Viewpoint: EV mandate won’t work for Montana’s rural, farming communities


Rural Montanans deal with many trials that those in urban areas do not typically struggle with—whether that is internet connectivity, access to healthcare, or simply just the mileage it takes to get to a gas station or grocery store, the fact of the matter is that folks in the more remote portions of our state rely heavily on their vehicles to access the basic needs and services that we all rely on.

As a Montana farmer, a former state Senator, and an advocate for Montana’s agriculture industry, I have worked closely with these communities. I know what it takes, day in and day out, to be in agriculture.


Terry Murphy


Full Opinion


I’ve had a very interesting discussion with Mr. Murphy:

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to respond to your observations on the future of electric vehicles in Montana’s rural communities.  I’ve only included a very few of the many articles that we’ve posted on that are reporting the daily improvement of electric vehicles and the support system that will quickly better serve everyone.  I hope you’ll share them with your fellow legislators and other Montana leaders so all of Montana will be at the forefront of the EV revolution and not playing catch up as we do so often.  Happy to discuss



On 5/23/2024 8:27 PM, Terry Murphy wrote:
There is a place for EVs.  But, it is a fairly small place, not even close to two thirds of vehicles sold in the next 8 years.

Every new car and truck in the U.S. can be electric by 2035

The transition to EVs can happen faster than you think.

  Lightweight small EVs for running errands around town would be a good thing, and could reduce air pollution some in the cities.  But for heavy duty or long distance travel fully electric vehicles are just not practical.

Forget Autonomous Cars, Autonomous Long Haul Trucking Is The Key To Real Emissions Reductions

Newly released data indicates that the latest electric medium duty and heavy duty trucks are increasingly ready to handle a lot of North America’s freight-hauling needs.

Why The Future Of Long-Haul Trucking Is Battery Electric

With trucks being heavily used capital goods, the advantage of battery electric vehicles in terms of lower fuel and maintenance costs grows with increasing mileage, making them particularly competitive for long-haul transport.

US Cities Leading The Way To Electric Cars & Trucks

Cities can punch above their weight by helping to demonstrate that electric cars are viable both for businesses and private owners, said Ian Seamans, who works with city governments at Environment Texas. A large part of the effect is modeling this behavior for the public,” he said. City policies are particularly important in Republican-led states such as Texas, where there are few state incentives for clean vehicles.

I read about one test using an electric pickup towing a moderately sized camper trailer.  They had to stop for recharging so often they couldn’t come close to the number of miles per day that you would want if traveling on vacation or business.


Electric vehicles are changing how America goes camping

Trailer companies are working to make their products easier to tow while EV makers are trying to make the whole experience better, from camping to charging.

It is a fact that battery power is much less efficient in below zero temperatures.


Researchers have found a way to overcome the challenges that befall EVs in hot and cold conditions

This system, called e-Thermal bank, is separate from the main EV battery and combines a chemical heat pump with microwave energy to produce heating or cooling on demand.

Havre, Montana’s electric school buses ace their test in subzero temperatures

“There was a lot of raised eyebrows and a lot of question marks about whether or not this was going to work,” Paul Tuss said. “But apparently it has worked swimmingly. And some pretty cold temperatures here on the Hi-Line.”

How the Mighty Heat Pump Helps EVs in the Cold

“Any electric vehicle that comes out right now and doesn’t have a heat pump is a dinosaur already,”

  Also, in cold weather you have to use a lot of the energy stored in the battery just to run the heater inside the cab.

Don’t Panic, Wireless EV Charging Can Calm The EV Charging Station Chaos

“Wireless charging can reduce battery size and cost, extend driving range, reduce pressure on the electric grid, and enable the electrification of autonomous vehicles,” Stevens also noted.

For heavy trucks hauling grain or other freight on dirt roads or just out in the pastures or fields you need a lot of power, and you need to keep moving hour after hour without spending hours out of commission while hooked up to the charger somewhere.

All Farm Equipment Including Tractors And Combines Will Be Electric

Anything which can electrify, will electrify.

These factors plus the high initial cost of the vehicle makes farm use of EVs very impractical.  I have taken the time to keep up with EV development and testing.  That is how I came to the conclusions I have.


Terry Murphy



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