Here’s one more example of how Kristi Noem’s blathering against the green energy revolution runs counter to smart things we can do to brace ourselves for bad weather and power outages: in frigid Texas, electric cars have provided folks suffering power outages a safe way to stay warm:
As Texans gradually regain power after days of catastrophic outages amid freezing temperatures, some Tesla customers are grateful for their electric cars which provided critical emergency power.
For example, one Reddit user posted in the r/Teslamotors subreddit that, after running out of firewood, the family including an infant slept in their Model 3 with the heat on while it was parked in the garage. This can be safely done in an electric vehicle because it produces no emissions, but it would be fatal with a gas-powered car that emits toxic carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide poisonings have skyrocketed in Texas this week, and two people in Houston died from carbon monoxide poisoning while sleeping in the family car in the garage while it was running.
Tesla also sells solar panels and a home battery called a PowerWall, and another Reddit user posted that he was “very grateful” to have one during the rolling blackouts. The non-emergency value proposition for solar installations with batteries is to power the home with stored electricity from the battery during peak usage hours with higher rates, but the battery can also serve as emergency backup [Aaron Gordon, “Texas Tesla Owners Are Drawing Power from Their Cars During Blackouts,” Vice, 2021.02.18].
But don’t let good deeds and good technology go unpunished: the Legislature is still trying to tax your Tesla. House Bill 1053‘s new tax on electric cars has been cut from $100 to $50 a year, but it’s still alive and awaiting a final debate and vote on the Senate floor next week.