Despite mounting reports that new electronic vehicles perform poorly and may actually cause greater overall damage to the environment than gas automobiles, the Fairbanks Borough Assembly may soon begin replacing its existing fleet with electronic vehicles.

Fairbanks Borough Assemblywoman Savannah Fletcher

A resolution introduced by Assemblywoman Savannah Fletcher will be taken up at the Oct. 27 Fairbanks Assembly meeting. It claims that electricity to drive new electric vehicles could come from Golden Valley Electric Association’s coal-fired power plant.

The goal of the resolution is for the borough to have a fleet of at least 50% electric vehicles by 2033, which nearly mirrors President Biden’s plan. He signed an executive order last year to have electric vehicles comprise half of new cars and trucks sold in America by 2030.

“Operating electric vehicles provides air quality benefits” the resolution asserts, while admitting “the initial purchase cost of electric vehicles may be higher than those which are powered by liquid fuels.”

In fact, electric cars are about $10,000 more expensive than the industry standard.

Still, the resolution claims that “savings in operational costs over the life of each vehicle are projected to more than offset the initial expense.” It adds, “Electric vehicles have the ability to save the Borough and taxpayers millions of dollars in lifecycle costs,” while benefiting the earth.

A recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, however, found that electric vehicles are actually worse for the environment than gas-powered ones.

By calculating both greenhouse gases and local air pollution generated from these vehicles, along with government subsidies to purchase electric vehicles, and taxes on electric and/or gasoline miles, researchers found that “electric vehicles generate a negative environmental benefit of -0.5 cents per mile” relative to similar gas-powered vehicles.

As for being “zero emission,” electric cars actually increase demand for electricity, 80% of which comes from fossil fuels, the researchers reported.

Furthermore, the NBER study notes that electric vehicles are fueled by lithium-ion batteries (composed of graphite), which are primarily produced in China where production is notoriously harmful to the environment.

According to a Bloomberg report pollution from graphite dust can damage lungs. Additionally, there is also pollution from the hydrochloric acid used to process mined graphite. The highly corrosive acid causes significant environmental damage if leaked into groundwater.

In addition to environmental problems, electric vehicles also suffer from quality performance.

J.D. Power has published its yearly U.S. Initial Quality Study for nearly four decades to evaluate the quality of new vehicles based on user reports. Its latest study reveals that battery/electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids have far more problems than gas-powered vehicles.

J.D. Power reports that electric and hybrid car owners have far more quality complaints than gas-powered vehicle owners. The latter averages 175 reported problems for every 100 vehicles, while hybrids average 239, and battery-powered average 240 problems per 100 vehicles. Conversely, the highest-ranked automobile brands are all gas powered.

The Fairbanks resolution notes that the borough needs to seek federal funding in order to build an electric vehicle charging infrastructure to support the proposed effort.

After Fairbanks vehicles have already been purchased and used, the resolution calls for a “comprehensive comparison evaluating the merits of electric vehicle technology and cost savings compared with gas vehicles.”


— Click here to read the full resolution.

— Click here to contact Fairbanks Borough Assembly members.

Click here to support Alaska Watchman reporting.

GOING ‘GREEN’? Fairbanks weighs switching borough fleet to questionable electric vehicles

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Jon Ewig says:

    We oppose this plan because modern cars meet all of the emission standards. Why would we want an electric car which is ultimately powered by a coal-powered plant?

  • Fed Up Tax Payer says:

    Oh Dear Lord, we have another brainiac on the borough assembly, hurry lets go all electric so we can burn massive amounts of coal for battery charging and piss away more tax payers dollars! Good Job

  • Lobo says:

    I recommend that the assembly be required to use these EVs for all of their transportation needs.. wearing fire suits, of course… They will apply for “federal funding”, which means ALL taxpayers will help pay for this scam…. Here are a few, not all, of recent great achievements accomplished by the usage of these fireball buggies: … Five EV bus exploded into flames in London, May, 2022…. EV explodes into flames in Paris, April 29, no one was on board at the time….. A battery fire caused an EV bus to burst into flames in Hamden Connecticut, July 25, 2022.. Two transit workers ,and two firefighters were hospitalized as a result of the blaze….. EV bus erupts into fire on an university campus in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on June 8 , 2021. It quickly spread to four other buses.. No one was on board at the time… Now, Fairbanks thinks this is a great greenie idea.. That could change you to charcoal black/gray, and they want U.S. citizens to help pay for it with their/our tax dollars… This isn’t a full list of the incidents.

