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Moving to electric vehicles will save lots of $$$; you in?

It’s hard to keep up with all the fast-moving information on EVs (electric vehicles) and self-driving cars and trucks.

Who has the time? Well, there are a few of us energy nerds around who really follow this area, and most of us happen to also be passionate about fighting climate change. I’m one of those nerds, and my family lets me know when I’ve talked about it too much at dinner time, again.

However, there are reasons to be excited about EVs, specifically how you can save money along with our local governmental agencies and businesses, if you play your cards right.

When considering your next car or truck purchase it’s important to consider TCO (total cost of ownership). Today, a Tesla model 3 is cheaper than an Accord or Camry when you consider the five-year TCO. Also, a Tesla CyberTruck is about $10,000 to $20,000 cheaper than an equivalent FF (fossil fuel) F-150 for the five-year TCO.

EVs require very little maintenance: no oil changes, almost no required service intervals, and brakes almost never. Battery technology has made tremendous strides. In fact, Tesla is working on a EV battery that will last one million miles. Already they have some early EVs with 350,000 miles and only 13% battery capacity loss. I just used Tesla as an example. There will also be an all-electric F-150, GMC, Rivian, Badger, Lordstown Endurance and Bollinger in less than two years, just to name a few.

Cars? There are about 50 all-electric or plug-in electric vehicle models currently, and hundreds of more models hitting the market in the coming two to three years.

VW, GMC, FORD and many others are moving as fast as they can to an all-electrified lineup. They are stopping most of their production of FF cars soon; trucks will be close behind. So, since there’s no economic reason to buy FF cars or trucks anymore, some businesses and government agencies are considering moratoriums on purchases of FF cars and trucks.

I’m a little surprised Mayor Kawakami and/or Kaua‘i County Council hasn’t moved on this yet, but I’m sure they will soon, or it may become a major election issue. I know there have been discussions at KIUC of enacting such a moratorium, and the state is also looking at this for their fleets. The federal government and military can’t be far behind. Then the public won’t be far behind, either. In fact, there was a bill to ban the sale of FF cars and trucks by 2030. Not sure that will pass this year, but might soon.

However, I think once businesses, government agencies and the public get how much money they can save, how fun EVs are to drive, how safe EVs are, good for air quality for their employees and the public, they’ll simply stop buying the FF cars and trucks now and any ban will be moot.

That’s not all. Here’s where it gets really exciting:

RE (renewable energy) continues to get cheaper every year. So, as we add more EV cars, trucks, semis, Matson freight movers and, eventually, ships and planes, demand for power goes up, allowing KIUC to add more RE projects at cheaper rates and bring power cost down for all.

Everyone knows housing is the most-expensive aspect of living in Hawai‘i, but anyone want to guess the second-highest cost? Anyone….Ferris…. Bueller? Yes, transportation. So let’s attack that too by investing in EV charging infrastructure and encouraging more purchases of new and used EVs on Kaua‘i.

The state is considering a $2,500 tax rebate to on new and used EVs, by the way. New FF vehicle sales have been falling worldwide, and EV sales are starting to accelerate. This has been happening for the last two years, and is getting faster.

As a result, new FF car sales are needing more and more incentives to sell, and used FF cars are starting to lose value, and that depreciation will speed up. So please consider these things, as it will affect your finances personally either in a positive or negative way.

This principle is called the “Osborne Effect,” should you want to follow this a little more closely. When consumers understand a new, better product is just around the corner, they will stop buying the old and will wait for the new, better, safer, cheaper, cleaner option.

In closing, I want to encourage you to use this info to personally save money and to help hold our leadership accountable to act. Also, no judgment here, you have to work within the bounds of your personal world. My family still has a mid-sized FF SUV along with our plug-in hybrid, but we are committed to never buying a new FF vehicle again. I encourage you to do the same.


Steve Parsons is a resident of Wailua.

  1. Kauaidoug February 17, 2020 7:22 am Reply

    What about insisting on a changeover for all the rental cars on this island from FF to EV?

  2. Steve Parsons February 17, 2020 10:11 am Reply

    Aloha Kauai Doug. Yes, that’s being looked at and some other “levers”! Mission Zero is a small bi Also, I’m running for KIUC’s Board of Directors. (Ballots go out this week) If you want a Hard-Charging Gulf War Marine Veteran with a Passion for Fighting Climate Change, who will work hard to bring rates down and prioritize cleaner air to breath, please vote for me. Mahalo!!!

    1. truth be known February 18, 2020 4:14 pm Reply

      Steve, since you’re running for KUIC BOD, please take the time to read my comment concerning 4th generation breeder reactors if you are really interested in bringing down our electrical rates. Check out the two references I gave and educate yourself as to the possibilities for this island.

