Motives of EV Adversaries
How can two such opposing points of view coexist concerning the Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) also known as the Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV)?† Perhaps we can understand why owner-drivers see things so differently from corporate America (i.e. Auto Manufacturers and the Petroleum Industry) if we examine motives.
To be sure corporate America is capable of altruism, but their primary motivation is stockholder profits.† The answer to the question that is less clear to some is: ďWhat are the motives of BEV owner drivers?Ē, who are often dismissed as ranting, emotional, illogical, crack pots,† In the population of BEV owner-drivers, you will be hard pressed to find supporters for the corporate point of view.† Are they all crackpots?† Unfortunately, the crackpot explanation serves Corporate America well.† It is a convenient response to any objection made by owner-drivers to their policies.† It even justifies ignoring such objections made by owner-drivers.†
BEV owner-driver fall into a few categories.† There are those who drive production BEVs or professionally converted BEVs.† Then there are those who convert their own gasoline vehicle to a BEV and drive that.† Both groups are remarkably well informed regarding the BEV Technology.† Whether you buy or convert, you must overcome a great deal of inertial.† It requires a great deal of stick-to-it-ive-ness and dedication to get to the point where you actually own and drive a BEV.† The system is working against you.
For those wealthy enough to buy a Tesla Roadster or an AC Propulsion E-Box today, there are long waiting lists and limited availability.† In the past with the RAV4 EV there were similar obstacles.† This population of owner-driver tends to be intelligent well-informed professionals.† They often use solar charging system for their BEVs adding even more expense.† Many of these people are engineers who have an in depth understanding of the technology.
The population of owner drivers, driving professionally custom converted BEVs may be familiar with the technology in less technical detail or lack the time or mechanical skills to complete a successful home conversion.† Economically this is cheaper than Tesla or E-Box.† This group is probably mixed in its understanding of the technological detail but all of them being well informed on environmental, foreign oil dependency and national security issues related to driving gasoline powered vehicles.
For the home conversion population, the technology must be understood in some detail to accomplish a successful conversion.† To be sure home conversion are successful to varying degrees.† This group shares one thing in common with the others and that is their interest in and awareness of the relevant social problems solved by BEVs.† They end up investing less money, but invest a great deal of time planning and hard physical work actually converting the BEVs they drive.
If altruism is evident anywhere it is among BEV owner-drivers.† These people have invested personal effort and money in owning and driving BEVs not easily acquired, because they are concerned about our National Security, foreign oil dependence, and the economic and environmental future of our Nation.
For the most part BEV owner-drivers are relating history and experience.† Yes, the RAV4 EV has been around for ten years.† Yes, it is powered by the Panasonic EV-95 NiMH battery.† Yes, many of these cars have over 100,000 miles on them and all of them have the original batteries.† Yes, Chevron has the patent for these batteries and is not producing or licensing any one else to produce them.† Yes, GM and Toyota say that NiMH batteries are only suitable for gasoline Hybrids like the Prius.† These are the historical facts, not the ranting of crackpots.
Why do owner-drivers go to so much trouble to present these facts to the public?† Not for personal gain.† They do it because it is in the interest of this Nation to solve the problems of the economy, the environment, our foreign oil dependency and national security.
A better question is Why did Chevron sue Panasonic to stop production of the EV-95 NiMH battery?† They do it because it is not in the interest of Corporate profits.† To Chevron corporate profit is more important than the problems of the economy, the environment, our foreign oil dependency and national security.† They know their patent runs out in 2014 and that the BEV is inevitable, but the longer they can stall the better for corporate profits.† After all that is why they are in business.
Why do GM and Toyota say that NiMH batteries are only suitable for a non-plug-in hybrid like the Prius?† Perhaps GM made a mistake when they sold their interest in the patent on NuMH batteries to Chevron.† They may find it easier to pretend NiMH technology doesnít apply to the Volt than to admit a mistake and take steps to correct it.† Perhaps they realize their mistake is irrevocable and beyond their control.
Toyota may realize it is all beyond their control.† They with Panasonic have already lost the EV-95 suit to Chevron.† They also want to continue to keep their lead in the no-plugin hybrid market while justifying lack of RAV4 EV production.† After all Chevron has them where they want them, they donít have a choice.† They need the NiMH small format batteries Chevron provides them for the Prius.† If they donít play ball they could loose their supply of Prius batteries.
There is one more group that we hear from.† They are the owners and drivers of conventional gasoline burning cars.† They know what they have and they know what they like.† They like the freedom and versatility of their cars and they donít want to loose it.† They donít want some obscure group of people who drive electric cars telling them what to drive.† They donít want to have to pay for the cost of cleaning up the environment.† They say we canít afford to pay the price for cleaning up the environment, when countries like China are such heavy polluters.† They say, EV advocates donít under stand that Electric cars donít meet the requirement and the requirement is range.
Gas Vehicle Owner Drivers have no experience owning or driving an EV.† Most have no idea how far they drive daily.† Granted there are some trips they understand, but few are good at predicting distance from point ďAĒ to point ďBĒ, because it is not important, they have unlimited range and refueling opportunities on every corner.† EV Owner Drivers understand what their range requirements are.† More important they understand that they are met by the EV they drive. On the other hand, how can an Owner Driver of a gas car who has never driven an EV explain anything to an EV Owner Driver about range.†† Think about who needs to educate whom.
No EV driver wants to tell any gas driver what kind of car to drive.† On the other hand EV Driver donít want to be limited to the choices Detroit is offering in show Rooms.† Who is imposing constraints on whom when it comes to what type of car choices we have.† No one wants to take gas burning cars from those drives who choose to drive them.† On the other hand, we had electric cars like the RAV4-EV and the EV1. †They were taken away from those drivers who wanted them.† No one ever forced anyone to drive an EV against their choice.† There are, however, lots of us, who are forced to drive gas burning cars, who would like an EV.
If you want to drive a gas car, drive it.† Donít get angry with those of us who lobby for a choice of driving an EV.† Donít tell us who are driving conversions or leftovers from ten years ago, now out of production, that we donít understand range limitations of the EV.† What are you afraid of?† Are you afraid that if 10 or 20 or† 3o percent of the population of owner drivers had the EVís they want, you might actually ride in one or drive it and maybe like it, and buy one yourself.
I guess I have failed here, because I wanted to explain the motives of the Gaas Vehicle Owner Driver and I donít think I have.† I guess I donít understand the motives of this group of people.
Yes, EV owner Drivers know about range.† But the fact is, range is not the issue.† The issue is first economic.† That is Fuel and food prices, balance of payments and the overwhelming cost to the economy of supporting the oil infrastructure.† The issue is National Security.† We are vulnerable to terrorism and fighting a war in the middle east we canít afford.† The issue is reliance on foreign oil.† A portion of every dollar sent to the Middle East goes to terrorism.† We are borrowing money† from China to pay† for war and oil.† Our economic future and National security are in the hand s of long-term debtors because of reliance on foreign oil.† The issue is the environment.† Specifically, pollution and global warming.
You can drive your gas burning car and ignore the issues and tell EV owner drives that they donít understand the limited range of the EV they drive every day, but do you expect them to be persuaded by your view.† Further do you have the right to tell them they canít have the choice to buy a production EV from a major auto manufacturer?† Can you tell them they are ďexpletive deletedĒ for lobbying for the choice they want?† Just who is being arrogant here?
This is not about benevolent corporate wisdom and crackpots, it is about corporate profits, and gas car owner drivers holding on to the past versus historical fact as presented by EV Owner Drivers.