to give our progressive friends credit. IMO they’re simply trying to maximize efficient use of available resources. Such resourcefulness has made them the champions of double standards (can’t beat two-for-one!), experts at virtue signaling and engaging in symbolic gestures (maximum image gain for least personal cost), and astonishing flex-moralists who, on one hand, condemn Republican warmongers, while on the other hand embracing a Democrat presidential candidate whose war policy is out of the Cheney/McCain playbook, and whose campaign the Bushes endorse!

          • bsummers

            I get it. You guys really really hate people on the left, and will search for any plausible reason to shoot down anything constructive we try to do. Got it.

  3. clayton moore

    When Henry Ford was having to decide whether to make his F.O.R.D.s run on ethanol or gasoline JD Rockefeller said “I can get you all the oil and gas you need.” Gas it was!
    So, thanks to this fateful moment we have devastated the Middle East, polluted our own country, put lead into our milk and water from leaded gas.
    All for the pursuit of oil.
    At least we got lead out of the gas supply.
    When we ran out of gas from the recent pipeline break I noticed drivers going slower and saw no one sitting in the store parking lots with engines idling and phones a blabbing.
    Now with infinite gas again speeders and idling blabbers are back.
    Short memories.

    • Lulz

      LOL, the north Asheville morons were downright hostile. Funny how that happens. One sec they’re all nicey nicey and the next, ready to run you over for gas.

      • Negrodamus

        Maybe the hybrid owners were pissed at all of the ignorant peons who bought cars that only get 40 miles per gallon instead 50-mile-per-gallon hybrids. They have right to feel smug because it takes a real genius to buy a car that saves you 10mpg over 5-7 years, when it only costs $4000 (or so) to replace hybrid batteries in the same period of time. At 12,000 miles per year for 7 years, that’s a savings of 420 gallons. Do the math. 420 x $2.40 = $1008! What fool would want to pay an extra $1008 in cost for owning a 40 mpg gas guzzler, compared to $2992 ($4000 – $1008) for owning a 50-mpg hybrid?

        • The Real World

          LOL, oh now Negrodamus, don’t be introducing ridiculous things like FACTS into the consideration of anything. Those are totally annoying and they just hate it when you do that! As bsummers verifies above….on cue.

          You, the messenger, will be shot so the dream can remain. (Apparently that crowd never rec’d the memo that dreams and reality aren’t one in the same)

          • bsummers

            Those are totally annoying and they just hate it when you do that! As bsummers verifies above

            “FACTS”? You mean conflating completely unrelated things like “liberals are stoopid with their trash, therefor ipso facto, the electric car will never work. Derp.”?

            Yes, that is totally annoying – making absurd insults and then insisting it’s some knockout logical victory. But, you Anonymous Sockpuppets have to say something in order to feel like you’re winning…

          • The Real World

            Here are some ‘trash talking’ facts:
            A list of MSRP battery cost details for the various hybrid Toyota models offered since 2001.

            2001-2003 Toyota Prius (1st generation) – $3,649
            2004-2009 Toyota Prius (2nd generation) – $3,939
            2010-2011 Toyota Prius (3rd generation) – $4.080
            2012-2015 Toyota Prius Liftback – $3,939
            2012-2016 Toyota Prius V – $3,939
            2012-2016 Toyota Prius C – $3,807
            2007-2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid – $4,892
            2012-2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid – $4,892
            2013-2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid – $4,892
            2006-2010 Toyota Highlander Hybrid – $6,198
            2011-2015 Toyota Highlander Hybrid – $6,353

            And from many owner comments to articles online about hybrid cars — they seem taken aback that this key replacement & BIG added cost might be part of their ownership. Surprise! Damn, those trashy facts are soooo irritating.

        • Boone Guyton

          Batteries can usually be refurbished at much less money or bought used from junkyards. We had a Prius that went 150,000 miles and the battery was still good when we sold it. Batteries are getting better and cheaper. The normal 12V lead acid car battery is the most recycled consumer good in the world. The lithium Ion batteries often can be refurbished and can also be repurposed as energy storage for home systems or the electric grid. There is an energy storage plant in Germany just going online that is doing just that with old BMW electric car batteries.

    • boatrocker

      In high school I saw a weird made for TV movie on cable that I remember to this day.
      It was called “The Water Engine”, about a guy in the early 1900’s who invents an engine that runs on water
      (yea, I know the premise is ridiculous, but bear with me).

      The first 5 minutes of the movie the inventor of said engine is so happy that he can change the world.
      The rest of the move is him running down alleyways to escape Henry Ford’s goons with guns.
      Disappointing as a movie, but still pretty risque for the Reagan years.

    • boatrocker

      Ask the guy who flew around the world in a plane powered by that bright thing in the sky.
      Ask Hawaii, whose tidal power generator just came online.
      Ask any 5th grader with a potato/lemon, two wires and a clock.

      • boatrocker

        As I’m feeling the Socratic Method today, I’d ask:

        Do you like breathing clean air?
        Do you like not having wars for oil and sacrificing your sons for them?
        Would you miss people losing their #$%@ at the gas pumps for gas shortages when a pipeline breaks?

        Batteries- yes, everyone bemoans them for taking energy to make and them not being as efficient as they could be.
        Let the Almighty Free Market decide who makes $ from a clean, affordable and efficient battery.

        It reminds me of ‘Murica in its youth who questioned the cotton gin vs. good ol fashioned slave labor, steam power over good ol fashioned horses and the idea that man was not meant to fly as he didn’t have wings.

