Hidden costs raise price of EVs

The current forced rush in California to develop electric cars ignores not only practicality, but also facts (``Tomorrow's Adults Have Mixed Views on Electric Cars,'' May 24). Chief among them is the enormous draw on power plants (many of which still burn coal) that these vehicles would require for recharging. The environmentalists who derisively term electric cars ``elsewhere emissions vehicles'' underscore the problem: While no emissions come out of an electric car's tailpipe, they do come out of a utility plant's smokestack in someone else's neighborhood. Also, not many drivers want to be saddled with a vehicle that can only travel a maximum of 100 miles per eight-hour charge. That is, if you can afford the vehicle's projected price range of $30,000 to $125,000.

American consumers don't need to grapple with costs like that. Drivers can enjoy the long-range mobility and cleaner air brought about by the auto and oil industries' high-tech vehicles and fuels. With cleaner-burning, reformulated gasolines coming into the marketplace next year, new-car tailpipe emissions are projected to be, by the end of this decade, 99 percent lower than those of the 1970s. Beyond the year 2000, electric cars will be able to travel more than 300 miles on a fill-up, so drivers won't have to worry about finding a recharging station in the middle of the night on the open range. Arthur Weise, Washington

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