Thursday, March 27, 2008

They're Trying to Kill The Electric Car....Again!

For those of you who have seen Who Killed The Electric Car you already know that the EV1 was made because of the California Zero Emission Mandate tht called for each car maker to make a certain number of electric cars. The car companies sued the state of California and had the mandate repealed, and the cars were destroyed.

Well, believe it or not, it's happening all over again. CARB (California Air Resources Board) just voted to drop the previous requirement of 25,000 EVs by 2014 to a little over 5000. That's nearly a 70% reduction!!! What are they pushing in it's place? Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Absolutely unbelievable! You can read about it here if you want more info. And feel free to email the board and tell them what you think of their decision here.
In the meantime, here's a speech that a friend of mine Paul Scott gave at the CARB hearing yesterday. It's quick, well thought out, and I think more than makes it's point.

Live Sustainably (and get an EV anyway)


It’s been about 5 years since EV proponents stood here and unsuccessfully pleaded with this board to keep the original ZEV program numbers for electric cars. So what has happened in those 5 years?

According to the World Health Organization, tens of thousands of Americans died as a result of auto related pollution in each one of those 5 years.

Since 2003, the US has spent over a trillion dollars for foreign oil. The burn rate is well over a billion dollars a day and climbing fast.

The price of gas 5 years ago was $1.40. It’s now $4.00. Even the oil industry has agreed that peak oil will occur within the coming decade. Bush’s multiple entreaties to the Saudis over the past three months to increase production have all been denied. In times of both record prices and record demand for oil, the only possible reason that the Saudis will not increase production is because they cannot. According to Matthew Simmons in, “Twilight In the Desert”, if the Saudis have peaked, the globe has peaked.

We’ve spent close to a trillion dollars fighting a war in Iraq, and we all know we’re there because of the oil under their ground. The Chinese are buying oil contracts all over the world with the intent to lock up as much of this resource as possible for their own growing needs.

Over the past 5 years, the scientific evidence of climate change has become widely accepted, and according to NASA’s James Hansen, we are rapidly approaching a tipping point, after which, we cannot stop significant climate change.

If 100% of the vehicles sold every year were ZEVs, it would still take over 20 years to convert the American fleet to zero emission. The auto industry sold about 85 million vehicles in the US over the past 5 years. Not one of those vehicles was Zero Emission.

Carmakers say they cannot build EVs fast enough to meet the goals in the current regulation, but I’ll remind you that in 1941, the entire auto industry switched inside of 12 months to making tanks and planes for the war effort. I submit that the problems we are facing today are every bit as crucial as then.

The consequences of delaying implementation of ZEVs, means more Americans will die from pollution, we will move closer to the devastating tipping point of climate change, and more billions of our dollars will go out of the country, with much of that money going to buy the bombs and the bullets that will kill our soldiers.

The decision you are making today is historic. Whether you choose to continue down the hydrogen highway on the hopes that fuel cells will solve these problems is a huge gamble. The clock is ticking, however, and I’ll remind you that the capital you are using in this gamble is the environment, our national security and human lives.

I ask that you please vote with this in mind.

1 comment:

Dave said...

I feel that i need to explain as some of you, perhaps one person in particular, may notice that i deleted some comments from this post. I have never done this before but a friend convinced me that it was the right thing to do as the comments were personal attacks on me due to my belief in the inevitability and intelligence behind electric vehicles.

While I accept and even welcome folks who disagree with my thoughts (and that's what they are after all, this is a blog not a news venue) my buddy emailed me and explained that personal attacks are so not in the nature of what we have here that they should be deleted, and so I have.

For the record, the comment, left by anonymous, basically said that I was unintelligent for thinking that EVs had a chance and that the only one possible one was coming from GM in 2 years. I figured I'd throw this in here so that the gist of what he wrote came through. The rest of the comment basically berated me for believing that EVs were an option. I'll leave that part out.

Anonymous, if you'd like to post back a non abusive comment, I'd truly be interested in what you have to offer, but if all you have for me is negativity and personal slams, than please head over to someone else's blog.

Thanks for reading.