Is Anti-EV Propaganda Affecting Potential Buyers Of Plug-Ins?

JUL 22 2015 BY JAY COLE 106

"Are electric cars damaging YOUR region?" - Daily Mail (UK)

“Are electric cars damaging YOUR region?” – Daily Mail (UK)

We see it a lot.  A article here stating EV’s are evil, an odd quote there saying the are actually destroying the environemnt; but is anti-electric vehicle propaganda a real thing?  Is there actually a shadow industry out there manipulating the media to slow the adoption of plug-in vehicles?  Or is it mostly just some uneducated writers producing some juicy headlines?

The truth is, in following the EV-related news every day we see a lot of over-the-top articles we question, and a lot of quotes we know have been taken out of context.  And while we always feel obligated to dispel as many inaccuracies as possible, it seems like there are too many of them to tackle, and that sometimes it is just a mountain too high to climb.

Definition of "to broder"

Definition of “to broder” (via Stouty @ Tesla Motors forums)

Recently, Jeff Cobb, who serves as editor at HybridCars.com, wrote a very intensive, thought provoking article on just that subject; and he kindly let us share a piece of his labor of love.

Audi Q7 e-tron And Friends

Audi Q7 e-tron And Friends

“Nobody has proven electric cars unequivocally less environmentally friendly overall than conventional cars but that does not stop people from throwing what they can on the wall to see what sticks.

It’s effectively propaganda, and you the general public are the target. Of course it does not declare itself as propaganda, but you may see it presented as new information about potentially negative environmental impacts of electric vehicles (EVs).

The underlying message: Think twice! Policymakers and environmentalists may be on the wrong road dragging others along with their hyped green religion.

Since mass-market EVs were introduced in late 2010, anti-EV arguments have varied from baseless to getting in a few good jabs. Sources have been opinion pieces to studies to – worst of all – re-reports of studies taking researchers out of context to justify eyeball-grabbing headlines.

Why this is happening also has opinions – such as “Big Oil” or other interests are back-door funding research or media to play the unsuspecting public which is otherwise a revenue source. Short of conspiracy theories, less sinister motives may be attributed to careless writers who merely want to jerk your attention to what they have to say.”

Jeff then takes this opportunity to highlight some famous (and less famous) examples of anti-EV propaganda that has the air waves over the past couple years, while concluding:

“What ever the motives, stories that tear down EVs’ claim to fame have become a focus.

And, each time one of these stories comes out, counter stories from the much-less-influential pro-EV press may come out to combat major media repeating EVs-aren’t-green rhetoric.

So it goes, but if you are an information consumer, please remember, it is caveat emptor – buyer beware.”

We encourage you to check out the entire piece at Hybrid Cars, it is a great (and satisfying) read.

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106 Comments on "Is Anti-EV Propaganda Affecting Potential Buyers Of Plug-Ins?"

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ffbj

Clearly there is anti ev propaganda. Whether or not it is orchestrated by, say the oil industry is another question, but I think the clear yes is the answer.
My advice for prospective owners would be to talk to current owners of ev’s and ask about their customer satisfaction with the vehicle.

jerryd

One only has to look at Toyota’s, Honda’s, Fiat’s, etc EV comments/propaganda among so many others.
Though GM, Nissan and BMW it seems has stopped.
Big oil has been a huge source along with ALEX.
I’ve got most EV PR’s for 20 yrs now and the anti EV has always been there especially 97 on.

Mike777

To ignore and pretend this propaganda isn’t coming from the oil industry is just a mark of gullibility.

Just like the cigarette industries 40 year campaign, with “doctors” telling you of the positive health effects of smoking, corporations lie.

Some “journalists” are paid to lie.

RedLeafBlueLeaf
Exactly. Look, the global warming denial propoganda comes straight out of the tobacco institute textbook, including many of the same professional liars, and that’s been well documented. Of course the same people don’t want EVs. But while manufacture of such propoganda is the first part of the problem, the second part is that a huge chunk of the population is eager consumers of such propoganda. These are the same people who watch Fox, listen to right wing radio, and frequent websites like NewsMax and Breitbart. When a news article comes out that is anti-EV they immediately forward it and broadcast it to everyone – no matter how obviously idiotic it is. Remember the 2006 “study” that claimed the Hummer was more environmental than the Prius? The paper itself was chock full of logical fallacies that a junior high student could have identified at first read – so bad one had to wonder if it was intended to test whether right wingers would believe anything, no matter how obviously false, if it fed their world view. But of course, they did – even mainstream conservatives like George Will touted it. So this is the problem EVs face.
PVH

My next car will probably be a PHEV as I drive long distances too often for a BEV. However I would like to see on the market a PHEV’s with higher energy density batteries (200 Wh/kg being a minimum) than those which are now coming on the market. This because I find it technically inelegant to carry around too much dead weight while long distance driving.

Speculawyer

I wouldn’t worry about that so much . . . I’d be more concerned with getting a small ICE because that is dead weight that you’ll be dragging around most of the time.

ffbj

I think of it as more akin to rider on an insurance policy, a drag on your finances but nice to have if you need it.
In the case of the i3 for example the driver would probably be more dead weight than the engine, though there is also the weight of fuel.
Anyway I can see why you would go with the phev if you do a moderate amount of distance driving, over 200 miles a day.

