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Opinion

Readers React: Only an electric car can turn the sun’s energy into mileage

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A battery-electric Nissan Leaf travels in the carpool lane on the 710 Freeway.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: There needs to be a balance in viewing electric cars and their use in Southern California or anywhere. I’ve built and owned electric vehicles for the last eight years, and they have proved to be the best and most economical transportation I have ever experienced. (“Yes, you can drive an electric car easily in California — but do your research first,” letters, Dec. 30.)

First off, you have to research how and where you are going to charge the vehicle. It has to be convenient since you will charge often, and seeking a public site is impractical for daily use. It costs around $1,600 for a charger and installation at home, so figure that into the purchase price of your car.

Why go to all this hassle and expense? Because there is no other vehicle with a lower carbon footprint or the ability to convert the sun’s energy directly into vehicle power. Only an electric car can get its energy directly from the sun. The path for all other fuels requires extraction, processing, transportation and storage, thus adding to their inefficiencies and pollution contributions.

It is time we get serious about stopping climate change, cleaning up our environment and stopping the burning of fossil fuels.

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Philip Chipman, Costa Mesa

The writer is an aerospace engineer and an electric vehicle advisor at UC Irvine.

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To the editor: Having recently purchased a Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle, I can tell your readers that a Tesla is not the only option for drivers who want more distance between charges. The Bolt is rated at more than 200 miles on a full charge.

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Also, I’m finding plenty of charging stations in the area, some of which are free to use. As businesses install more and more of these, it will become even easier to add some mileage while shopping, lunching or just sitting and reading the Los Angeles Times.

Steven Besneatte, Placentia

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