Electric vehicles fight climate change, save money

What do tailpipes and cigarettes have in common? More than you think….

The easy answer here is: Pollution that comes from burning fossil fuels, like from cars, trucks and fossil-fuel power generation, causes lung cancer, heart attacks, childhood asthma, dementia, psychosis, diabetes, childhood leukemia, brain tumors, learning challenges, renal failure, Alzheimer’s disease, fetal-development problems, higher bone fracture risk, lower sperm quality, etc.

Does that sound like some of the side effects from cigarettes? I mentioned that this is the easy part of the comparison. Now, here’s “The Rest of the Story.” Anyone remember that radio guy Paul Havey and his “The Rest of the Story” segments? He’d tell a semi-interesting story and then hit you with something you were not expecting. OK, most of us understand all the years and misinformation/lies from Big Tobacco, right!?! Furthermore, how over time the truth came out that cigarettes did cause lung cancer and a ton of other health issues.

Here’s the CRAZY part. Big Tobacco hired a few scientists: Frederick Seitz, Robert Jastrow and William Nierenberg, to testify to Congress and fabricate “junk-kine” science reports that there was no link to tobacco and cancer. Very well documented in the book “Merchants of Doubt.”

Most of us can easily understand the coverup and the harm Big Tobacco did to people in its denial and in hiring “experts” to bolster their lies and further harm people by casting FUD: (Fear, Uncertainly and Doubt)! Harming people here on Kaua‘i. OK, that’s interesting, Steve, but is THAT the “Rest of the Story”!?!

NO! The CRAZY part is…. Wait for it…. The fossil-fuel industry not only took a page out of Big Tobacco’s play book, THEY HIRED THE SAME THREE GUYS TO SPREAD FUD. Again, well documented in “Cranky Uncle VS. Climate Change.”

And the fossil-fuel industry continues that today. I’m not OK with that, are you? So, what are we to do here in Hawai‘i?

So, glad you asked! Just bringing up your awareness helps a lot. Maybe you can think about not idling your car or truck so much, especially when you’re around others, especially keiki and kupuna.

Another great solution that can also save YOU some MONEY, is found in EVs (Electric Vehicles). Today, EVs are cheaper than FFV (Fossil Fuel Vehicles) when you consider the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership). Soon, less than three years, EVs will be cheaper to purchase, and soon after that it will be cheaper to convert your current car to EV than maintain your old FFV.

By the way, converting FFV to EVs is happening a lot in parts of Africa, where it’s a whole lot cheaper to drive EVs than FFV. That’s some serious good news! It will save us and our local governments hundreds of thousands of dollars. For example, the CEO of Ford recently said their new all-EV F-150 will be their most powerful F-150 yet AND will save fleet owners 40% on their TCO! So, why would anyone buy a brand new FFV when EVs are cheaper, faster, almost 10x safer, and mo fun to drive!?! You, me, KIUC, lifeguards, and the County of Kaua‘i should not be spending any money on brand new FFV. Especially in light of the fact that climate change is currently kicking our okole big time! For example, there was a great recent article in The Garden Island newspaper: The stones are falling, describing the loss of beach and parking lot at Wailua Beach due to sea-level rise. If you’re concerned about climate change TAKING our coast and beaches away from the next generation, this is a great way to fight AND save $$$. And that is the rest of the story. Now you know, so PLEASE consider what you can personally do in the fight!

Mahalo nui loa, onward and imua.


Steve Parsons is a resident of Wailua.

  1. Mowerman61 October 25, 2020 7:56 am Reply

    I don’t see any mention in your editorial about the costs to produce the batteries and the other exotic components in the EVs. There are also costs to dispose of these materials that everyone forgets. Additionally, how many plastic parts are in EVs that are produced from petroleum?

    1. Steve Parsons October 26, 2020 8:22 am Reply

      Aloha Mowerman, How about the cost to move the highway? No one is forgetting the disposable issue, they are solving it! New EV’s are going 400-500k miles before needing significant repairs, soon GM and Tesla will have a bat that last over 1mil miles before repair. Many alternatives to plastics hitting the market too. Please be care about spreading FUD if you don’t know for sure. Tons of EV mowers and yard equip. too if that’s your gig and save you money & healthier work environment for you and your customers. Mahalo!

      1. billyjoebob October 27, 2020 1:24 pm Reply

        Steve, not really sure battery life is measured in miles.
        True there are no emissions coming out the tailpipe, the EV is far from the answer to many issues. A lot of the materials are still finite. With population the way it is, and is going, EV’s are still cars and congestion will still be a problem. Not to mention waste. A lot of things are recyclable but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t end up as trash/litter.

