Alexander Calls Electric Cars and Trucks a “No-Brainer”

Says Electric Vehicles Are “One of the Best Ways to Reduce Our Dependence on Foreign Oil, Clean the Air and Deal With Climate Change”

Posted on February 23, 2010

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said that electric cars and trucks are “a no-brainer” and “one of the best ways to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, clean the air and deal with climate change” during a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development titled “Opportunities and Challenges Presented in Increasing the Number of Electric Vehicles in the Light Duty Automotive Sector.”

“The president has been a leader on electric cars and 40 Senate Republicans have endorsed the idea of electrifying half our cars and trucks,” said Alexander, a member of the subcommittee.  “We can disagree over economy-wide cap-and-trade, but there is plenty to agree on with clean energy – electric vehicles is certainly one of those subjects.” 

Eighteen months ago, Alexander bought an A123-converted Toyota Prius that he plugs in every night and drives to work every day.  “I’ve had no problems with it and I get extra mileage from it and my electric bill hasn’t gone up very much,” he said. 

Alexander also pointed out the huge potential of unused nighttime energy that could be used to charge vehicles. 

“I know in the TVA region, we have the equivalent of six or seven nuclear power plants’ worth of unused electricity every night. So, if we could figure out how to take all these cars and plug them in at night, according to many estimates, we might be able to electrify half our cars and trucks without having to build any new power plants.” 

Alexander introduced the bipartisan Clean Energy Act with Senator Jim Webb (D-Va.) last November to promote further investment and development of the nation’s clean energy technologies which includes incentives for the development of inexpensive batteries to power electric vehicles.