Alonso Perez

Yet, for steady state long-distance driving weight isn’t much of a factor. Drag and friction are dominant.

Weight is costlier in city driving. It requires more energy to accelerate, not to cruise, except through increased tire friction, but that’s insignificant for a couple of hundred pounds.

ffbj

I used to have a 1970 Saab. I think that was the last year they had free-wheeling. Man that could save some gas on a long haul.

Pushmi-Pullyu

PVH wrote:

“I find it technically inelegant to carry around too much dead weight while long distance driving.”

So, you’ll be buying two-seater, as the rear seat of most cars is usually “dead weight”? Hmmm, I rather doubt it.

If by “dead weight” you mean a large battery pack, then consider the following:

1. A larger battery pack gives you more electric range, and thus is cheaper per mile to operate

2. A larger battery pack will last more years before appreciably degrading

3. A larger battery pack can be fast-charged more quickly (in terms of miles added per minute/hour of charge)

4. A larger battery pack contains more energy, and thus can run a heater or air conditioner longer

In short, a larger battery pack offers a lot more advantages than the back seat of most cars which are used to commute; cars which usually carry only one or at most two people. Yet few people call a back seat “dead weight” when choosing which car to buy!

Anon

+1

David Murray

I have noticed any time a news story runs on an electric car on a major news site, the comments section is literally filled with anti-EV propaganda. The vast majority of it is total lies. I can only imagine that there is a larger force driving this. And I’m pretty sure it is the oil companies.

I put a lot of blame on politics. There are so many* anti-Obama people that will poop on anything he touches. Look what a political football the Volt became after he sat in one.

* It’s hard to gauge how many their are, since they also seem to be the loudest posters. They also seem to have an opinion on everything and somehow segue it into being Obama’s fault.

David Murray

Yes, I have absolutely noticed a link between Obama haters and EV haters. Some of them are so biased and polarized that if Obama were shown eating on a hamburger on the news and endorsed Burger King.. Then suddenly Burger King would be on the receiving end of all of the Obama haters, even though they might not have had anything to do with the endorsement. Of course, extremists on both sides of the political spectrum are known to do these things. And it didn’t help that Romney poo-pooed on Tesla during the election. And I guarantee you if we get a Republican president in office who supports EVs, suddenly all of the lemmings will fall in line and eventually they’ll claim they were the ones that thought of it all and take credit.

ffbj

Sad but true. Speaks to the level of political intelligence, or lack of it, in this country.
Toe the party line.

nakedChimp

your countrymen aren’t alone in this.. this is somehow ingrained into the whole human populace 😉

Um, just saying hello. I am as anti-Obama a person as you will find. Far right wing, libertarian leaning conservative type person. And I drive a Leaf. Just doing my part to dispell the myth that conservatives don’t like EVs and don’t like the environment. 🙂

John C

Thank you for your testimony! Respect.

no comment

i’ve never bought this “both sides” nonsense; it is intellectually lazy. there has never been the kind of obstruction that the republicans have been doing; obstruction so crazy that it brought the nation to the verge of default.

there is no “both sides” about it.

Anon

+1

pjwood1

Sad commentary, but wouldn’t be the first time propaganda was created by mixing in politics.

Speculawyer

“I have noticed any time a news story runs on an electric car on a major news site, the comments section is literally filled with anti-EV propaganda.”

Much of that seems just ignorance though. What is much worse is when the main stream media runs a climate change story. The comments immediately get filled with climate denier nonsense. Now THAT I think is an organized campaign from fossil fuel interests.

Anon

Oh, it is. You can thank your friends at Exxon, Shell, and BP for their “Social Media Disinformation” campaigns.

no comment

i don’t think that environmental concerns have any significant impact on general market acceptance of EVs. i do think that the public doesn’t understand EVs in general; i do think that the public does not distinguish between an a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and a battery electric vehicle, so when, for example, range anxiety issues are raised, people apply them to both PHEVs and BEVs; and i do believe that the price of EVs is an issue. all of these are, in my view, much bigger issues than impact on the environment issues. i mean, if people were concerned about the environment, they would be buying small ICEs as they do in europe. instead, people in this country bias toward big cars because gasoline is not taxed in the US the way that it is in europe because the environment doesn’t exist to make taxation at european levels politically viable.

PVH

For time being anti EV propaganda is hardly needed at all. Choice is between a rather expensive BEV that drives you nowhere or a very expensive BEV that drives you some reasonable distance. Propaganda will be needed for the 300 miles range $25K BEV but then it will be too late. So no need to reach for the tin foil hats.

nakedChimp

so you don’t think they apply the ‘medicine’ early to get the most out of it – even if the final outcome of BEV domination is inevitable from our POV?
Just look at UAE&Co.. they sell as much and as fast as they can, cause once the horse left the barn and got up to speed there won’t be a lot of demand for the oil they have there.

ffbj

That was an intelligent and insightful comment.

Lustuccc

“no comment” is one of them, paid to spread lies about EVs. He can also be very compliant on a page like this one. But he find a way to separate environmental concerns and EVs at the beginning of his comment.
And he is also at the end linking buying an ICE car as a good move for the environment.

