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Letters to the Editor: A car-free L.A. is a dream. Electric vehicles are reality

Tesla electric vehicles are plugged in at a charging station in Santa Monica on Aug. 20.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
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To the editor: Dream as you will, Michael Schneider, about a car-less Los Angeles. But as we all get electric cars, we still need to park the cars where we work and live. We need to park the cars where we shop, and we need to park the cars where we run our errands and enjoy recreation.

And yes, low-income people will have electric cars to take their families where they need to go also, and they will need affordable housing and parking.

Los Angeles is not a pedestrian city, and we are not inclined to walk blocks with our groceries from some public transit depot. And we are not inclined to be required to do our shopping and recreation and worship near where we live.

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Linda Bradshaw Carpenter, Los Angeles

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To the editor: I read Schneider’s article while visiting Granada, Spain. He’s right: Changing an oversized, speeding combustible engine with an electric one isn’t the fix we need.

I’ve never been to Europe before, and I’m shocked: People walk — here, there and everywhere. They are not overweight, even though they eat on the sidewalks until midnight.

It’s the culture, not the engine.

Stan Brown, Victorville

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To the editor: I feel like I am as green as anyone, and I would probably be sympathetic to Schneider’s aims, but I couldn’t get past his second paragraph. It’s misleading, and it’s what you normally see from publications that seemingly try to keep the coal and oil companies in business.

He says that EVs end up spewing roughly 50% of the carbon dioxide that cars with internal combustion engines do. That is an old saw based on driving your car in states with fossil-fueled grids.

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The current number I’ve seen for California is much better than that, and as the grid is powered more by solar and wind, and as there is more time-of-use electric billing, people will use what will soon be excess renewable energy in midday to power their cars.

I have a small motorcycle that gets 75 mpg, and by my calculations, our EV produces less carbon dioxide, assuming it lasts well past 100,000 miles and I pay attention to when I charge it.

Peter Smith, Santa Barbara

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To the editor: Good luck getting people to abandon their cars when the bus and light rail system are both unsafe and unsanitary.

When I was working in downtown L.A. on the night shift, one of my fellow workers took the bus home. One night he had to wait more than two hours for his bus. When it came, it had all its lights on and was accompanied by a police cruiser. Someone had been stabbed on the bus.

Frankly, I’m 85, so I can’t ride Metro’s A Line (formerly the Blue Line) from Long Beach to Los Angeles as I used to.

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True, it is possible to take a bus to the store. It is even possible to board with portable ice chests and bring your ice cream home still frozen. But getting back home when you don’t know how long you’ll be at the store can make for a long wait for the next bus, or a long walk home if the bus doesn’t come.

Until these problems are solved, most people will choose to drive.

Joan DaVanzo, Long Beach

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