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Yes, you can drive an electric car easily in California — but do your research first

Yes, you can drive an electric car easily in California — but do your research first
A battery-electric Nissan Leaf travels in the carpool lane on the 710 Freeway. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Los Angeles Times auto reporter Charles Fleming should know better. (“My kingdom for a charging station: one electric-vehicle driver’s frustrating search,” Dec. 26)

He has experience with electric cars, so surely he knows you must have access to electricity in order to charge an EV, yet he takes possession of a new Jaguar I-Pace without the Level 1 charge cord, precluding him from charging at home. He then tries to find public charging stations evidently without using the Plugshare smartphone app, something almost every EV owner uses.

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Fleming should write a positive story about EVs. For instance, Californians who live in apartments and condos have the legal right to install a charge station so long as they have a dedicated parking space. Rent-control units used to be excluded from these laws until Assembly Bill 1796 passed this summer. Starting Jan. 1, half a million rent-control units will be able to install chargers, allowing them to switch to EVs.

That’s valuable information that will increase EV adoption.

Paul Scott, Santa Monica

The writer is co-founder of the electric vehicle advocacy group Plug-In America.

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To the editor: Fleming’s article mirrors my own experience with a battery-electric car.

After a month driving a Tesla, I was only too pleased to see the back of it. To be clear, the car is great, but the hassle of finding somewhere to charge it around the Palos Verdes Peninsula was just not worth the hassle.

On the other hand, I did drive a hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered car for four years, and although there were very few fueling stations, the four-minute fill-up time never made it a hassle. Even if you were third in line, you knew you were only six or seven minutes away from a full tank, a wait that vanishes into insignificance in L.A. driving.

Ian Sanderson, Rancho Palos Verdes

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To the editor: Fleming had a new Jaguar I-Pace to test-drive for a week, but he did not have Level 2 charging capability at home, and his car did not come with even the basic 120-volt plug.

By the way, 120 volts gives you about 30 miles of range on an overnight charge. Who would spend more than $70,000 for an electric Jaguar without first determining where the car would be refueled?

Until all manufacturers come up to speed and provide a true quick-charging infrastructure like Tesla, or have an agreement to share Tesla’s chargers while building their own stations, people who want an electric car have just another reason to buy a Tesla if they plan on taking longer drives.

Dennis Arntz, Laguna Niguel

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