LETTERS

A TAXING DISCUSSION

I enjoyed your editorial, and it got me thinking about the dilemma of finding a fair tax for electric and gas vehicles to replace the current gas tax. For example, a strict per-mile tax ignores the discrepancy of a vehicle’s weight and how it may contribute to damaging a road. Right now, only semi-trailers are checked for weight violations, but to be fair, a large pickup truck may cause more damage to a road than a compact vehicle. 

If the purpose of the tax is to pay for repairs and rebuilding of roadways, then a more comprehensive consideration to how a vehicle impacts road wear should be discussed. I use Allstate’s Milewise car insurance program to track my mileage, but the transponder they supply for the car also records my speed and “sudden brake events.” Not only does this data impact my car insurance rate, but it can probably be used by some algorithm in the future to assess how much my vehicle may damage the road. 

“Lithium for batteries is a strategic mineral, and the U.S. cannot continue to rely on foreign countries (e.g. China and Venezuela) for it.”

And, the question of where will all of the electricity come from to power the future electric cars is an important one. I think more nuclear powerplants is a reasonable, partial solution, and the problem of nuclear waste disposal has already been solved by the potential use of Yucca Mountain. But, of course, the not-in-my-backyard politics has effectively shut down that option even after the feds have spent billions of dollars to research that repository. Building a nuclear powerplant takes around 10 years, so we better start cracking if that option is going to be viable. Lithium for batteries is a strategic mineral, and the U.S. cannot continue to rely on foreign countries (e.g. China and Venezuela) for it. Unfortunately, environmental activists are trying to prevent mining of a large lithium deposit identified in Nevada, so, again, politics may prevent our lithium independence from other countries.

On a personal note, I got into riding an electric bike at the end of 2015 because I wanted some exercise, and I enjoy bike riding, but knee and back issues prevented me from going very far on a conventional bike. I am now on my second electric bike (Evelo Aurora Limited Edition) and loving it. 

Barry

P.S. No trees were destroyed to send this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

Barry, we definitely have to invest in the energy-production methods that are going to be sustainable. Some people are very against nuclear, but it has been made safer over the decades. Wind and solar are good, but not when there’s no wind or sufficient sun. It’s something we should all be working on as a country. Glad you found an e-bike you love! 

TADPOLES

Got my April ’22 issue. Love your e-bike magazine. Really enjoyed this issue with the comparisons. I am an older person—60-plus—with store-bought hips and a knee. Would really like to see some different forward-pedal bike reviews. I have owned several Electra Townies over the years, but will be buying an e-bike later this year. I really need to get an e-bike that is forward pedal.

Howard Howell

Howard, it’s been a while since we’ve had a tadpole to test, but rumor has it that we will have one soon. The most recent one we reviewed was the Catrike eCat Trail. They are really fun to ride, and we hate sending them back! I know you’ll have an amazing time riding one, and we’d would love to hear your thoughts on it!