They’re the chosen.
First the edict.
Thou shall not not use any carbon based fuel to power vehicles.
Then the government picked the winner.
The Wall-Street-Politician-Greenie Complex wouldn’t allow it.
The chosen one was electric.
And to give it economic jolts it needed to survive and thrive they zapped the monster they created through legislation with tax credits on both sides of the equation .
Production and consumer.
But Sacramento in its zeal was blind to one little detail.
They had empowered the devil.
It’s the wild card.
And it’s also the joker.
For worse — or likely a lot worse than worse — PG&E is on its way to replacing Chevron et al for 17 million Northern Californians.
It won’t happen overnight but it will happen.
The California Legislature has preordained it.
To understand what this means, look at your December PG&E bill.
Then look at your September PG&E bill.
Tally what you spent on gasoline in the same two months of power usage your PG&E bills covered.
Sinclair, Arco, Chevron, and Costco don’t charge you 8 percent more for filling up between 4 and 9 p.m.
Not a single oil company has ever received a penny from the government to install gas pumps at a gas station.
Not so for PG&E and their kissing — although less deadly and less greedy — cousins such as San Diego Gas & Electric.
PG&E has 4,729 public charging ports they installed without costing them a cent.
The government didn’t pay for them either.
If you are a PG&E customer, you paid for them.
It’s thanks to a rate increase granted by PG&E’s guardian angels at the California Public Utilities Commission.
PG&E now has an application in place to have PG&E customers — whether they own an EV or not — to pay for even more.
That means you — and your fellow PG&E customers who, if they are fortunate, will simply be hostages and not victims in body bags — will pick up 100 percent of the cost of infrastructure designed to make PG&E even more money.
It gets worse. Just like with every rate increase PG&E is granted, they were assured of almost an 11 percent profit on the work they conducted to install the 4,749 chargers.
And who said crime doesn’t pay.
Just ask the Wall Street hedge funds that eagerly invested in PG&E after they torched Paradise destroying 16,000 homes and killed 85 customers.
Yes, we know.
Let bygones be bygones.
PG&E, after all, has CEOs who have repeated the same trite line “we must do better.”
What do you care anyway?
All you want to do is power your EV that the state has essentially decided you are going to drive one day whether you like it or not.
But ask yourself this question: How many times have you pulled up to a gas pump and not been able to pump gas?
J.D. Power & Associates released a driver study in August that found one out of every five EV drivers aren’t ultimately able to charge a vehicle when they try to do so at a public charger.
In 2022 the University of California, Berkeley tested all 657 EV fast chargers in the greater San Francisco Bay Area — ground zero for the most EV chargers in the country — and found more than 25 percent did not work.
Fast chargers, according to experts, take between 20 minutes to an hour to fully charge batteries depending upon the vehicle.
Cold weather driving doesn’t reduce gas mileage.
Cold weather driving does reduce EV ranges.
You can go and on about drawbacks.
But, as greenies point out, the actual operation of an EV is 100 percent carbon free.
Not so much the manufacture of the batteries or the electricity to power them for that matter.
One can only wonder how many negatives could have been addressed if government funding was poured into development of much more efficient gas hybrids or hydrogen vehicles that take as long to fuel as a conventional gas powered vehicle.
First gas hybrids.
Studies are all over the map. But if you toss out research by the auto manufacturers and toss studies commissioned by the most adherent greenies, there is roughly a third less air pollution generated from gas hybrids per mile driven compared to a gas vehicle.
They are zero emission.
They cost slightly less than EVs without all sorts of tax credits on the front end and consumer tax credits on the back end.
One drawback are retail fueling stations.
There are only 60 statewide in California.
California, it should be noted, is essentially the only state with registered hydrogen powered vehicles at 15,000 which is basically the total US count.
By comparison EVs sold so far number 2.5 million.
The other biggie is cost of the fuel. To cover the same distance as a cooperate gas powered engine it is 25 percent or so more with a hydrogen car.
Meanwhile, charging an EV overnight at the lowest PG&E rates costs would 50 to 60 percent less to go the same distance.
Keep in mind by government picking a winner and then dumping trainloads of money into development and such, it has helped bring the cost of EVs down.
That said, there is real danger that EVs may create infrastructure issues that play into the hands of the devil — or at least puts you at the mercy of them and their fellow for-profit power companies.
Studies have shown that rolling out tons of fast charging stations considered key to getting people into EVs will create numerous issues in relatively remote areas.
The Garkane Energy Co-0p in Utah, has 15,000 members, It wants to provide fast charging stations for Grand Canyon tourists. The problem is they anticipate such use would create as much demand for power as their existing customer base creating serious supply and demand issues.
Charging stations are also unsupervised. That means troubleshooting problems will be an issue as they may take days to detect and longer to get techs on site.
All issues can be addressed, probably, but at a cost.
And the one entity that would have its and deepest into your pocket if you are a Northern California EV owner is none other than your Wall Street hedge fund buddies at PG&E.
Say what you want about Chevron, but when was the last time their antiquated gas station equipment wiped out a community of 27,000 and killed 85 paying customers.
At least if you don’t like the high cost of fuel at Chevron you can drive down the street to Costco or Sinclair.
Try doing that with PG&E.
This column is the opinion of editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinions of The Bulletin or 209 Multimedia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org