Scott

Fox News is great for slinging inaccurate anti-EV propoganda. It falls right in line with environmentalists, which apparently are the arch nemesis of conservatives.

Anon

Faux News is just a political portal for puking out conservative talking points, and creating a false “echo chamber” for their conservative attack points du jour.

I mean, here (in retrospect) is a laughable example, where they decided to attack Mr. Rogers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5JkzyGXJ2w

The *REAL* issue was conservatives trying to curb people’s expectations for higher wages, better quality of life, improving the environment, etc. If you’re telling someone they don’t deserve a better life / future, you’re not going to get anyone publicly rallying for improvements in their society– because you really don’t deserve it. And it’s all your fault you bought into the lies of this clearly horrible man. 😉

That’s the power and danger of letting a single person with a Conservative agenda, own a huge chunk of the global media.

Ambulator

Most of what the anti-EV stories are really saying is that coal is bad. I agree, but let’s leave the EVs out of that discussion.

Daniel

Indeed… The whole Coal thing is a straw man argument because the same grid that powers BEV’s and PHEV’s also in general, power the refineries that refine gasoline from oil. ( Oh Wait that often left out caveat!! making gasoline requires electricity as well???? ) Well WHO KNEW!!

sven

Refineries don’t use much grid electricity to crack crude oil into gasoline. Using electric resistive heaters to create process heat for thermal or catalytic cracking would be uneconomical.

Nick
Scramjett

Boy, and I thought firing up a 700 MW gas turbine was a pain in the a$$!

Bill Howland

I haven’t worked on any gas turbines (and when I say work, all I had to do was run, not repair) that large, but I would imagine there would be a certain complication to starting up any million horsepower machine, even a quick starting, quick load taking turbine.

steve

Are you kidding? Refineries use an enormous amount electricity to refine oil. Watch this video.

Ambulator

But 4.5 kWh is only enough to move a car for less than 2 miles. One gallon of gas will move some cars over 10 times as far.

Ambulator

No, that’s wrong. That should be enough electricity for 15 miles or so.

Scramjett

Ummm, you do know that 1 gal of gas is just over 36 kWh of energy? Most EVs can go roughly 3 or 4 miles per kWh. Assuming 3, that is roughly 108 miles per gallon. Even a Prius can’t beat that, no matter how good at hyper-miling you are! The fact is that EVs really are considerably more efficient when you think about it. Most battery packs hold the equivalent of less than a gallon of gas, but EVs are more efficient and waste less of that energy than ICE vehicles.

ffbj

Yes, because so much is lost as, converted into, heat in gasoline engines, 20% efficiency vrs. 90% for electric motors.

Scramjett

Yep. The reciprocating engine is an amazing machine, very sophisticated, but not very efficient. I believe the theoretical limit (Carnot efficiency) is 45%. But that would be very hard to achieve. Even Toyota couldn’t make it’s planned level of 42%, settling instead on 40%.

Rik

The video is wrong, in the same way the oft repeated claims about 4.5-7.5 kWh of electricity being consumed to refine a gallon of gasoline are always wrong.

They are confusing the total energy used to refine gasoline with electricity. About 0.2 kWh/gal of electricity is used to refine gasoline. Nearly all of the energy used to refine gasoline is thermal energy produced by burning byproducts of oil refining processes as well as natural gas.

Bill Howland

Yes, my figures are somewhat dated (ten years ago), but even back then, co-generation was the highest in the petroleum industry..

Such that at the time, most refineries’ fuel purchase costing amounted to less than 6% of all purchased fuel. This includes averaging in by very small refineries that were not as good, so to speak, at generating their own power.

So saying refineries are wasting a lot of electricity, is very out of date. I couldn’t find the link, but some of the new refineries don’t effectively use any utility power at all, finding it cheaper to use their own energy. Modern refineries have done away with the majority of ‘flare gassing’, choosing to recoup the valuable heat to make electricity, and process heat, as an example.

Bill Howland

Difficult to make a coherent thought in a small box: less than 6% of fuel cost ten years ago in refineries in general was due to pricey purchased electricity, and with the trend toward modernized increasing co-generation, it would seem that percentage just has to be lower today, seeing as there is much less wasted, as an example, ‘flare gassing’ than there was in the past. Plus overall general improvements in motor and mechanical efficiency, would also tend to indicate relatively ‘small potatoes’ electrical usage is even smaller today due to increased efficiency/co-generation.

Pushmi-Pullyu

sven said:

“Refineries don’t use much grid electricity to crack crude oil into gasoline.”

Some refineries have electric power plants right next to them to supply electricity. It’s true that most of the energy to refined oil comes from burning “waste gas”, but a surprising amount of electricity is used, too. The point is that when counting CO2 emissions, there’s a very large amount emitted in refining gasoline and diesel, which is an “inconvenient fact” left out in most well-to-wheel comparisons of gasmobiles vs. EVs. Even highly cited government figures generally omit that source of CO2.

Rik

Well to wheels CO2 emissions of gasoline cars according to the EPA:
“Tailpipe CO2 emissions are multiplied by a national average factor of 1.25 to account for emissions associated with gasoline production, e.g., drilling, refining, and transportation, etc. (See 75 FR 25437, May 7, 2010)”
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/label/calculations-information.shtml

In other words, CO2 emissions at the tailpipe average 4 times more than the combined CO2 emissions from drilling, refining, transportation, and distribution.

