This is a remarkably well written op-ed by Denis Hayes and Steve Marshall on a little discussed aspect of the economic case for EVs. I strongly recommend you read and pass it along.
This post is essentially an open letter to Washington Gov., Chris Gregoire, asking her to enact a simple plan that will hasten the adoption of plug-in cars. I want you to forward this to your respective governors since the concept is relevant to all 50 states.
Essentially, Hayes and Marshall propose that Gov. Gregoire enact a moratorium on the purchase of new fleet vehicles. Just keep the three-year-old cars a bit longer. This would save several million dollars the first year alone. Then, when the Leaf and Volt enter the market, Hayes and Marshall want the state to buy as many as possible for their fleets with the saved funds, ensuring a strong demand from the start. In other words, "No Plug, No Deal" on a statewide scale!
How to pay for it?
The Washington State Transportation Commission estimates $16 billion leaves the state each year for foreign oil. Every person who fills a tank with gas or diesel sends over 60% of his or her money out of the country. Additionally, the Washington taxpayers spend tens of millions of their money to fuel the state fleet.
This is important because, for every EV that replaces a gas burner, the money spent for the energy to move it stays local - $16 billion dollars in the case of Washington. Imagine what it is for California? For the whole country?
With each plug-in car that's sold, the spigot of money that's going full blast to the oil companies right now, will gradually close, until decades from now, it's shut off entirely. All those billions of dollars that had been lining the pockets and robes of the most evil people on earth - and I don't make that statement lightly - will instead be staying in our own pockets, with a little going to the utilities.
And if you buy or lease a solar system, you can even pay yourself the profit you would be giving the utilities.
What Gov. Gregoire could do on a state level could easily be done across the country. Make no mistake, the economic benefits to us as individuals, and to us as a nation, are massive.
BTW, as I write this, I'm listening to a great promo for the Nissan Leaf on one of my local NPR stations, KPCC. I've been reading and hearing promos for the Volt, too. The media hits for EVs are coming faster and faster. Pretty soon, they'll be all over television.
"Steve Marshall is one of the co-authors of “Plug-in Electric Vehicles” (Brookings Institution Press) and a senior fellow at the Cascadia Center. Denis Hayes, longtime environmental leader and the national coordinator of the first Earth Day in 1970, is President of the Bullitt Foundation."