Electric vehicles

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Last month, Utah suffered the nation's worst air quality. I hope this shameful distinction will finally serve as a wake-up call to our state lawmakers.

The solution is to clean up our local transportation. Colorado awards a $6,000 incentive to purchase zero-emission electric vehicles.

And in Utah? Our lawmakers allow a paltry $605 for an electric vehicle, yet $2,500 for a natural gas vehicle. Why? Is that discrepancy based upon verifiable data, or is it a blatant example of catering to industry lobbyists?

Consider the combined greenhouse gas emissions in pounds per 100 miles for tailpipe and upstream electricity use, determined by the Environmental Protection Agency, for these comparable vehicles:

• Honda Civic gasoline: 76.28

• Honda Civic natural gas: 76.06

• Honda Civic Hybrid: 55.56

• Ford Focus electric: 30.86

• Mitsubishi i-MiEV: 28.66

• Nissan LEAF EV: 33.07

The data leave no room for doubt: Electric vehicles have no tailpipe and the electricity used produces half the greenhouse gases of gasoline or natural gas vehicles.

If Utah's legislators want to encourage cleaner transportation, look at the actual figures and award the highest tax incentive to EVs.

Mark D. Larsen