For EVs: Work Trumps Hope


I have long been prodding folks not to be too complacent about assuming an EV future is guaranteed. Good things are happening for sure, but I know too well that this rolling snowball can indeed be stopped.

My admonishments are typically greeted either with criticism for any shred of skepticism, or with a verbal pat on the head, an “aww, don’t worry, it’ll be ok.” You know, because these things take care of themselves and I just shouldn’t worry my pretty little head about it.
Especially today, I encourage anyone still resting on those laurels of hope to knock it off. No, the sky is not falling as a result of the last 24 hours. But most of the electric vehicles available in the US today are on the market because of two regulations—the CARB ZEV program and CAFE standards—that have never been invulnerable, and could be at risk in the new administration. To those who think Tesla will singlehandedly solve it all, they too rely on market and other incentives that are likely endangered. Those brand new nationwide EV charging corridor plans and the loan guarantees to help create them? Donald Trump has been clear in what he thinks about such things. And EVs. Battery and other research. His plans for the EPA. And, quite possibly, DOE. If you believe he is likely to follow through on even some of his intentions, these threats can’t be ignored or overcome with mere faith.

It is also long past time for the conservatives to come back out of the closet in support of EVs. Many retreated when EVs became associated with President Obama, but if national, energy, and economic security are indeed the priority, then driving on cleaner, cheaper, domestic electricity is still a crucial component to address those issues. This topic is as bipartisan as they come, and there is no longer any excuse not to support it.

I’m still an optimist, but there is a tremendous about of work to do. We need all hands on deck, and not simply with fingers crossed.

12 thoughts on “For EVs: Work Trumps Hope

  1. Yes. We are not there yet at all. Plug in cars are just getting started. They are not a market yet. Don’t fooled by the notion that just because they make sesnse and you have one, that they will become popular. Odds are aginist it today more than ever.
    Humans are stupid and make choices that hurt themselves. They don’t listen to you just because you are smart. So now is the time to big up plugin car advocates. We need to be a voting block and get orginuzed or we will fail.

  2. I know that eventually all vehicles on this planet shall be battery electric. The battery technology will get better and so will the so called auto pilot. Look at the TV program called Terra Nova that is a sample of where we are going in the future. >

  3. Agreed @evchels. We’ve got both hands on deck here. We’re building something that could do a lot to accelerate EV adoption. Would love to get your take on it.

  4. I talk up EVs to everyone I know and so far I have convinced two people to go electric — and have two more that are about to fall. We can all do the same and contribute in our own way, politely lobbying for chargers at work; being courteous and helpful at public charging stations; patiently answering people’s questions about them no matter how inconvenient or silly they are; offering to car pool so that others experience them. #it’sUpToUs

  5. There is no way that this incoming government is not going to put a serious squeeze on RVs.

    With single party rule (see below), plus corporate oil money and oil puppets given the highest levels of government control, plus the “facts” that everybody knows EVs are for tree huggers who voted for Obama / Hillary, the result in a possible generational setback.

    There’s not a chance in hell of CAFE requirements not being reduced or eliminated altogether. There’s a threat even to CARB, since the U.S. government allows CARB to regulate air quality based on a provision in “section 177” of EPA rules. That’s very easy for both EPA and congress to line out.

    Auto manufacturers had petitioned the EPA in 2012 to require CARB to back down on ZEV requirements. What do you think they will be doing on Jan 20, 2017? I see very little chance that ZEV continues.

    Let’s be clear about what we face with single party government control:

    1) House of Representatives – not only Republican control, but virtually zero chance or uprooting them before 2020, when they once again Gerrymander their districts to ensure Republican control through 2030.

    2) Senate – while Republican control is weak, they are in control, nonetheless. The only hope for the loyal opposition is 2018, and they best they could do then is block things, like Republicans did with Obama for 8 years.

    3) President – locked up through 2020, and while Trump may not go past then, he or a similar surrogate likely will. Waiting for the country to become less “old, angry, and white” is a long road to change.

    4) Supreme Court – locked up for a generation with Republican nominees who will magically find approval of Republican laws. and there just won’t be many (any) Democrat laws to be challenged.

  6. Speaking of hands on deck. I’m thinking of contributing/open sourcing my EV energy storage idea. I think it’s quite novel, I tried googling it. Either open source/defensive publication, or crowdfund it, haven’t decided yet. But not patent, as I want this to be useful for everyone. I discussed this idea with two local university lecturers, under NDA, they seem to like it, but getting funding is a bit hard here in New Zealand, with a smaller economy. Has anyone had any experience with crowdfunding an overseas open source idea towards proof of concept/prototype..?

  7. I do not think much with EVs will happen until the model 3 is being produced and 500,000 are made yearly. The Bolt will not achieve these sales because of no charging network. However I do think Tesla should have other chargers at all tesla charging stations and sell electricity to other EVs. Once the model 3 gets out there more demand may occur. Also there is an aluminum battery that may come next yr which allows over 500 miles of driving an EV. However if petrol goes up more EVs will sell. However; I believe EVs are the reason petrol is not over 4.50 a gallon

  8. I was reading your article again and had to make another reply. Another big reason for slow EV sales is everyone compares the EV or Volt to a gas or diesel vehicle. You cannot compare them because no one knows how long they will last. We all know very well that almost all gas cars have major repairs after 100,000 miles and some amount of brake work before 100,000 miles. There is a 2012 Volt out there with over 300,000 miles original battery and brakes. No gas car can go that far without several brake overhauls. Yes the Volt has the gas engine generator however the electric motor drives the wheels. All other hybrids the gas engine drives the wheel with a small electric motor to start the drive up to 30MPH. Now the Ford Cmax may be similar to the Volt but you still need 40 miles of battery drive in big cities. And that is why GM increased the Volt to 50 miles of EV drive. Both gen1 and gen2 Volts usually charge more than listed charge unless the ambient temperature is below 32. When you purchase an EV the EV may have longevity of 2 or more gas vehicles which would make the EV a lower purchase price than 2 gas cars and all the maintenance and fuel included.

  9. As much as I respect Chelsea’s views and opinions, I think she may be overstating America’s influence, speaking as if the US alone is gifted with the power of choice over the future of the global EV market when clearly the decision maker here is China.

    China is by far the largest producer of EV’s selling over 510,000 vehicles last year, which according to the Financial Times currently represents 45% of world production and Goldman Sachs have predicted this share will rise to over 60% by 2030.

    They have invested hundreds of billions into becoming the global centre for volume EV manufacturing and I cant see any amount of US policymaking making any difference in the relentless march towards electrification.

    Given price parity, most people would probably choose to drive an EV. After all they are quicker, cleaner, quieter and very soon the Chinese will make them cheaper too.

    In my estimation, this rolling snowball is unstoppable!

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