I read the answers from Professor Yiguang Ju with dismay. I would expect someone leading the Sustainable Energy program to be able to provide answers backed up by fact instead of personal anecdotes and speculation. Just to take a few answers:
Per 100,000 vehicles sold, internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles catch fire at a rate about 100 times that of electric vehicles according to insurance industry research. And of course research into batteries (e.g. lithium iron phosphate) will lead to even safer batteries. And yet Prof. Ju perpetuates fear, uncertainty, and doubt.
He conflates self-driving algorithms with electric drive chains.
He guesses that an EV in New Jersey during winter would have more emissions than a similar ICE vehicle. And yet this topic has been investigated thoroughly by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). You’d have to have 100% coal generated electricity and the heat in the EV on in winter (~0.3 kg/mi for ev compared to similar ice vehicle of 0.5 kg/mi). And this is not the energy mixture in New Jersey, which is mostly natural gas and nuclear.
I would suggest the director spend more time coming up to speed on the literature instead of guessing at the answers to these questions.