A TV reporter at the recent Detroit auto show, announcing the latest vehicle models, stated that car manufacturers are building what people want to buy. This is a self-fulfilling prophecy because we can only buy what they build.
No wonder Ford and GM are in financial trouble. Are they really listening to consumer demand or are they using their huge PR machinery to perpetuate petroleum profits. Hello. Companies like Toyota will soon have racked up sales of half a million fuel-saving gasoline hybrids.
This self-assured announcer went on to say that while people talk about energy-efficient and gasoline hybrid cars, what they really want are powerful, fuel-guzzling vehicles. This just does not figure with my reality. I am still waiting for someone to build an electric car that I can afford and actually buy. The Tesla electric sports car, while as fast as a Lamborghini, costs more than $100,000 (www.teslamotors.com). Tesla plans to market a less expensive electric sedan in two years.
Since watching the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? it is easier to spot the media shills doing PR for big car manufacturers. The EV1 (Electric Vehicle One) was brilliantly designed by a special project team at General Motors. People happily bought the EV1, or thought they had bought it. In California, the zero emission vehicle (ZEV) program required that two percent of new vehicles produced for sale in 1998 and 10 percent of new vehicles produced for sale in 2003 would be zero emission. A modest goal to support if you care about our planet.
So GM built a masterpiece, created by a truly inspired team of engineers. People eager to drive pollution free vehicles snatched the car up. The level of consumer acceptance for the EV1 surprised GM. But rather than make a commitment to continue to produce the car, a consortium of US industry representatives – automobile manufacturing, insurance, financial and oil – sued the government of California to withdraw its anti-pollution law, which required zero emissions on a small percentage of new cars sold.
After quashing the laws, GM did something else that startled consumers who “owned” EV1s. GM recalled all the EV1s stating that the cars were leased, not sold, and that anyone refusing to return the EV-1 could be sued. The electric vehicles were confiscated even under protest by owners. One group of owners offered GM more than $1 million if they could just keep their beloved EV-1s. Offer rejected.
Brand new and almost new electric cars were hauled off and destroyed. Car corporations and their friends first crushed the law, and then they crushed the cars. But they could not crush people’s desire for ecologically sound vehicles.
What the myopic TV announcer failed to see is the real perpetrator responsible for impeding the production of electric vehicles. When that news cynic droned that new car buyers are really just lusting after the biggest V-8 petroleum powered autos available, you know, the ones America already has to sell you, he was playing the Detroit climate change deniers blues.
I want an electric vehicle and I want it now! I want a car that does not pollute the air children breathe. Clean air is important. I want a vehicle that does not contribute to global warming and recharged from sustainable energy sources such as hydroelectric. I want peace rather than more bloody wars for oil. I want to drive knowing my car supports life on our planet instead of killing its people and environment. If some dumb-ass TV reporter thinks his cynicisms help the dialogue, he is dead wrong.
People do care and we want vehicles that heal rather than hurt our world. You could call it the PV1, the Peace Vehicle One. Imagine all the people who would buy. You may say I am a dreamer, but I know I am not the only one.
Watch the film Who Killed the Electric Car? and contact your local electric car group.