Bill Howland

Yeah, you’ll notice this alot here Rik. Opinions matter much more than the truth.

All this concern about that DANGEROUS PLANT FOOD.

Meanwhile the EPA has just raised the “Perfectly Safe” drinking water radiation limit to 7 million becquerells/ cubic meter. (about a small hot tub worth).

Ah!!! I feel so relieved.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Rik said:

“In other words, CO2 emissions at the tailpipe average 4 times more than the combined CO2 emissions from drilling, refining, transportation, and distribution.”

Well, if you accept Big Oil’s own figures for pollution and emissions, sure. And just like Big Tobacco claiming “There is no scientific evidence that smoking causes cancer”, we have no reason to disbelieve their claims, do we? [/sarcasm]

The influence on our government by Big Oil isn’t only seen in lobbyists influencing Congress. It’s also seen in the manipulation of government regulations concerning pollution and emissions.

Regarding the lack of accurate information on the real levels of emissions from oil refineries, here’s a popular press article on the subject:

http://grist.org/news/epa-to-clamp-down-on-deadly-oil-refinery-pollution/

And if you want a more authoritative, scientific research paper, see in particular Section 3 here:

http://www.globalccsinstitute.com/sites/www.globalccsinstitute.com/files/publication_20100825_sector-assess-refineries.pdf

Rik

I quoted the EPA’s website. These same well to wheels energy and CO2 emissions numbers can be found in other independent sources such as the U.S. DOE GREET model.

The more authoritative, scientific source you referenced agrees with what I said. It reports an average 0.22 kg CO2 in refining per kg product, which translates into 0.07 kg CO2 in refining per kg CO2 tailpipe emissions. This is a 1.07 factor for refining, which is consistent with EPA’s 1.25 factor for drilling, transportation, refining, and distribution combined.

abc123

Well, the first thing I notice when talking to an ICE owner is the lack of knowledge they have on EV’s in general. The second biggest thing that I notice is they do not want to give up the flexibility of an ICE vehicle (ie. going 300 miles, refilling in 2 minutes, then keep going). Until an EV can do that, I don’t think there is going to be mass adoption. ICE drivers I talk to are notoriously hung up on the flexibility argument even though probably 99% of them drive within the range of an EV.

Brian

Volt.

The counter is usually that it’s too small, too expensive, or both. The expensive part is easy – cheaper to own/operate over 5 years than a Chevy Cruze. The size part, well I’m looking at you, GM.

Scramjett

+1

Wish GM would get a clue on at least a “compact” EREV SUV.

pete g

The Vehicle you are describing sounds like the Bolt.

Scramjett

No. As I understand it, the Bolt is more of a BEV hatchback or “sub-compact” SUV, not an EREV compact SUV. I don’t consider something the size of a Chevy Trax a compact SUV, more like the Equinox. The Bolt looks more like a Trax.

PVH

Is 300 miles the average range of a ICE car in North America ? If yes it shoudn’t be too difficult for BEV’s to soon become mainstream.

Speculawyer
“they do not want to give up the flexibility of an ICE vehicle (ie. going 300 miles, refilling in 2 minutes, then keep going). Until an EV can do that, I don’t think there is going to be mass adoption.” I think this is dead wrong. First of all, there is the PHEV. The efficiency of electric for most driving and all the advantages of gasoline for long distance driving. But beyond that, there is the fact that you don’t need an exact copy to replace something . . . it just needs to be better overall. People stopped buying CDs because you can easily download an MP3 and put it into your MP3 player or phone. Never mind that MP3s are much lower sound quality. People moved to cell phones en masse because of convenience . . . never mind that they drop calls and the quality is terrible. People will adopt EVs because charging at home is convenient, no smog checks, no oil changes, fewer repairs, less maintenance, and charging up with electricity is MUCH cheaper than gasoline. Never mind the range issue the not-so-fast recharge. Most people rarely drive long distances and on the rare occasions you… Read more »
wraithnot

“But beyond that, there is the fact that you don’t need an exact copy to replace something . . . it just needs to be better overall.”

Exactly. And that is what I think Toyota and friends are missing. They seem to be leaning towards fuel cells since they potentially offer a similar driving and refueling experience to conventional cars (at least after obscene amounts of money are spent blanketing the country with hydrogen refueling stations and subsidizing the hydrogen). But EVs like the Model S offer a substantially BETTER driving experience and a better refueling experience most of the time if you can charge at home or at work.

Thanks for the link Jay. Will share.

IMHO there is a deliberate (although loosely-coordinated) propaganda core, i.e., people and organizations who produce and/or amplify such information.

The core is loose enough, and the arguments plausible-sounding enough, so that well-meaning people are suckered into producing more misguided content that will be further promoted by not-well-meaning people.

Small typo correction: tackly -> tackle 🙂

Warren

Lithium powered EVs came along several decades too late to save our car culture. The global economy is flat, and likely to stay that way. Government incentives promoting big batteries, as opposed to being based on energy efficiency killed the market for revolutionary vehicles, which could have had a major impact on energy use.

Spider-Dan

I don’t think anti-EV propaganda is a (direct) result of Big Oil any more than anti-climate change propaganda is. Maybe that was the case early on, but now the right wing in America has taken anything remotely connected to the environment and reflexively opposes it as a point of ideological purity.

