An Open Letter to Governor: DNREC, should NOT be making a decision like this which will severely impact those who can least afford it.

Posted on 03-22-2023

Dear Governor Carney,

I am writing to you to express my opposition to your unconstitutional EV mandate. 

We have elected a legislative body to submit bills and pass legislation after debate.  Circumventing this process by continuing to hold the state hostage by your continued use, of the no longer necessary, “state of emergency” legislation and then dictating to an unelected body (DNREC), who operates outside of legislative oversight, your mission to mirror another state’s vision of a fossil fuel free Utopia, is just plain reckless. 

As a retired meteorologist and a student of climatology, I am amazed at how little is truly understood by the “people in power” as to how much effect on “changing the planet” transferring from fossil fuels to all electric vehicles will really mean in the end.  I am NOT anti-electric car, solar or wind.  What I am against is the narrow “tunnel vision” that this state has embraced in stating goals that not only are unattainable, but incredibly detrimental to the citizens of Delaware.  Any rational businessman would not throw out what works (or fire an employee) without already having a “viable” replacement in the wings.  I use the word “viable” intentionally because that is exactly what we face right now with electric vehicles, solar and wind.  I am convinced that somewhere in the distant future these three will become more integrated into both energy generation as well as consumer usage, BUT they are nowhere close to being efficient enough now to throw out what works and put all your eggs in one basket.  Here are some points to seriously consider:

1.  Our electric grid (both state and nationally) are NOT even close to being able to handle the load necessary to deliver enough electricity to power the proposed percentage of EV vehicles – and will not be for many, many years to come.  Wind and solar will NEVER meet the total demand of the consumers.  They WILL, however, be a viable “supplement” to the grid in the not-too-distant future.  We should use ALL the sources of energy available to us so that we may continue to explore and IMPROVE “viable” forms of energy.

2.  Has anyone ever considered what a EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) terrorist attack on our electric grid might do if electricity is our only form of energy?

3.  People are learning about the cost of battery replacement in electric cars, but do they know that they need very special tires as well?  Both costs are prohibitive!

4.  If, and when, the electric grid is updated throughout the state – the cost to upgrade every homeowner’s house to handle the amperage demand will be out of the question to those of lower income.  If you live in an apartment or downtown Wilmington or Dover, how are you going to recharge your car where only street parking is available? 

5.  Delaware, being a coastal state, is subject to hurricanes, nor’easters and flooding.  If an evacuation is necessary and your battery dies on Rt. 1, 113 or 13 – traffic will be tied up for miles and then those who are stuck in traffic – their batteries are subject to energy depletion.  The proverbial snowball effect!  I haven’t seen any plans for dealing with this.

6.  Transporting goods for grocery stores, retail outlets, etc require on time deliveries.  Right now, an F-150 EV truck will get between 85-150 miles on a single charge (dependent on load).  Fast chargers are not efficient enough yet and you will have to have massive numbers of recharging stations to handle the volume of traffic.  Since recharging will likely occur once or multiple times for a delivery truck, the timely delivery of goods will be greatly impacted and, of course, consumer prices will skyrocket.  This isn’t just hyperbole; it is straight economics.  To make a change, like you are proposing, will take YEARS of planning and coordination of state agencies and even then, the costs will most likely outweigh the gains.

7.  Electric vehicle fires are not only very difficult to put out, but they put the occupants and firefighters at high risk.  Our volunteer fireman do not have the tools, nor the training to handle the inevitable fires that will result due to accidents, overcharging or connection issues.  The fumes released in an EV fire are toxic and the contents of the batteries will leach into the ground.

I could go on and on, but quite simply, the answer is you and, by proxy, DNREC, should NOT be making a decision like this which will severely impact those who can least afford it.  The state legislature should be involved with A LOT MORE input and thought as to what impact a decision like this will do to our economy and way of life.

Drew Sunderlin

PSU Meteo ‘73

203 Pepper Vine Pt.

Dagsboro, DE  19939