  2. nothings free October 25, 2020 9:53 am Reply

    There is no free lunch! Electric vehicles will make us pay a high pollution price as well! According to Bloomberg research the EV battery creates more pollution than the Electric Vehicles eliminate by switching from gas. Making these batteries creates a huge amount of pollution. In fact, as of now, the manufacturing of the Lithium-ion batteries creates more CO2 emissions than from making an equivalent gas-powered vehicle! The public does not realize the sheer danger of these batteries! What happens in 15 years when all the Tesla, Ford, Chevy, etc. electric batteries die off at the same time and need to be discarded in a dumping area. The batteries, and the horrible chemicals they contain, may be the most polluting chemical agents on earth. Will that pollution be more destructive than our current catalytic converter cleaned gas driven CO2 emissions? For now, to know that all we can do is flip a coin.

    1. Steve Parsons October 26, 2020 8:34 am Reply

      Aloha Nothings, There’s so much FUD in your comments, I suspect you are a bot or paid troll to spread FUD, are you? I’m told 25% of online post are bots these days. If your not, you sure are helping the FFI (Fossil Fuel Industry) please do a little serous research before posting. EV’s get cleaner over time as the grid gets cleaner. I plug-in, mostly during the day when we are at 100% renewable here on Kauai. We will be close to 70% year round renewable. Most EV manufactures are close to 100% recyclable and many alternatives to cobalt are hitting the market. Some EV batteries will be Cobalt free this year. You know FFI is subsidized way more than electric, correct. When we stop subsidizing the FFI EV’s will be Cheaper and no-one will buy ICE anymore except the rich. 3-5 yrs ICE dies just dies, because it’s TOO expensive especially when you consider Climate Mitigation costs.

  3. Colin McCleod October 25, 2020 11:27 am Reply

    EVs are feel-good only. In short, EV owners are simply exporting their CO2 to the utility companies….you know, out of sight out of mind & not my fault. The irony is that CO2 is not a pollutant or an important element of any climate change. In fact this is provable by simple mathematics and real scientific observation:
    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/10/chuck-wikman/r-is-the-rock-that-shatters-the-greenhouse-effect/ See if you can disprove this.
    So quit wringing your hands and pretending you’re making some contribution to mankind by driving an EV. If you want to that’s fine & your business. But enough with the fallacious reasoning.
    Colin McCleod

  4. Steve Parsons October 26, 2020 8:39 am Reply

    Colin The Bot OR you have a BAD case of confirmation bias! If you can disprove 97% scientist worldwide, you are rich and famous. Please publish! You FUD promotion is astonishing!!!! Please stop, there are other ways to make money. Mahalo!

  5. WOH October 26, 2020 11:23 am Reply

    I agree with the good points made against EV’s. In the islands performance is less an issue than on the mainland. Cold kills batteries and therefore miles per charge both from using the heater and reduced efficiency. In the heat AC is a drag on batteries and reduces miles per charge. Recharges take 45 minutes versus 5 for FFV’s. Quick charges recharge to well less than 100%. Home recharge units can be costly and a problem for those who live in an apartment. Check out Eric Peters Auto for more info on all things automotive and more.

    1. WHOA October 27, 2020 5:13 pm Reply

      If it’s isn’t the right solution for your particular set of circumstances, ok, fine. If you don’t seriously consider electric alternatives at this point you are probably just throwing away your money.

  6. MisterM October 26, 2020 9:16 pm Reply

    Steve, the FUDsters aren’t interested. EVs = ‘socialism, libtards and coastal elites’, so arguing with such willfull stupidity is a waste of time. (I disagree that the commenters are paid trolls – they’ve been fed this nonsense for years and believe it – Hitler was right with his Big Lie theory famously put forth in Mein Kampf: “the use of a lie so “colossal” that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously”. It’s the bedrock of conservative propaganda/media.

    As such, the notion that they are worried about recycling/pollution (and not a collapse in oil demand) is hilariously cynical and pathetic, but not surprising!

    That said, reality is EVs are still too expensive (despite your full cost of ownership argument, most calcs I’ve looked at assume very rosy scenarios and include big purchase/charging subsidies or very low-cost electricity).

    However, as you are aware, prices are dropping and soon an avalanche of EVs will be hitting the market and driving down costs – most manufacturers will sell a majority of their vehicles as EVs within a decade. When it happens (not if it happens), eventually the trolls will find something else equally ridiculous to rail about. What has to happen to finally change the topic is for blue collar “real American patriots’ pulling up to the jobsites and embarassing their pal’s jacked-up Duramax. Then the smirks will disappear and opinions will change. It’s coming. And faster than these dinosaurs realize…

  7. Steve Parsons October 27, 2020 9:21 am Reply

    Aloha Woh, Since the new batteries and EV motors are going 300-500K Miles before needing serious maint. So, EV cost about half of ICE. Smart money is not buying any new FFV. Fast charging standard is coming along nicely, and 50% of Hawaii Beaches will be GONE In the next 30 years. EVs slow this. How much does it cost to relocate Waikiki!?! We will need to do that. Mahalo!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.