In Depth: The pros and cons of electric vehicles

Segment One:   

Hal is joined by the Petersen Automotive Museum’s Chief Historian, Leslie Kendall, to show us the history of electric cars. 

He says electric cars date back to the 1800’s. one of the oldest electric cars. Kendall talks about the progression of electric vehicles and how the fell in and out of favor over the years.  He says that carmakers are recognizing that electric vehicles are the future because they have fewer moving parts, they’re quieter, they’re cleaner, and they’re more powerful. 

He says the technology is improving very rapidly.  He says people buy what is convenient and what they know.  He thinks that the more people become familiar with electric cars, the more they will be eager to buy them.

Segment Two:

We are joined by Greg Spotts, the Executive Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer for the L.A. Department of Public Works, and Kami Farhadi, the Chairman of Starline Tours.

Spotts tells us about some of the electric innovations the city of L.A is developing recently. That includes a mini sweeper powered by electricity and a full-size sweeper whose cleaning mechanism is powered by electricity. They are also using construction equipment that is powered by electricity as well.  The city is working to turn street lighting poles into electric chargers as well.

Farhadi talks about Starline Tours’ new electric tourbus. The bus was in the Hollywood Christmas parade and is now in service on a daily basis. Farhadi tells Hal that the the bus is both silent and a gentle ride, which is a little bit of a surprise for passengers.  Farhadi says it’s been successful and they plan to get more.

Segment Three:

Doug Shupe with the Auto Club talks to Hal about electric vehicles during these days of skyrocketing gas prices.  Shupe says drivers of a regular sedan are spending about $28 more to fill up their tank than they were a year ago.   He says that is a major reason that about 40 million people are looking to buy an EV as their next vehicle.  Shupe tells Hal that AAA studies show that electric vehicle owners are overwhelmingly willing to continue buying electric vehicles in the future.  He says the owners no longer had "range anxiety" or worried about finding a place to charge up.

Segment Four:

Hal promotes his podcast and we end with a last look at those electric vehicles at the Petersen museum.

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