, Corbin, KY

January 7, 2013

A bright future for plug-in cars and ‘plug-in’ faith

The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — J.D Power’s recent study of electric plug-in cars found that the $36,050 price tag for Nissan’s Leaf, and the $39,995 for Chevy’s Volt, steers most drivers away. Money-saving electric cars (costing about $10,000 more than comparable gasoline cars) are an exclusive item for the rich that are avoided by most drivers.

Those few rich who are gas-avoiding drivers with electric cars get a subsidy incentive from Uncle Sam — a $7,500 tax credit. A big incentive is now being proposed to the same Uncle — a $10,000 rebate at purchase. This proposal would level the playing field between gas and electric powered cars. This proposal would bring an immediate sales avalanche for electric powered cars. This proposal would also bring one of the biggest advancements ever toward making America energy independent as well as environmentally friendly. This proposal could possibly catapult electric car sales from the miserable 0.2 percent to a probable 20 percent. Unresolved electric car limitations still remain — short distance before the need of a recharge and the availability of electric plug-in stations. Commuting is what the electric car is purchased for today, with the average owner driving only 34 miles to and from work. Further according to Power, this limited electric commuting affords the owner a typical savings of $147 a month while increasing his home electric bill by only $18. Today, the electric car owner needs a backup of a gasoline auto for long trips.

My grandfather’s transportation fuels were clover and oats. Carefully planning and planting these crops on his farm were an annual necessity for generating his horse-power needs. The human need for fuel-energy is a necessity from the sweat of our backs in our home garden plot, to jet propulsion fuel for going to the moon.

As I see it, most of us could use more horsepower personally (fuel-energy) in conducting our lives; power to discipline ourselves physically (eating right and exercising) and spiritually (believing, praying along with loving and serving all who surround us). If there is one statement that we seem to frequently say and hear is “I wish I could…”

We could all use a whole lot more believing, conscious of a divine powerful presence — for daily short commutes as well as the long haul to the Kingdom that awaits us.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness…” [2 Peter 1:3]

Plug-in cars offer great hope for the future. Plugging in to God’s presence offers us an endless future.

The Rev. John Burkhart Ph.D, is a retired Episcopal priest and professor of psychology