I was invited by the Tesla Owners Club of Connecticut and the EV Club of CT (Connecticut) to co-interview Connecticut State Senator William Haskell on a podcast the other day. The interview was slated for last week, but thanks to Ida knocking out my power for a few days, they were kind enough to wait until I could get back online and join them.
We are proud to release "Electric Vehicles: Complications in Connecticut". With guests including @WillHaskellCT, @JohnnaCrider1, and @williamtech814. we dive deep into electric vehicles and the issues to getting them in Connecticut. https://t.co/pPaJOrQsPc pic.twitter.com/LFMWwyhnEY
— Tesla Owners Connecticut (@CtTesla) September 10, 2021
We touched upon a variety of topics, including Tesla, direct sales in Connecticut, EVs, and the climate crisis. When we started the interview, I wanted to give Senator Haskell a space to share why EVs are so important from his perspective. We all have our thoughts as to why they are critical, but it was refreshing hearing the thoughts of a state senator who is an ally for clean energy.
He explained how lucky he felt for living in Connecticut due to the state’s commitment to addressing the problem of climate change.
“I represent a district of about 100,000 people who are very passionate environmentalists. My hometown of Westport, Connecticut was the very first in the state to ban plastic bags. I’m proud that our state has a goal and a really aggressive goal — one that I’m worried about making but one that I think we can do with enough political will to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45% in 2030 to reduce them by 80% by 2050.
“But I’m concerned that our state laws, which in order to meet those goals should be doing everything that they possibly can to encourage and facilitate people to leave behind the internal combustion engine and instead get behind the wheel of an EV, are actually and sort of paradoxically making it harder for people to get behind the wheel of an electric vehicle, making it harder for them to buy a Tesla or a Lucid or a Rivian.
“And I think that that’s a real mistake, one that we’ve got to rectify soon if we’re going to address the urgency of climate change.”
Debunking The Myth That EVs Are Too Expensive
Senator Haskell said that he has a Subaru Forester and brought up the high cost of EVs. I told him that the base cost of a Tesla is currently $39,900, which isn’t that bad compared to some of its competitors. In fact, I recently wrote about this last month. The myth that EVs aren’t cost-competitive is not only misleading but harmful.
Depending on whether or not incentives apply, some of the models from luxury brands such as Audi, Volvo, and Cadillac are cheaper in price, but when you add in the fuel and maintenance costs, Tesla wins hands down. When people complain about cost it is typically concerning the upfront cost, and what many don’t take into consideration with Tesla, is that you can lease your car similarly to how you lease an ICE car.
William Cross, who was also interviewing Senator Haskell with me, also touched upon the myths and misconceptions.
“Like Will said, EVs are part of the answer to our climate crisis. You’ll hear misconceptions like the batteries aren’t recyclable or they pollute more than internal combustion engine gas or diesel vehicle counterparts. When you look at it, you know there’s companies like Redwood Materials that are recycling the batteries right now. They’re innovating on that front, and then as far as including more than a gas or diesel vehicle, when you look at the total pollution of a gas or diesel vehicle, it starts off at a negative pollution and it only gets worse.
“Whereas with an electric vehicle, it may start off in its manufacturing stages being pollutive, but then for the decades on that it’s driven, it only gets greener and only gets more green over time and more green as the energy grid turns more green.”
Senator Haskell added, “I know we’re focused today on electric vehicles but it’s worth mentioning that the cheaper rebate program here in Connecticut to help make EVs more affordable for a wide variety of Connecticut residents is undersubscribed. There are millions of dollars that aren’t utilized every year. And that’s a part of why we’re working — and I say ‘we’ because I’m a small part of the effort, but Representative Roland Lamar in New Haven and so many other great colleagues here in Connecticut are working to expand the rebate to e-bikes as well.”
In the video, we also discussed dealerships and the roles they play in preventing the State of Connecticut from achieving its climate change goals. We also talked about how advocates can help raise awareness about EVs, and hopefully my own state senators will take notes from Senator Haskell in regards to doing our part to solve the issue of climate change.
You can watch the full video interview here:
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