The most unexpected experience I've had since I first had a ride in a 21st century car 10 years ago was that this new branch of technology would cause such distress and anger among a small section of the global population.
Take for example, this comment from the previous posting on this blog. It is from someone who is sadly too scared to leave their name, so they refer to themselves as zzzz. Other than that rather glaring admission of bullying cowardice, this individual is full of righteous anger and finger pointing hatred.
“I love it when eco-berks such as yourself and the gorgeous George Monbiot throw a wobbly on their favourite issue of smoke, mirrors and conjecture, which easily fits in with their main objectives, the destruction of Western consumer capitalism and private transport (hey, that's not my opinion, that's what Caroline Lucas wants). Of course, you neglect to mention the other issues brought up like recharge time, unpredictability of range (you touch upon it, alas in a very naive and optimistic way), increasing electricity costs (which will happen as the country and the world transitions to ETS ponzi schemes and inefficient wind turbines) and having to rip up existing transport infrastructure in order to make way for the Clean Green Utopia. I regret buying the Red Dwarf DVDs. Should have just downloaded them and not given any of the money I would have spent to someone like you.”
(ETS stands for Emissions Trading Schemes, I had to Google it. This indicates that the writer is American but I may be wrong)
We’re talking about cars here ladies and gentlemen, we’re not talking nuclear weapons or communism, we’re not talking racial politics or gay marriage, we’re talking cars. Machines made in factories by big, multi national corporations.
As I stood looking at the T-Zero electric prototype in 2001, I could not have thought to myself ‘Blimey, this is a left wing car, the right wing nutters are going to go apeshit when this hits the streets.'
The notion of politics would not have entered my head for a moment. And yet, the extreme right, and let’s face it, as the developed world has lurched so far to the right it’s resulted in angry white men have lurching ever further right to differentiate themselves from the mass, this distressed minority have leveled their fury at electric cars. Oh yes, and inefficient wind turbines, they really hate wind turbines, although interestingly they never mention inefficient solar panels.
But the right wing white men (and let’s face it, they all are white men) are mightily upset by any criticism of their beloved leader. Mr Clarkson has had a right old duffing up this week. Bish bash bosh, the press have had a field day. Indeed Mr Monbiot (a passionate pro-nuclear advocate) did have a bit of a pop at the BBC and Mr C for the silly pranks. But he was not alone, just about every paper mentioned that yet again they ‘obfuscated the truth’ and went to great lengths to paint as bleak a picture as was possible of any form of alternative to good old petrol and diesel, (I include hydrogen in that mix as fossil fuel is where hydrogen will come from)
Three years ago when I was critical of Top Gear’s truth obfuscated review of the Tesla, the majority of comments I received were very pro the series and very anti my analysis.
This time, the tide has indeed turned.
There are reams of comments all over the internet finally questioning Top Gear, and by default, the BBC’s bizarrely biased reporting on this subject. I don’t for one moment think the noise will affect the show or the BBC’s stout defense of it. I don’t want Top Gear to change, I desperately want them to continue their ill informed criticism of electric vehicles. It’s one of the best things that can happen to encourage the uptake of this technology.
I heard a very interesting fact from a high ranking employee of an international car manufacturer. Top Gear did a scathing review of one of their economy diesel models and In the weeks that followed the sales of the car went off the charts, they could not keep up with the demand. Counter intuitively when, on another episode TG gave a glowing review of one of their high-end sports models, the sales of this car collapsed, they even had some existing orders cancelled.
By the way, I’m thrilled zzzzzz bought Red Dwarf DVD’s, I’m going out to waste the money on more renewableinfrastructure :-)Links