  • Steve P Peterson says:

    I’m sorry, but this is so funny! I know it is sad because it is such a waste of money and so unrealistic, but the sheer amount of idiocy that will be revealed when these busses stay parked in extreme cold will be world class. Elections have severe consequences.

  • Karma says:

    Fools will reap what they sow…so sow on…!

  • Neil DeWitt says:

    Great article. Ot hoes yo show another democrat half thought throw idea is now blowing up in their face. I’ll be waiting for the report of people dieing or at least frost bitten after the battery dies in these buses in Fairbanks -50 winters. Hope a good Samaritan is close by to safe peoples lives with a fuel powered vehicle.

    • Lobo says:

      Perhaps another thing of interest: Do a search (not GOOGLE) Type in: “EVs burst into flames”.

      • Truth Network says:

        And another of interest: search (not DEMOCRAT-OOGLE). Type in “gas cars burst into flames”.

        All cars have a risk of bursting into flames. But gas cars have a much higher probability of doing so than EVs.

      • Lobo says:

        Truth Network: One critical point you omit is that when you look at the percentages of EVs VS gas cars is, they are not even in the same ball game.. EVs, as compared to gas vehicles,.. percentage wise, are extremely more likely to explode.. Do your comparative research.

  • Neil DeWitt says:

    Great article. It goes to show another democrat half thought throw idea is now blowing up in their face. I’ll be waiting for the report of people dieing or at least frost bitten after the battery dies in these buses in Fairbanks -50 winters. Hope a good Samaritan is close by to save peoples lives with a fuel powered vehicle.

  • Fed up says:

    They have to know that the majority of power produced from GVEA in Fairbanks is from generators, which used diesel???

  • Andy says:

    We all know what an Alaskan winter can do to a vehicle so as more of these lithium coffins ply the roadways there will be a greater demand for tow trucks, petroleum powered tow trucks mind you, I envision a booming business in towing.

  • Steve says:

    These Greenies are fools. The amount of earth minerals needed to produce one battery are shocking. If these Greenies (rhymes with Weenies) would do any sort of research they’d know it’s a losing proposition to purchase battery operated vehicles. Has this assembly woman researched what a replacement battery will cost the city, I’d bet not. She looks like a typical liberal that needs the accolades from fellow Greenies to feel valued.

  • Joe Drayton says:

    Can Fairbanks call Juneau and ask them how their electric Bus worked out for them? Not!
    Fairbanks in the winter is brutal. Although EV’s will be used on the North Slope.
    Unlimited electricity, short distances to be driven, plenty of infrastructure to modify into charging stations. Great use of the unlimited natural gas and great public image. The North Slope percentage use of EV’s will set the high mark in the World. Great publicity for the oil companies.

  • Ed says:

    And how much interior heat do these people expect an electric motor to produce in sub-zero temperatures? Get your parkas ready folks. They’d also need to hire more maintenance crews to deal with frozen batteries and/or stalled buses on crowded city streets. And then there’s the denial (& silence) of these buses needing to charge from fossil-fueled sources. I can see that many have a lack of foresight on this insane issue. Let’s face it, EVs would never work in Alaska’s winter environment.

    • Truth Network says:

      Electric vehicles are generally far, far lower maintenance than gas or diesel. I had an electric vehicle for 3 years, put about 25,000 miles on it. The only maintenance was filling the washer fluid and plugging it in.

      It also heat up far more quickly than my gas vehicle, particularly in cold weather. Remember the days of letting your car idle outside for 15 minutes? No longer necessary. Get in the car and turn it on, and warm air comes out immediately.

      It is a legitimate concern that the source of electricity is coal-fired. It would be interesting to see what, if any, environmental assessment was done given that, in winter, the battery pack range will likely be 50% – 60% of its range in warmer temperatures, and the mix of power is almost 100% coal.

  • Ruth Ewig says:

    This looks suspiciously like it is coming down from John Kerry through the country’s different policy-making bodies in this country and state, Looking for some vulnerable gullible person on some board. Or, it could be that Savannah is paid to bring up this resolution. This resolution is too well written for a local like Savannah. It leaves out the community with this hair-brained scheme from the environmentalist. This is one of a group of leftists that won office via the local unions efforts and the News Miner’s columnist Dermot Cole. The campaign was charged up against the Christians running.. A big loss when Savanna was running.

  • Anon says:

    Electric cars are neither sustainable nor affordable.
    It would seem that our government is trying to end our ability to travel by phasing out alternatives .

  • Kenneth L. Wells says:

    I hope they do. Fairbanks is an excellent testing ground for boondoggles.