      1. Steve Parsons February 18, 2020 10:36 pm Reply

        Aloha Mr. Awesome,
        Not suggesting a ban as Ev’s are cheaper TCO and will continue to drop in price. Grids get cleaner over time. I’m charging my Ford Cmax (Paid about 24K new after rebates in 2014 and have saved thousands in gas and maintenance!!!) 70% solar, but five years ago maybe 10%. Mining has been cleaned up and there are a ton of major battery breakthroughs that are starting to scale. Just a quick note on Tesla being a little mis-understood and as result, they still have a few haters hanging on. It’s good to know why Elon Musk launched Tesla in the first place. “Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy”, which should be a goal for all of us. Why? Global warming! (Should you need an update/Primer on that please watch HBO’s recent documentary “Ice on Fire” FREE LINK: In addition, Tesla is a great American Business success story. Tesla has pushed the other large automotive makers to move faster on this as well as their Solar Glass Roof 3.0, and there power storage products like the Powerwall 2! So, they should be given some credit for focusing on the solution and helping us all save money. In fact, Tesla’s solar Farm in partnership with KIUC has already saved us all money on our power bills. Lastly, they do a lot of good around the world in places like Puerto Rico and Australia giving them vision and resources for transitioning off FF faster and Cheaper than anyone thought possible. Thanks Tesla!!! Lastly, My name is Steve Parsons, and I’m running for KIUC’s Board of Directors. If you want a Hard-Charging Gulf War Marine Veteran with a Passion for Fighting Climate Change, who will work hard to bring rates down and prioritize cleaner air to breath, please vote for me.

      2. Steve Parsons February 18, 2020 10:37 pm Reply

        Will do, Truth!

  3. Steve Parsons February 17, 2020 10:13 am Reply

    Aloha Kauai Doug. Yes, that’s being looked at and some other “levers”! Mission Zero is locally owned all electric car rental company that’s proving to the world it can be done! Also, I’m running for KIUC’s Board of Directors. (Ballots go out this week) If you want a Hard-Charging Gulf War Marine Veteran with a Passion for Fighting Climate Change, who will work hard to bring rates down and prioritize cleaner air to breath, please vote for me. Mahalo!!!

  4. KimoKane February 17, 2020 10:39 am Reply

    Kauaidoug I thought the same thing.

  5. Justmyopinion February 17, 2020 12:18 pm Reply

    Consider the cost of charging your EV at home.
    And unless you have a PV system at home, how does an EV help the environment?
    And if you do have a PV system at home, you better make sure you have a battery storage system with it so you can charge it at night.

    1. Steve Parsons February 18, 2020 9:18 am Reply

      Hi Just my Opinion, EV’s help the environment by not producing GHG! Went charging in the daytime with KIUC, almost all the power is solar!!!

  6. randy kansas February 17, 2020 12:58 pm Reply

    my issue, is that we would not have room to charge our 3 cars in the driveway or garage; we would be stepping/driving over cables all the time;

    and we do not have the money, to install 2-3 charging stations;


    1. Steve Parsons February 18, 2020 9:20 am Reply

      Wireless may be here soon. Really, like gas fill-ups, you may only need to charge weekly. So, small price to pay to save money and help others? Love your thinking about it!

  7. Sir Richard Pumpaloaf February 17, 2020 1:34 pm Reply

    Sounds good. Were will they plug them in? Or will one fully charged last their entire trip?

    1. Steve Parsons February 18, 2020 9:25 am Reply

      Folks that have garages can charge there and in town to top off while shopping, etc. I’m donating my Stipend pay if elected on KIUC’s Board of directors to help with the installation of EV chargers in rental communities. This will increase property values and provide cleaner air for residents there. Please vote for me Ballots go out this Friday!

  8. truth be known February 17, 2020 2:46 pm Reply

    One thing to think about with the conversion to all EV vehicles. Most all of these vehicles will be charged at night when our solar voltaic system is down, thus relying on battery back-up systems for energy. This will place a greatly increased load requiring many more batteries to supply the demand. If we have several days of low sunlight to recharge the batteries there could be problems as well. I would suggest, rather than spending an inordinate amount of money on extra batteries ($10,000.00 apiece), we look into a small 4th generation breeder reactor to fill in the gap. Yes, I know, “nuclear” scares the hell out of people and justifiably so when it comes to water cooled reactors, but the new 4th generation breeder reactors are small, fool proof and can generate the backup energy we need 24 hours a day at an average cost of 12 cents a kilowatt hour, way lower than what we are paying now. Watch the last 15 minutes of the feature “Into the mind of Bill Gates” to see the progress that’s being made. Also watch “Pandora’s Promise” on U-tube to educate yourself. EVs are the future. We just need to provide them with adequate power to keep them running.

    1. Steve Parsons February 18, 2020 9:28 am Reply

      We can switch our charging habits if it saves us money & Health. Not sure we can get Nuke tech. here, but I love the brainstorming!!!

