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OPINION | DRIVETIME MAHATMA: Electric vehicle report mild shock for readers

by Frank Fellone | August 13, 2022 at 3:20 a.m.

Dear Mahatma: You deride plans to expand the EV charging network because of the small number of electric vehicles registered in Arkansas. I acknowledge you referred to checking in a year to see how fast the numbers grew. Full disclosure. I own a 2019 Kia Niro EV. -- Frank

Dear Frank: An old saying in the news biz goes something like this: "Sir, we are not responsible for what we write. Only for what you read."

We read that column again. We read no derision; instead we read wide-eyed wonder about the federal government giving $54 million to the Arkansas Department of Transportation to build EV chargers every 50 miles or so along Arkansas interstates.

And that Arkansas has 3,064 fully electric vehicles registered with the Department of Finance & Administration. Out of about 2,725,000 registered vehicles.

Dear Honorable Mahatma: Your article on EVs failed to mention the time it takes to charge the batteries. From information I find, it takes several hours depending on the model. So when I go to see Grandma (who lives some 500 miles away), I need to plan to spend the night somewhere while my EV charges its batteries. -- Charles of Sherwood

Dear Charles: Five hundred miles is a lot. We can't go but about 400 miles on a full tank of gas in our truck. But we can recharge in about 15 minutes. Twenty if we need a bathroom break.

Dear Mahatma: I haven't bought an EV because there are so few charging stations. I'm not sure I can drive from Hot Springs Village to Northwest Arkansas on one charge. What do I do if my battery is depleted on Interstate 40, three-quarters of the way there? Do I run an extension cord across a field to a house along the way? Build the charging stations and the EVs will come. -- Carol

Dear Carol: Is this is the "Field of Dreams" theory. Hey, it worked for Kevin Costner.

As for extension cords, buy two. That field may be wide.

Dear Mahatma: If you buy an electric car and drive through New Jersey or Oregon (where pumping your own gas is illegal), will you be able to plug your car into the charging station by yourself? -- Douglas

Dear Doug: Don't know. Here's hoping some of our faithful readers in New Jersey and Oregon send in the answer.

Dear Mahatma: In your EV column, which will be forever famous because it was the day I became a great-grandfather, you said you had to remove your shoes to add 3,064 EVs and 27,909 hybrids to get 30,973 vehicles. That's A LOT of toes. Must be in the Guinness Book of World Records. But clipping those toenails? -- Larry

Dear Larry: Thanks for sharing the wonderful news. A baby is God's answer to this question: Should the world go on?

Well, duh. Yeah.

As for our toes, we admit it's tough finding shoes that fit.

Vanity plate on a Jeep Wranger: PLADRTY.

Print Headline: EV report mild shock for readers


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