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Tax on Batteries Would Snarl Electric Car Plans

March 06, 1994

I read with interest Robert A. Rosenblatt's Feb. 2 article ("New Juice for Electric Cars") regarding the vote by eastern states to endorse in principal the stringent California-style vehicle-emissions rules that are supported by environmentalists nationwide. The irony is that these same environmentalists are supporting a tax on lead-acid batteries--the very energy source that will power no-emission electric vehicles.

Lead-acid batteries are increasingly viewed as the most viable power source for electric vehicles because they are the most readily available, safe and reliable battery technology. The bill, which calls for a 45-cents-per-pound tax on lead, would increase the cost of batteries for electric vehicles significantly. If passed, the tax will price electric vehicle technology out of the range of virtually all Americans.

Equally ironic is the fact that recycling remains the environmental community's battle cry, yet lead-acid batteries are the most recycled commodity in the United States, at more than 90% annually.

Tough rules are only one key element in improving our environment. Feasibility and fairness should be two others.

RICK GODBER

Santa Fe Springs

Godber is president of Trojan Battery Co. and vice president of Battery Council International.

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