Sometimes that pond is so wide.
In the UK, there’s plenty of resistance to electric cars but it doesn’t feel co-ordinated, charged with extremist politics and absurd ranting. It’s criticism, some of it very well founded, by people who are interested in the subject of either cars or our future energy needs and problems.
Essentially the British Conservative party make vaguely favourable nods toward the electric car along with the Labour party, oh, and even that other lot I keep forgetting. The fact that these political parties are now virtually indistinguishable is another story.
However, this relatively benign state of affairs isn’t the case in the good old US of A. For some reason I’ve long forgotten, I still get e-mails from the Tea Party on a regular basis. They go into my spam bin, but every now and then I check one out to see what they’re ranting about.
It’s mostly comical, childish fury at the fact that there’s a black man in the Whitehouse who is hugely popular both inside and outside the USA.
They will do anything to get him out, I’m not putting words into their angry little mouths, this is what they say, and anything connected to him in any way drives them utterly bat-shit crazy.
If you have a perfectly innocent technological interest in electric cars you will be labelled as an insane communist anti American pro Obama eco-Nazi. The American Tea Party TV station, Fox News, have picked out the electric car as the key symbol. Some dead eyed news jock with fake hair, tan and teeth spouts ‘The Nation we love is going to hell in a hand basket, and Obama is pushing it over the edge with his communist electric car that he’s ramming down the throats of good citizens of America.’
This is peculiar and pinpoints the rather scary fact that this extreme right wing minority have completely taken over the once sensible centre right Republican party in America.
Now even the arch conservative climate change denying ex General Motors boss Bob Lutz has said, ‘Hang on a minute there boy, this is damned ridiculous.’
You see General Motors developed the GM Volt, (the Vauxhall Ampera in the UK) General Motors were bailed out by the US government and have since done rather well, selling shed loads of gas guzzling trucks and cars, and a few thousand part electric cars. But now this multi national corporation with a very proud history of supporting the Republican party, even GM are now portrayed as commie anti Americans by the barking Tea Party.
‘They don’t work and they catch fire,’ said some ‘spokesperson.’ Giving this tragic individual a name check is beneath me. One GM Volt caught fire many weeks after it was in a serious road accident. Over 10,000 people a year die in fossil powered vehicle fires in the USA every year, not one person has died in an electric vehicle fire. They don’t catch fire and now everyone who knows anything about cars, batteries or related subjects knows they don’t catch fire. Everyone except Fox ‘news.’
The first electric car I had a ride in was developed in America, the Tesla Roadster. I know very little of the personal political thinking of one of the founders, Elon Musk, but seeing as he is a white South African multi millionaire capitalist, the chances of him being a wet liberal tree hugging hippie drop out seem rather remote.
But in the eyes of the Tea Party and most of the very odd bunch of loons that are hoping to be the next republican President, he is just that. A man who is trying to destroy America with his goddam commie electric cars.
As I’ve said previously, when I first had my neck strained by the truly breath taking performance of the Tesla Roadster, I had no idea this simple disruptive shift in technology would be so political. Yes there are plenty of theories that the fossil extraction corporations are shelling out money by the ship load to inform us that electric cars ‘just don’t work, I know many right wing people in the UK who are very pro electric cars, and very left wing people who think we should ride bikes or catch a bus or train and all cars are evil.
That’s what I like, a bit of balance.