Letters to the Editor: May 17 – 23, 2018
Electric Vehicle Ownership Should Be Higher in F.C.
At the beginning of 2018, only 0.3 percent of all registered registered vehicles in the City were electric vehicles (EV) and only 7 percent were hybrid vehicles (DMV data).
Given our community’s interest in clean energy, clean air, and technology advancements, and the City’s optimal EV conditions — like a relatively short commute length, access to cheap electricity, and high per capita income — EV ownership should be among the highest in the country — yet there are only 33.
Here locally, our City Council and local business owners could take relatively simple steps to encourage EV ownership or leases by:
1) Increasing the number of public and workplace EV chargers: After a quick online search, I found very few publicly-accessible chargers located around the City. Almost all are located on the fringes near Seven Corners, Arlington, or the Mosaic District. Business owners could install chargers for the public, or have dedicated chargers for employees.
We could also easily install chargers on City-owned property during construction projects for the new high school, City Hall and library.
2) Establishing a bulk purchase program for home and/or public EV chargers in the City: Similar to Solarize Falls Church, we could initiate a group buying process for chargers.
3) Amending new home and commercial building codes: An alteration to the residential and commercial building code requirements could require builders to install chargers — or the necessary conduit for chargers — in new construction.
This change could impact hundreds of homes and businesses in the coming decade and provide charging opportunities for individuals in multi-unit dwellings.
4) Organizing City ride-and-drive events: At festivals throughout the year, the City could host ride-and-drive opportunities to enable free test drives for residents.
Many people think EVs are too expensive and out of reach for the average family. Used EVs in our area start at $6,000 and the electric motors have been reported to last for 500,000 miles. There are also great deals on a lease once you factor in the federal tax credit.
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