In short, Big Oil doesn’t need to pay for anti-EV propaganda when there are millions of conservatives on the internet who will happily provide it for free.

Speculawyer

Well, there is plenty of hard documented evidence for fossil fuel interests funding climate denial groups like the Heartland Institute.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Spider-Dan said:

“In short, Big Oil doesn’t need to pay for anti-EV propaganda when there are millions of conservatives on the internet who will happily provide it for free.”

Obviously Big Oil doesn’t agree with you, since they do fund “think tanks” which issue anti-EV propaganda, and they do fund “studies” which pretend to show EVs are worse for the environment than gasmobiles.

Sure, once the propaganda has been thrown out on Faux Noise… er, Fox News… or the Internet, those who live in the far right echo chamber will repeat it forever. But someone does have to go to the effort of pumping out that bilgewater before it can be swallowed and regurgitated.

Ocean Railroader

I have found a TV program that is some of the most pro Bio fuel anti EV thing I have ever seen. In this program which takes place after the end of Oil. They first let tens of millions of farm animals starve to death so they can turn limited food into bio fuel. At the same time they say global lithium will run out in five years. Also that all EV’s will never have more then 50 miles of range and take eight hours to charge. Also all EV’s will be extremely expensive and be only as big as a golf cart. But the program does mention that EV’s would be one of the last few running cars on planet earth after the oil runs out.

As for a joke in the program owners of EV’s would be asked to take people to hospitals.

If you dare watch this program you were warned

Of course Tesla took pretty much everything they said in this program and turned it upside down.

Scramjett

I’ve seen this program before. At the time, I really loved it and was quick to sound the “oil will run out” alarm even though I realized it was a mostly academic exercise. I’ve since realized that oil will never run out (see link below) and this “academic exercise” is mostly bunk; although, some elements of it, such as food scarcity and urban farming, will probably result from climate and economic shocks.

There is no Oil Scarcity: https://www.verdexchange.org/news/jaffe-there-will-be-no-shortage-oilgas%E2%80%94%E2%80%98get-over-it%E2%80%99

Speculawyer

Peak oil will eventually happen but it won’t be some giant disaster. Oil will just get expensive and we will prioritize it for things like airplanes, long-haul trucking, farming, maritime, etc. Light duty vehicles will all go electric. Trains will go electric.

In the LONG term when oil runs really low, most things will probably be electric (or perhaps nuclear for maritime). Although aviation will be difficult. Perhaps that will use biofuels. Or perhaps the hyperloop will replace a lot of aviation.

Scramjett
I’d like to believe that. I really would. But, combined with the technical savvy displayed by the oil companies (see referenced article) and the power and inertia of the status quo, I just don’t see it happening, at least not in significant numbers. Look at the time when prices were hovering at or near $5/gal (depending on your location). Some people changed their behavior, but the vast majority did not. They just ate the increased costs and sacrificed other things. I expect that will continue. Oil companies are really good at “smoothing” the increases. It’s like the analogy of a frog in a pot of water. You slowly increase the temperature and the frog keeps adapting to its new conditions and doesn’t realize what’s happening until it’s too late. Most people will adapt to the increased costs, make do with less disposable income, and rationalize it away, “I can’t take public transit because of x, I can’t ride a bike because of y, I can’t buy an electric vehicle because of z, that’s why can’t change.” The status quo is far too seductive and leads to complacency. No one, and I mean NO ONE has any interest in disrupting the… Read more »

The market is sensitive to price though. When prices went up, consumption went down.

Also, a cliche, but the stone-age didn’t end because we ran out of stones.

The marketS have various elasticities between them. People who can ride a bike or take a bus can go right past service stations and laugh, but people who went for cheap land and big houses will be stuck with the gas bill, as Scramjett is saying.

For the time being, the latter outnumber the former. That’s why policy people (NOT car people, ICE or EV or not) have been pushing sane development patterns, since EVs were lead-acid.

Speculawyer

Oh, I’m not saying it will be painless. It will be quite painful for many. It is going to be quite painful for all the morons that didn’t see it coming and just went on buying gas-guzzlers that they could barely afford. It is going to be painful for everyone as the economy reallocates resources. Many jobs will be lost. Some new jobs will be created. Many people will have to deal with less than they had before.

But it won’t be some massive disaster causing complete & utter collapse of the world economy. It will be more like a really bad recession/depression.

krona2k

Peak conventional oil has already happened, about 10 years ago. Peak unconventional oil will happen too, but who knows when. There’s certainly a lot of unconventional oil to be had, but production must be more expensive than unconventional oil because of physics.

The stone age didn’t end for lack of stones, the same will apply to the oil age.

Speculawyer

I don’t think the stone age saying really works.

I think the oil age will fade as oil gets really expensive. We’ve been addicted to oil for over a 100 years now and we never found a better cheaper stable high-energy density fuel for transport. EVs are are still a tiny percent of the market. And even if the battery prices drop, EVs will largely only be able to work on light-duty transport. Not going to fly airliners or power transport ships with batteries.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Scramjett said:

“…oil will never run out…”

Well, the world’s supply of whales didn’t run out in the whale oil era, either. It just got to the point that the ones which it paid to harvest got so scarce that it drove the price up so high that it paid to develop other sources of fuel (energy). The switch from whale oil to kerosene and other petroleum distillates didn’t happen overnight, either. It took a few decades.