        Gosh, maybe we could even make such efficient batteries at home, and the CEO’s of said companies that did wouldn’t have an excuse to not pay taxes (corporate welfare, the worst kind) and hide their wealth in the Cayman Islands!

      • Doesn’t the most plentiful, reliable and affordable electricity come from coal-fired power plants? Gee. If we all drove electric cars, it seems like we would need a lot more fossil fuel power plants.

        Or a buttload more potatos, wires and clocks.

        • Boone Guyton

          Coal is fading as the fuel of choice even for the likes of Duke. Natural gas is now cheaper but is still a fossil fuel and comes from fracking. Solar and wind are competitive and still dropping in price. Without subsidies to the fossil fuel industry and with accounting for environmental and health costs fossil fuels for generating electricity would not be competitive. In our own local grid we are getting more and more solar power. If you charge at night it still comes from coal right now unless you have your own solar system with battery back up. The way the grid works is changing fast. It is moving from a centralized one way provider to a internet of energy coming and going , buying and selling. As it gets more sophisticated it can incorporate a variety of fuels from multiple sources and individuals can become more independent as prices drop. Here is an optimist talking about the future of electricity and electric cars- https://www.greenbiz.com/video/ramez-naam-radical-planetary-optimism

  4. bsummers

    Of course, missing from this issue is any mention of mass transit. If we had a sane political system, we would have cheap, reliable, convenient mass transit both within and between cities. Imagine the roadways clear of traffic except for those who had some real compelling need to drive. But the auto makers, the oil companies, and their partners the Saudis, have convinced us that the only way to be a real ‘Merkin is to drive the biggest thing you can afford, whether you can afford it or not.

    When the price of gas spiked in 2007, I started riding my bike to work. I stopped at a convenience store for a drink, and a guy in line was bitching about the price of gas. He said, “And I thought we were going to get all this cheap gas when we invaded Iraq. They better invade somewhere else & get it right this time.” He was not joking.

  5. The Real World

    “have cheap, reliable, convenient mass transit both within and between cities.”

    The reliable is fairly doable and so is the convenient as long as you’re talking about a population-condensed metro like Boston, NYC, Philly, Wash DC, Chicago. And they all have well-developed systems that are widely used.

    In the sprawling cities, like Atlanta, LA, Denver, Dallas, etc it is cost-prohibitive and impractical to provide it to the majority of residents. Most MARTA train riders in Atlanta have to drive to a station first. Which is fine if their final destination is near a station, then they’ll walk the block or two to their office or whatever. Problem is, in many cases, it would 5 or more LONG city blocks (think 4X a downtown AVL block) at the destination stop and most aren’t going to do that. Rain, sweltering summers, etc….it’s not going to happen. Until the populations condense further in some of these cities the mass transit options won’t expand much.

    The cheap part is an oxymoron related to public transit. Most are subsidized at the state and/or federal level. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/brookings-now/2015/06/03/the-10-u-s-metro-rail-systems-that-lose-the-most-money-per-passenger/

    • bsummers

      And the cost of gasoline for private auto use is not subsidized? Get real, “The Real World” (if that is your real name.)

      “A 2011 study… estimated the total historical federal subsidies for various energy sources over the years 1950–2010. The study found that oil, natural gas, and coal received $369 billion, $121 billion, and $104 billion (2010 dollars), respectively, or 70% of total energy subsidies over that period.”

      And I’d be willing to bet that those subsidies do not include the cost of foreign wars propelled by the desire to control the flow of oil (trillions and climbing), or the State Dept., Defense Dept., and national intelligence budgets that can be traced to protecting US access to foreign oil.

      If we weren’t mortgaging our future to keep the Saudis and a handful of American traitors swimming in our money, we could fund a massive national infrastructure program to ween us off foreign oil. That would move your mass-transit minutia into the “what happened to the dinosaur” file, where it belongs.

  6. The Real World

    I agree and concur with most of what you said. If you were to also say, “let’s price a gallon of gas to the consumer without any federal subsidy”, I would agree with that too. Because at $5 or 6 bucks a gallon people would learn to drive more efficiently (combine errands and outings), they’d walk or bike more (health benefits!), more bus service could be launched because the demand would be there to support it and people would stop buying those God-awful giant tank SUV’s. All positives.

    But, your last sentence just means you aren’t familiar with (nor open-minded to understanding) the specific aspects and realities of various geographies.

    • Lulz

      You’re thinking that the US controls the price of crude. It doesn’t. Nor will gas rise if subsidies are taken away. 121 billion over 60 years is not that much. The government pays more than that every year to subsidize illegals who do more damage to the nation.

    • boatrocker

      Hell yeah I agree with Real World’s 1st paragraph above. Pricier gas means we’ll stop wasting it and consider our driving habits, but who are we kidding in a town like Asheville?

      Tourism from outta town demands that they fill up and drive to get here, so pricier gas will of course mean (ahhhh!) less tourism $ and the need for actual local businesses to get us through the lean winter months.

      What I’m getting at is that I’ll believe it when I see it.

      Real World’s last paragraph, however, is stylistically indicative of a belief that every single poster here had no clue
      what they were talking about before he showed up to teach us open mindedness and understanding.
      On the part of every other poster, we thank you.

  7. boatrocker

    Ok, I admit it. You all are right.

    Curse you far righty Woodward and Bernsteins! We would have gotten away with it f not for your ace Internet surfing!
    It’s been a cover up and a conspiracy all along.

    Hillary created the hole in the ozone and every gas crisis for a distraction from Benghazi.
    She also launched the Battle of Hastings, the Mongol hordes and killed all the dinosaurs.

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