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Readers Write: Pull the plug on electric car criticism

Letters to the Editor for the weekly print issue of March 26, 2012: Two writers argue that an op-ed critiquing electric cars for failing to reduce pollution is unfounded and outdated. Not so, responds the writer, citing another study.

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Unplug electric car critique

Ozzie Zehner's March 5 commentary, "Let's power down the hype about electric cars," rehashes long-busted myths. Researchers at NRDC-EPRI, MIT, and Carnegie Mellon University have shown that electric cars pollute less than conventional gasoline vehicles, even adding in the emissions from producing the batteries.

Electric vehicles (EVs) will cut US carbon pollution on average 40 percent from today's cars. In regions with cleaner grids, like California, the benefits average 60 percent. The new generation of batteries in electric cars have warranties of eight years/100,000 miles. The Energy Department, automakers, and battery recyclers are working to fully recycle these batteries.

There's no silver bullet to our carbon pollution and oil addiction. Cleaner cars, walkable neighborhoods, alternative fuels, and clean energy are all part of the solution.

Numerous studies have laid to rest the canard of the "long tailpipe" myth about electric cars (the idea that powering a car with electricity just moves the pollution to the generation plant).

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