Kinda like what’s happening now, with petroleum, innit?

David Murray

Interesting video. obviously made before Leaf and Volt came on the scene. Their vision of electric vehicles 40 years from now are the Zenn and some golf-carts.

I also think we would bounce back from oil running out in 20 years or so. Granted, half of human population would be dead by then.

We have the ability right now to give up oil and move to cleaner alternatives. Economics is the only thing standing in the way. But when oil shoots up to a high enough price, people will definitely make the switch.

David

I wonder if over sensitivity to any criticism is affecting EV blog sites and indirectly EV sales.

Several of these sites, particularly those catering to hybrids, seem particularly sensitive to any sort of criticism and are quick to permanently ban for the mildest of implied criticism. I’ve never witnessed such sensitivity online before. gm-volt.com and hybridcars.com in particular, run by some of the same people. Even greencarreports.com was worried enough to write a whole post discussing what criticism is grounds for banning.

Needless to say, comments on those sites are cleansed of anything not supporting their position.
There also tend to be few remaining comments on those sites.

I can’t help but assume that also turns those interested in EVs away. Where someone is trying to hide the smoke, there may be fire.

Bill Howland
David what you stated is very true. Disbelief in Al Gore’s (just another crooked politician, for the uninitiated) belief in man-made global warming was cause to be jettisoned from GreenCarReports. Disbelief was equated to belief in the earth being Flat, when, chronologically, he’s got that backwards. Isaiah in 732 BC elaborated on JOB’s statement, mainly that, paraphrasing, “The Circle of the Earth Hangs Upon Nothing”, was much more forward-thinking than contemporary science, which believed the Earth was flat and carried around by a huge Turtle. It wasn’t until over 100 years later that Pythagorus proved the Earth was round, confirming ‘scientifically’ the earlier Biblical statements. Perhaps thats where he got the idea to test the hypothesis. The knee-slapper is, I NOW actually believe in ‘man-made global warming’, but its due to the crop dusting of my house 5 days out of 7 in my backyard that is as plain as day to see. I’ve watched jet planes for years, and, what is going on is not the same as Jet plane’s historical actions from decades ago. Modern Jet engines do not even produce condensation, but why ruin an argument with added verifiable facts. In any event, reporter NOLAND from GCR… Read more »
Speculawyer

You sound prepared to jump onto the latest conspiracy theory combining the two. Climate change is happening and to combat it, they are (secretly) dousing jet fuel with Sulfuric Acid to deposit sun reflecting sulfuric particles into the stratosphere.

(No, I don’t believe that.)

Bill Howland

Well, by your screen name I’d assume you are somehow related to the Legal Profession, one important point there is to make sure you have the facts.

I’m daily given plenty of information, with around 1/2 being truthful, and the other half being a ‘fairy tale’, or you can use the more modern in-vogue ‘conspiracy theory’.

Its up to me to discern which half is true, and which half is not.

The stuff which is not is given creedence since 90% of the info happens to be true. This attempt at ‘respectability’ explains the reason for the phrase ‘Half-Truth’.

Looking at it another way, how believable is the information that I am “expected” to believe? Not Much. And Insouciant Americans are not helping the issue. It would be helpful if people in general questioned more of what they are programmed to believe.

That was one side-benefit of the 60’s draft. It helped ‘concentrate the mind’ of young people. Many came to realize perhaps we should not die for a falsified “Tonkin – Gulf Resolution”.

So true. I was banned recently from Cleantechnica for merely questioning the validity of AGW. I don’t believe AGW is a real issue or substantial threat, but I didn’t say anything rude or call names, I simply gave my point of view. And for that I was banned for life. It seems to me, if one can not tolerate his position being questioned, the facts may not be on his side.

Nix
David — Unfortunately only a handful of trolls has been all it takes to ruin entire green car/green energy websites in the past. It starts simple enough, with a few posts here and there. Then no matter what the actual topic of discussion is, the same trolls drop in to completely unrelated stories and try to make is about whatever they are trolling. The troll says stupid stuff that has been debunked with science over and over, yet the troll ignores facts and simply continues posting the same stuff over and over. After being shown to be fact-proof, there is nothing left but to bash the troll’s intentional ignorance and intellectual dishonesty. The entire tone of the board goes straight down the drain, with intellectual exchange being overshadowed by massive, huge bash-fests of trolls that dominate the pages, making it hard to find any intelligent discussion because you have to scan through page after page of idiocy. Pretty soon the folks who actually contribute the best content start leaving, sick of all the trolls. Page hits start dropping. With the best comments now gone, the trolls win, taking over the comments section. Finally, even those folks trying to fight the… Read more »

This also happens on the race track when watching the white zombie electric race car. These individuals in Vipers and corvettes a and other cars think they have an easy contender. That is because of broadcasters like Shawn Hannity and Rush Limbaugh are saying EVs are slow. They may be talking about hybrids and do not know how an electric motor operates. This white zombie car is running a 10 second 1/4 mile. That is quick and a Viper cannot do that even though it has over 500HP.

