Letters to the Editor: Electric car batteries aren’t perfect, but we need to get off oil now

An electric vehicle is plugged in at a charging station.
An electric vehicle is plugged in at a charging station in Chula Vista, Calif., in March.
(Rob Nikolewski / San Diego Union-Tribune)

To the editor: It is misleading to point out the downsides of battery technology for electric vehicles without seriously considering the downsides of oil too.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 1.3 million gallons of petroleum are spilled into U.S. waters annually, and that is without a major oil spill. Our dependence on oil results in wars over foreign reserves and tailpipe emissions from cars, trucks and buses.

Every technology has an impact, so let’s work on improving electric vehicles to have even less impact on the planet. Just like manufacturers took the lead out of gas and created catalytic converters to emit fewer particulates, electric-vehicle makers should come under stringent mandates to have an even smaller footprint than they do now.


It would be better for the world if The Times did not scare away potential electric-vehicle drivers, since it is obvious that we have to get off gas and oil as fast possible.

Alexandra Paul, Pacific Palisades


To the editor: It seems we never learn. We continue to seek the most complex solutions to every problem because we refuse to accept the alternative.

During lockdown, we worked from home, stayed in a small geographic area and used only the resources we really needed. And we could continue to do so, dramatically cutting the need for personal transportation.

Instead, we return to plumbing resources without really knowing what the long-term effects may be — kind of like when they first started pumping oil out of the ground.

Dawn Halloran, North Hollywood


To the editor: Thank you so much for your thorough coverage of the electric-car dilemma. It outlined in detail the existential crisis of our unintended consequences perfectly.

The exact same article could be written about plastic versus cloth diapers (do we load up the landfills or use all that water to wash?) or snail mail versus email (do we send all that paper to the landfill, or do we use a product that biodegrades when none of our electronics do?).

The list goes on.

What no one seems to want to acknowledge is that the only move we can make that will have no negative effects on the planet is responsible procreation. The impact of every mistake we make as a species trying to save the Earth will be lessened only by having fewer of us making those mistakes — period.

Jennifer Enani, Los Angeles