Electric cars: another EAC proposal

(The latest in a series of posts relating to the environment, Bethlehem’s Climate Action Plan, and Bethlehem’s Environmental Advisory Council)

“There is no reason why good cannot triumph as often as evil.
The triumph of anything is a matter of organization.”
(Kurt Vonnegut)

Gadfly’s been haunting the Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) for many moons.

Lots of good things percolating out of this citizen bunch chaired by Lynn Rothman, with members Elizabeth Behrend, Elisabeth Cichonski, (ubiquitous) Kathy Fox, Brian Hillard, and Mike Topping — in addition to a cluster of regular attendees known for their environmental knowledge and activism — and Councilman Reynolds often present as well.

Think EAC and think Climate Action Plan and the proposed plastic bag ordinance, and, as Gadfly reported not long ago, the EAC weighed in on the proposed Martin Tower site design.

(The EAC meets tonight, actually – 7PM at Illick’s Mill, with a presentation by Lehigh University graduate students on “Sustainability impact assessment on the future closure of Packer Avenue on Lehigh’s campus.” Yikes, remember the question Gadfly asked the candidates for Council last week????? Serendipability at work).

Inspired by EAC missionarying, Gadfly looked into solar heating. But that turned out not to be right for him. Damnation.

But Gadfly is close to needing a new car. Should he look into electric? He wishes someone would take him by the hand and walk him through the thought process and the economic and practical considerations of electric cars. He’s hoping the EAC will produce a decision-making guide aimed at people, like him, a little slow in technical and financial matters.

But EAC’s Brian Hillard has been doing some powerful producing aimed at helping the City think about electric vehicles for its fleet or certain parts of it.

Recently the EAC submitted Brian’s “cost analysis of electric vehicles versus gasoline vehicles for municipal operations.”

Take a look: EAC.Electric Vehicle.Cost.Analysis

Here are a few pertinent passages:

  • As Bethlehem strives to push forward with the Climate Action Plan, integration of electric vehicles into the fleet could be a key component to reducing emissions, while demonstrating to the public both the benefits of electric vehicles and the City’s commitment to sustainability.
  • Based on the most current and trusted information available, the five-year cost of integrating an electric vehicle is nearly identical to that of vehicles being used today. As the City of Bethlehem pushes forward with its Climate Action Plan, there will be many decisions to make as to how to reduce emissions while providing for its residents and maintaining government services. While many of these decisions could require tough decisions in regard to cost and practicality, the decision to integrate EVs into the municipal fleet should not be one. As demonstrated, the cost comparison is very favorable, especially with respect to unmeasured efficiency gains. In addition, there have been numerous assessments as to how air pollution can negatively affect children’s neurological development20, so there are considerable benefits that lie outside the scope of this assessment.
  • The City of Bethlehem has a history of providing its residents with a healthy and vibrant community, including environmental stewardship, which enhances our quality of life. In considering the integration of electric vehicles into its fleet, Bethlehem shall continue to exemplify what climate action planning means.

Pretty much break even and be a good steward as well. Can’t beat that!

Brian also made recent presentations to City Council and to the Bethlehem Parking Authority that Gadfly will report on later.

Your non-tax dollars at work

It’s Thursday, May 2, do you know where your local Climate Action Plan is?

One thought on “Electric cars: another EAC proposal

  1. What a silly comparison! A 4WD sport utility vehicle versus a Chevy Bolt? Two very different kinds of vehicles with very different applications. Compare that Chevy Bolt against a similar vehicle, say, a Toyota Prius (hybrid) which gets 52 MPG for a total annual fuel cost of $550. And costs thousands less than a Bolt – even when fully loaded. And the Prius has a 590 mile range between refuelings. Research is not appropriate when done by anecdote using extreme examples. Compare electric vehicles against a variety of vehicles with similar applications.

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