Benefits to going electric

My daily driver is a bicycle. I ride daily for lots of reasons including environmental, personal health, economic and just the pure joy of cycling through our beautiful Palouse towns and countryside.

Although I figure 3/4 of folks could probably do the same as myself most of the time (I am 63 years old), I realize this is very unlikely to happen. However, Battery Electric Vehicles are a great alternative to gas cars with some of the same advantages as cycling. I have written previously on these advantages which include savings of thousands of dollars on fuel and maintenance costs, greatly reduced greenhouse gas pollution, and far superior performance.

I purchased a very lightly used EV for $11,000 about three years ago, which my wife who bikes less than I do, drives more often than myself. With an 82-mile range it is the perfect local, second car, and we could not be happier with it in this capacity.

Not surprisingly, a recent study adds yet another compelling reason to drive electric — you will save lives. Gas vehicles emit nitrogen oxides and fine particulates which are quite harmful to human health. A University of Toronto study concluded that 731 premature deaths in the Toronto area could be prevented each year by converting all autos, SUVs, trucks and buses in the area to electric ( This translates to a $10,000, annual, social benefit per car in Toronto. Clearly our Palouse towns are much smaller with cleaner air than Toronto, and driving electric will likely have less social benefit here. Even so, several times a day on my bike I find myself gagging on the exhaust of our communities’ stinkier gas or diesel vehicles. So come on folks, switch to a BEV and save money, our livable world and human lives.

Al Poplawsky


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