Electric vehicles are affordable to the public
In response to Ms. Donna Crawford’s letter to the editor of Aug. 4, which is filled with misconceptions, and an almost complete lack of understanding of electric vehicles and the issues surrounding them let me present some facts.
The average price for a new car in the U.S. is $47,077, according to Kelley Blue Book.com. Why is this figure so high? Because more people are buying luxury cars. But the real point is that those on low income don’t buy new cars of any sort, electric or otherwise.
Ms. Crawford’s contention that EV’s “… start around $60,000” is fallacy. You can buy a 2023 Chevy Bolt EV for a starting price of $25,600. A 2023 Toyota bZ4X (a great car by the way) starts at $43,215, according to Motor Trend Magazine. A 2023 Nissan Leaf EV is listed at $27,800. There are plenty of affordable EV’s out there now.
It is estimated that within 10 years, EV’s will be the dominant car on the road. The effect of that will be to reduce Americas largest source of crude oil consumption by 50 percent. When that occurs, fracking will end. Gas prices will fall dramatically thus ending New Mexico’s oil industry. That oil will just not be needed.
What about the electric grid? Well heads of electric companies are working now on solutions to the extra need for electricity. But they agree that for the foreseeable future the grid is sufficient.
But one thing that Ms. Crawford does not understand is that many EV owners install rooftop solar for the specific purpose of charging their cars. And charging your EV is about equivalent to running your clothes dryer for an hour.
Finally, the government — state, local and federal — are all well behind the curve when it comes to EV’s. While there are subsidies for purchase and building charging stations, it is the car companies that are really driving the move to electric vehicles.
Here is just a partial list of the new electric vehicles due in 2023: Chevy (Blazer, Silverado, Equinox) Ford (F150 Lightning, Explorer) Mercedes (multiple models) Hyundai (Ionic 6, the Ionic 5 is here now) Kia (EV9) Volvo, Polestar (a Volvo company) Genesis (multiple models) Subaru (multiple models), Jaguar, Honda, Mini, Nissan, Toyota, Lucid (a new company) and the list goes on.
If you look out five years at the EV’s slated for production, the list grows exponentially. EV’s are here now and many are affordable to anyone who can buy a new car.
Our children, education system deserves better
It’s hard to believe that back-to-school season is already upon us. Overnight, the displays in stores switched from beach towels and sunscreen to school supplies and backpacks.
As a retired elementary school educator for more than 20 years with Belen Consolidated Schools, I understand first hand that in an average year, too many of our kids will start the school year academically behind. This has been made worse as families face unprecedented events like COVID-19.
New Mexico remains at the bottom of all of the lists indicating economic prosperity and wellbeing, especially for our youngest children. It’s past time to give them the investment they deserve.
Meanwhile, the state sits on one of the richest permanent funds in the country. Ten years ago, the Permanent School Fund had $10 billion in it. Today, it has more than $25 billion.
This November, we have an unprecedented opportunity to invest in our kids by passing a constitutional amendment to allocate $150 million every year from the fund into the Early Childhood Education and Care Department and $100 million to the Public Education Department to help students.
This represents less than 1 percent of the total permanent fund, but would make an enormous difference as a long term investment in our children.
As we celebrate the start of a new school year, I’m imagining and wishing for a future where all students can reach their full potential, leading to improved outcomes for every New Mexican. With all kids having access to education and opportunity to thrive, the future of our state and for our children can be bright.
I urge you to join me on Nov. 8 to vote yes on Constitutional Amendment No. 1 and to vote yes for New Mexico’s kids.
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