Not unexpected, Mr. Carl McClandahan produced a rambling opposition to electric vehicles, followed up by a series of insults and invectives aimed at people like me. There are some …
Not unexpected, Mr. Carl McClandahan produced a rambling opposition to electric vehicles, followed up by a series of insults and invectives aimed at people like me. There are some things that need to be addressed from Carl’s diatribe.
First of all, it is clear that Carl is against both the production and use of electric vehicles, blaming their promotion on Democrats. The reality is that our Tennessee State Representatives and State Senators voted 90-3 and 27-7 respectively to help fund the Ford Blue Oval facility at cost of $900 million. Ford will be building the Ford F-150 EV outside of Jackson, TN in Haywood County. Ford is spending about $6 billion on this plant, which will provide about 5000 jobs. Additionally, the Republican led State Department of Economic and Community Development has supported the Tritium EV charger plant in Lebanon, the Microvast Lithium-Ion battery plant in Clarksville, the GM battery plant in Spring Hill and the GM Cadillac plant in Spring Hill, along with Volkswagen and Nissan who are building EVs. In Tennessee, the support for EV manufacturing has bipartisan support. It is clear the Republican Super Majority in the Tennessee House and Senate are behind this initiative.
As for the cost of EV batteries, presently the replacement batteries are expensive. However, there is a new industry of replacement and rebuilt EV batteries. Additionally, some of the newer batteries will have a life of 100,000 to 200,000 miles; outlasting the vehicle. The Inflation Reduction Act, which is opposed by the Tennessee Republican federal delegation, requires that in order to receive the EV credit – the batteries must be built in North America from North American resources. This should increase the domestic production of EV batteries. My bet is that the Duksan plant here in Shelbyville and the GM battery plant in Spring Hill will be expanding – even before it is finished.
As for fossil fuel electricity, Carl is wrong. According to the US Energy Information Agency, 60% of our domestic electric production is with fossil fuels, not 80%. Of that about 38% is natural gas and 22% coal. TVA, that socialist government owned utility is unique. In the area served by TVA, 39% of electric power is from nuclear, 19% coal, 26% natural gas, 11% hydro and 3% wind and solar. TVA electric production is about 45% from fossil fuels with natural gas being dominate. Pacific Gas and Electric which is based in California, has about 30% of their electric production from renewable resources. They have no coal fired plants. Renewables, especially photovoltaics will only increase. Utilities are also installing battery banks to take advantage of low-cost off-peak electricity, especially from renewable resources.
I do not own an oil or gas well, but I do produce electricity at my home from solar panels. I can produce enough electricity to charge an EV. The panels are already being used to offset my electric bill. Many people in Bedford County can do something similar. The solar tax credits will be available to offset the cost of installation. I don’t want people like Carl fouling up this and other initiatives to move off fossil fuels, especially from imported sources.
I want Tennessee to be the hub of EV production in the United States. I don’t want those good jobs going elsewhere. We all have a responsibility to help our Tennessee residents develop the skills that will make this industry flourish. Let’s just hope no one believes Carl. I don’t.
Chair, Bedford County Democrat Party