Dave86

Anti-EV propaganda is not hurting the sales of EVs.

A 75 mile EV for the price of $30K to $35K is a lousy product. Not too many people want to buy one.

However, the next generation EVs that are 200 miles for $35K is a much better product. We’ll definitely see an increase in sales. Wouldn’t surprise me to see sales increase from 100K cars per year to 500K or more.

Third generation EVs will arrive around 2022 to 2025. They’ll have 300 miles of range and will cost about $25K. They just might out sell ICE vehicles.

Speculawyer

Yes, the current value proposition of an EV is a tough sell and is the main reason sales are small.

However, the anti-EV propaganda does make an already bad situation even worse.

Bill Howland
Actually, Jay, you are providing anti-ev hysteria without you even realizing it. Constantly picking on Broder, what with silly dictionary definitions is extremely counter-productive. His ‘logged by Tesla’ test drive gave me very valuable information as to the performance of the model S at the time. And in view of inaccurate information given Broder during the test drive by ill-informed Tesla personel, certainly didn’t help the performance of the car, and with Broder being a neophyte as to the car’s operation at the time, he certainly is to be held harmless. THe biggest complaint about Broder seems to be him adding 1 mile of travel trying to find a spot in a large busy parking lot, something I’ve done myself many times. I find all this curious since there are so many articles related to hydrogen cars, which in the scheme of things are not much better than non-plug-in hybrids, of which there is almost zero information on InsideEvs, which is fair because other blog sites take care of the non-plug-in-hybrid end of the business. What *IS* hard to understand, is, in view of the popularity of the TOYOTA plug-in-prius, and some toyota dealers actually even having 220 volt docking… Read more »
Pushmi-Pullyu
Bill Howland said: “Constantly picking on Broder, what with silly dictionary definitions is extremely counter-productive.” The verbs “broder” and “broderize” are terms used on EV forums, and have a specific meaning. Blaming the dictionary for accurately reporting what words are actually being used in English conversation is rather silly. Bill Howland continued: “His ‘logged by Tesla’ test drive gave me very valuable information as to the performance of the model S at the time. And in view of inaccurate information given Broder during the test drive by ill-informed Tesla personel, certainly didn’t help the performance of the car, and with Broder being a neophyte as to the car’s operation at the time, he certainly is to be held harmless.” Dude, Broder’s report was full of errors. His own editor, after reviewing the evidence, said “Mr. Broder left himself open to valid criticism by taking what seem to be casual and imprecise notes along the journey…” (source 1) That said, both Broder and Elon Musk got rather dirty in the mud-slinging contest between them which followed. Anyone who actually wants to get down into the details of what really happened, and what it actually does indicate about driving the Model S… Read more »
Bill Howland

Not germaine, and doesn’t affect anything I’ve stated nor my conclusion.

Or should I just use my standard “More Nonsense”?

Bill Howland

Germane

Bill Howland

Its quite obvious as to the reason Broder’s editors did not support him, since it goes against the polemic.

It is quite irrelevant what Broder ‘said’, the only importance is Tesla’s own Logging, and what he was told by Tesla Personel at the time.

steve

Check out the movie Merchants of Doubt. It is about the same kind of thing but in relation to global warming and cigarettes.
It is a fantastic move and really needs to be seen.

The movie reveals how Big Business fights back against overwhelming scientific research when that research threatens it revenue source.

Scramjett

I’ve heard of that movie. I’ve avoided seeing it because there is enough out there that depresses me. I’ve known for awhile how those a-holes f-us over for their own greed and self interest. I don’t need another reminder that will only further depress me and make me angry and helpless because there is not a damn thing I can do about it.

Speculawyer

I definitely think the anti-EV propaganda hurts.

And the sad thing is that many people are cutting off their nose to spite their face. With an affordable EV or PHEV, you can save a lot of money by not having to buy gasoline. And it will help the country. Some 2/3s of our trade deficit is from oil imports. And buying oil supports some unsavory folk like Vladimir Putin, harsh Islamic regimes, African dictators, Venezuelan communists, etc.

Open-Mind

Yes, there is anti EV propaganda, but that is not unique. Nearly every significant product, technology, person, group, company, etc is targeted with similar propaganda. Most people only notice it when it targets what they support.

wavelet

“Propaganda”? Really? Some people here are conspiracy theorists of the worst kind.

Very few people actually know what EVs are. Of the ones that do, few care or have an ideological bias against them.

There are so few EVs actually out there, ideological anti-environmentalists have much bigger targets to aim at.
Car companies are hedging their bets, for the most part — they’re certainly not mounting any kind of organized campaign; it would be much too expensive, and not cost-effective given the few EVs on the roads. Most existing carmakers think that if EVs do go mainstream, they’ll be the ones making them.
Oil companies are likewise hedging their bets, and trying to become generalized energy providers (natural gas, renewables), as well as have a larger footprint in the non-energy use of oil (plastics etc.)

LusTuCCC

Lol! There are few EVs And people are misinformed BECAUSE of the propaganda.
Mega corporations spend billions a year to Public Relation firms like the one hiring you, in order to elaborated continuous soft propaganda, the most effective mean to manipulate public opinion.

