john f floyd
This is a comment in two parts.
Part One: As a follow-up to last week’s article on electric cars and trucks, I’ve been asked a lot of questions about hybrids versus electrics. Good questions, and I have an answer about hybrids, because my wife, Connie, has a Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivan.
Hybrid is a car or truck with an electric motor and a gasoline engine. The hybrid electric motor charges from a common outlet and the gasoline engine charges normally, from a gas pump at your local service station.
The Chrysler Hybrid takes about 12 hours to fully charge, and charging is usually done overnight. The charge is good for 36 miles. Believe it or not, Connie can run her errands for the day before Pacifica loses power. If she has to go out of town, the charge lasts about 45 miles.
The Pacifica never fully discharges all electrical power because it saves enough electricity so it can start at red lights and other places when stopped.
Excessive amount of gasoline is needed to go from zero to driving speed, hence the power saving function. Even if your instruments show negative electricity available, there is enough electrical power to go 45 miles per hour.
For faster charging, a “supercharger” is available for about $600. The supercharger can be purchased from Amazon or other outlets.
When Pacifica goes from electric to gas, the transition is seamless; you never know when it’s happening unless you’re looking at the instrument panel. I’ve never checked the gas mileage on the Pacifica, but if Connie never traveled out of town, she’d rarely buy gas. Connie religiously keeps her Pacifica plugged in during the day, which also increases her use of the electric aspect of the minivan.
Personally, I like the hybrid vehicle and the technology. When I run out of electricity in the Pacifica, I don’t worry about the next charging station for electric cars, I have my gas backup.
Hybrid usage seems like a common sense transitional means to an end. As I said in previous comments, technology cannot be required. Until battery life is improved and improved with less rare earth materials, don’t forget about hybrids for the saving of the environment.
Two things concern me about the transition from gas-powered cars and trucks to fully electric go-karts: the cost of the switch and the loss of jobs.
The Ford Motor Company has just announced plans to lay off thousands of workers to save money. You can bet Ford’s competitors will do the same to generate cash to fund their companies’ electric car programs. These programs are focused on high-end models. The average price of all-electric vehicles is now $60,000 and rising.
The best-selling truck in the domestic market is the Ford F-150, and Ford plans to go all-electric. Prices for all-electric F-150 pickups have risen steadily. Ford is spending $50 billion on its truck transition program, high-end trucks.
The electric car requires 30% fewer parts than a conventional vehicle, so the need for workers is consistent with the elimination of parts. And not a peep from the United Auto Workers union about job losses. The UAW is so focused on cooperating with the Biden administration that the job losses are inconsequential.
Part Two: With a new Gadsden administration, I hope secrecy will be removed. Let’s start with “Who recommended and signed an expensive Birmingham law firm to represent the Gadsden Airport Authority? And because?”
To be sure, there are capable law firms in Gadsden and Etowah County competent enough to represent an authority that doesn’t have complicated issues. And local law firms would never allow the GAA to go into executive session to conduct business that violates the parameters of the Alabama Open Meetings Law.
The Birmingham law firm has already charged Gadsden taxpayers $600,000 for legal services, and the charges continue. The GAA board has two attorneys on duty, so what is this dire need for an additional attorney?
One council member said Birmingham’s attorney’s fees are trivial considering Gadsden’s annual budget. Try telling that to the new management. Once I get into Gadsden’s finances, I’m sure Mayor Craig Ford and his new administrators will look for savings in all aspects of city government.
As I said in previous comments, the GAA could put an end to all litigation related to the Alabama Open Meetings Law by allowing disclosure of Steen’s court hearing. There may be embarrassing testimonials for certain people, but sometimes the truth hurts but it’s always for the best.
The GAA board should ask itself this question: “Who stands to lose the most if the testimony goes public?” The answer is obvious, and it’s not the GAA.
John F. Floyd is a Gadsden native who graduated from Gadsden High School in 1954. He was previously director of UK manufacturing, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., vice president of manufacturing and international operations, General Tire & Rubber Co., and Director of Manufacturing, Chrysler Corp. He can be reached at [email protected] The opinions reflected are their own.