The Electric Option

I am troubled by the letters attacking Phil Barnhart’s column about electric vehicles (EW, 12/5). Of course, riding a bike, walking and taking a bus would have a lower ecological and carbon footprint than owning an electric car. But most people are still going to drive cars for a variety of reasons.

One example: Typical parents with two young children who regularly want to hike Spencer Butte, Pisgah or other nearby destinations probably will use a car. Think about it, and you will quickly come up with a plethora of other examples. And, of course, many people have zero interest in substituting biking or walking for the convenience of driving.

Switching to an electric vehicle can be a part of a personal de-carbonization effort. Five years ago, my family moved to Eugene from a rural area, where cars were the only transportation option, with two gas-powered cars. Three years ago we dispensed with one of those cars in favor of a leased electric car, using the electric for local commuting and the remaining gas-powered car for out-of-town trips.

This year, when our lease expired, we acquired a long-range electric car that can we can use for our frequent camping and other excursions, and gave up the other gas-powered car for an electric bike. We also use LTD’s excellent buses.

For those concerned about climate change, I suggest developing a plan for transitioning away from fossil-fuel-powered vehicles. Depending on your transportation needs, electric cars may well be a part of the plan.

Charlie Loeb