A former Ministry of Defence from Germany said 20 years ago that the greatest strength of the American propaganda was that it is designed in such a way that the population does not believe it exist…

It all began with Freud’s nefew, Edward Bernays, the father of P.R. And the begInning of the manipulation of masses inconscious desires, fears and basic instincts. American corporations and government became his preffered customers.

sven

“Mega corporations spend billions a year to Public Relation firms like the one hiring you. . . .”

I think EV advocates making baseless conspiracy accusations in EV forums about commenters with whom they disagree turns people off to EVs and is in effect anti-EV propaganda.

Scramjett

I think most people ignore most internet forums for the same reasons I ignore most internet forums, they’re overrun with a bunch of wackos!

This is one of the very few forums I read and participate in because some of the commenters here can be a bit insightful. But not everyone may see it that way.

Anonymous commenting is a double edged sword. The good is that you have a forum where people present new ideas or unique perspectives (mostly) free of persecution. The bad is that it allows people to act on their base emotions without any sort of responsibility or consequence.

Scramjett

One other point I’d like to make…

Apart from the slight “like you” personal attack in his statement, he is right about one thing: corporations due frequently spend large sums of money to confuse the public and motivate them into voting against their health and welfare while favoring the corporate interests as if the corporate interests were their own.

Many here have pointed to the tobacco industry as an example, but a better example would be the petrochemical industry’s attempt in the 60’s to point out the “health benefits” of lead being in consumer products and fuel. They also used many of the same tactics that today’s climate deniers are using, such as bullying scientists, changing report language to sow and spread FUD, etc.

In the 60’s, the scientists were lucky and had the support of the Federal Government. Today’s climate scientists are not so lucky.

sven

It wouldn’t surprise me if there was Astroturfing going on in InsideEVs comments, both anti-EV and pro-EV. That being said, I wrote the comment above because wavelet is the second person in this thread that LusTuCCC accused of being a paid Astroturfer. He also accused “no comment” at the begining of the tread, saying “‘no comment’ is one of them, paid to spread lies about EVs,” also in response to a relatively benign comment. Sigh.

More or less here. (For some reason, IEVs hyperlink doesn’t take you precisely to the comment.)
http://insideevs.com/anti-ev-propaganda-affecting-potential-buyers-plug-ins/#comment-707025

LusTuCCC

ALL plastics are only 6% of the oil we burn. imagine how much we burn! And how heavily we pollute the atmosphere!

Pushmi-Pullyu

“Very few people actually know what EVs are.”

Maybe the hillbillies don’t, but certainly most well-informed people do. The subject of EVs came up at our Thanksgiving dinner discussion in 2013, not raised by me. I stayed out of it to hear what people had to say. They seemed to have a pretty good overview of the limitations of this tech, which is still in the “early adopter” stage, even though they didn’t know much about the details.

As EVs improve in capability, so will the market for them, regardless of how many conspiracies there are or aren’t against them. Thomas Edison tried to fight the Westinghouse / Tesla technology of AC power with propaganda. It didn’t work, because AC really is better for widely distributed electric power. And when plug-in EVs improve to the point that they really are better, overall, for personal transportation than gasmobiles, then all the propaganda in the world won’t stop people from flocking to buy them.

Nix

This is where I think Elon Musk and Tesla is getting it right.

All the non-peer reviewed fake “studies”, and all the oil industry propaganda can’t make 4-door 5+2 seater gas/ICE cars do 0-60 in 2.8 seconds.

The best way to fight the anti-EV propaganda is simply to beat them. Build a superior mode of transportation, and you win.

Pushmi-Pullyu
Certainly there is economically motivated anti-EV propaganda masquerading as “research”, funded by Big Oil. There’s no question of that; it’s well documented (see link below). Some o that faux “research” is, sadly, highly cited. However, I think it’s unclear what percentage of writers who cite such propaganda do it knowing it’s B.S., and how many are honestly deceived into thinking it’s true… altho in the latter case, that doesn’t say much for their journalistic standards or their fact-checking. Certainly there are economically motivated “investor” articles and comments posted to the Internet (even occasionally here at InsideEVs) which attack Tesla Motors, in an attempt to manipulate stock buying and selling to favor those shorting Tesla’s stock. There is a rather depressing amount of that on Seeking Alpha, Motley Fool and other investor websites which invite comments on articles. In fact, if you read much of that cabbage, you can see that those Tesla bashers feed off each other, repeat each others’ lies, and that they even construct and repeat elaborate conspiracy theories making Ludicrous™ claims about Tesla Motors. Again, that’s not just an opinion; if you wish to dive into that sewer, you can read it for yourself. Certainly there is… Read more »
Martin T

This doesn’t surprise me … it is like the food industry poisoning our health with sugar. They are giving us fatty liver etc. and early death.

The problem is both Big oil and the food industry has learnt of Big Tabaco on how to fund research groups to confuse the public and holt and thing worth while to help the average public citizen.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Bill Howland said:

“Not germane, and doesn’t affect anything I’ve stated nor my conclusion.”

Translation: “My mind is made up, don’t confuse me with the facts.”

Bill Howland

Hehe, you’re the type of person who infests volunteer organizations where you don’t need to know anything to join, you just get put in charge since you have the loudest mouth.

If I had any respect for you, i’d elaborate, but since most of the things you say are downright silly besides being wrong, I’m not bothering to refute anything.