  9. RG DeSoto February 17, 2020 2:54 pm Reply

    Lot of nonsense & absence of critical thinking, Steve.
    For instance: “As a result, new FF car sales are needing more and more incentives to sell, and used FF cars are starting to lose value…” if that’s true why do you need to first point out that “The state is considering a $2,500 tax rebate to on new and used EVs, by the way.”? The fact is that so-called “sustainable” technology needs taxpayer subsidies in the form of tax credits to sell at all. Just like solar water heating relies on state and fed subsidies…that’s a nice way of saying that taxpayers are really doing the subsidizing.
    You and others may “feel good” about owning and driving EVs, however, all you’re doing is externalizing your imagined and irrelevant contribution to abating “climate change”. Understand? What you’re doing is shifting your “impact” onto KIUC’s power generating facilities which are largely petroleum based. Perhaps it may ease your troubled conscience and bolster your image of yourself, but it makes no difference…
    The greatest single greenhouse gas is water vapor (90+%), not CO2 which comprises only .04% of our atmosphere.
    I’ll leave you with a quote from H.L. Mencken:
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed—and hence clamorous to be led to safety—by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
    RG DeSoto

    1. Hm February 18, 2020 2:44 pm Reply

      Does Soto read what Soto writes or practice what Soto preaches?

  10. Everythingisawesome February 18, 2020 6:39 am Reply

    Mr. Parsons, I applaud your enthusiasm. You must be very pleased with your investment in Tesla. However, it sounds like you are falling into a ‘one size fits all’ trap and are willing to take away people’s liberty by force in your “holy” crusade. The title of your article would lead one to believe that the main selling point of electric cars is that they are less expensive. Have you seen the cars on this island? Most of us cannot afford a $40k ‘investment’ in transportation. Then you spread the false information that electric cars are cleaner than fossil fuel cars. ‘Cleaner’ is all relative. It has been proven that the fossil fuels expended to mine and process materials and build one lithium battery sized for a vehicle exceeds the fossil fuels that a FF based fuel vehicle will use in it’s lifetime. Electricity doesn’t appear out of thin air; you’ve just moved the “pollution” farther away from the tailpipe and everytime you convert energy from one form to another (electrical to chemical and back to electrical) you lose some of the energy.
    I agree, there are benefits to an EV and The islands and some climates are ideal for EVs; lots of sun, not too hot, not too cold. Some have a cool screen that you mesmerize you while “you” drive. You can think to yourself that the people looking at you as you drive by in your $70k golf are thinking, “That person REALLY cares about the environment!” cart.
    There plenty of reasons to buy/use an EV, especially if you have a way of generating your own electricity. But, without taxpayer paid subsidies, saving money isn’t one of them. You’re just stealing from your neighbor.

  11. WestsideResident February 18, 2020 7:43 am Reply

    And have you heard of those donkeys that can fly?

  12. Steve Parsons February 18, 2020 9:35 am Reply

    RG Taypayers give 400Bil to Gas and Oil and I’m not ok with that: Today, KIUC is at about 55% year round RE (Renewable Energy) and heading to 70% in a few years. They are world leaders. I’m running for KIUC’s BOD and Ballots go out Friday!! Please vote for me.

    1. Jjjames February 19, 2020 8:48 pm Reply

      So, when do we “members” reap the benefit of this 55% RE. use? Haven’t seen a decrease in our rates yet!!!

  13. Kalehua February 18, 2020 11:48 am Reply

    These are important ideas and discussions. I’m all for electric cars. However, no matter what kinds of vehicles are on Kaua’i, there are daily gridlock traffic bottlenecks in several areas on the island. We All Know. What we don’t know is How our County is going to resolve this. By approving more development on the east side with Thousands more cars.

    The past 2 days, 2/16 and 2/17 were especially bad in Kapa’a. Holiday weekend or not, it should not take 30 Minutes to go 3 Blocks! Yesterday took me half hour from Whatever’s Thrift Store to Papayas Health Foods. This makes for cranky, impatient and risky driving. And don’t get me started on potholes!! Still a Paradise. Let’s keep it that away.

    1. Steve Parsons February 19, 2020 11:17 am Reply

      Yes, Kalehua! Thank you for those thoughts! Please vote for me for KIUC’s board of directors. Ballots go out Friday! Mahalo!

  14. Steve Parsons February 22, 2020 10:02 am Reply

    Aloha J, Yes, by a lot! Just a few yrs ago we were paying 45 cents a kwh. Now 30-35cents. About 20% Down baby!!! last year alone was 7%. Other, islands have been going up up up. Not to mention all the GH Gases saved. This translates to saved health of folks on Kauai and helps us spend less in the future to combat Sea level rise. Just saying…. Thanks for your question!

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