Friday’s letters: Electric vehicle an adventure in winter

Ethel Walsh

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Driving my new EV has been an adventure. Last week, I was stranded on the QE2 when the battery drained. The car’s functional range had plunged with the cold weather and two different public charging stations I tried were not working. The next day, a mechanic assured me there was nothing wrong with the car; that’s just the way EVs perform in cold weather.

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I have also discovered that charging an EV in cold weather takes up to 12 hours for a full charge on a level 2 AC charger. Once my EV is fully charged, I must prioritize my trips because of the limited range of the cold car. I also have to limit the use of the car heating system to save battery power. (Really, in this weather?)

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Finally, with our power grid at its limit in this weather, should I be charging anyway? I will be returning to a gasoline-powered car in the new year. I can’t afford to own an expensive car that I can only drive part of the year. I need a reliable vehicle that will support my active lifestyle. I don’t think the recently announced federal quotas for EVs are going to work for Alberta.

Susan Robblee, Sherwood Park

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Bike lane money should go to public transit

Re. “Why bike lanes matter,” Michael Janz, Dec. 23

When Mr. Janz praises bicycles, he forgets, or deliberately discriminates against, those of us not able to enjoy leisurely bike rides. One hundred million dollars spent making transit — ETS — more affordable would have a much bigger impact and not leave out the old, those who can’t bicycle but still have to travel to jobs miles from their homes, and those disabled who can’t bicycle.

It would also be much cheaper for those cash-strapped who don’t have the money for $2,000 titanium bicycles and Spandex clothing. Bike lanes are fine for those who can; transit is for everyone.

Dean Warner, Edmonton

Turning drivers into cyclists a fantasy

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Once he provided some flimsy economic arguments, Coun. Janz launched into a lengthy discourse on how the presence of a widespread bike lane network will allow families to get rid of that second car and singles to not buy one because they will suddenly all turn into cyclists. What rot.

His vision of 10 per cent of residents jettisoning their cars so they can ride many kilometres to work in rain and snow, pick up their kids at daycare or school, drop off their cleaning and do their grocery shopping or head out in their dressy clothes to go to dinner, the theatre or a movie is simply a pipe dream fantasy.

This is a spread-out city where most people live far from work or entertainment options and it is most definitely a winter city where bikes are impractical for as many as six months of the year. Fantasies don’t change this. As for his “existential threat to planetary survival,” the paltry amount of emissions saved by getting a few more thousand cyclists on the roads will be more than cancelled out by the extra emissions caused by tens of thousands more vehicles idling in traffic jams caused by the streets being narrowed by those planet-saving bike lanes.

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Bob Thompson, Edmonton

Danielle Smith is no Peter Lougheed

Re. “Our next premier will win the battle of ideas in Canada,” David Staples, Dec. 23

David Staples is calling for a better understanding of the Canadian federation on the part of all Canadians in 2023. However, Mr. Staples is very wrong about Premier Danielle Smith being another Peter Lougheed, and the person to help us all do this. Smith has shown a complete aversion to consulting with people she does not agree with — the Indigenous people of Canada being just one example, and by creating room for some Albertans to live outside the law (gun owners), Smith’s government has created a two-tier justice system within Alberta.

Lougheed would never have agreed with this. As William Shakespeare wrote more than 400 years ago in The Tempest, “what’s past is prologue.”  In a future battle of ideas, Alberta needs an entirely new group of people to lead us, with a very different vision of Alberta’s and Canada’s future.

Karlis Poruks, Edmonton

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