Formula E CEO – “Oil Lobby Couldn’t Kill Electric Car If They Tried” – Video

MAR 16 2015 BY MARK KANE 44

Big oil

Big oil

Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag

Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag

Alejandro Agag, the CEO of Formula E Holdings, was asked about the oil industry in one of the recent interview.  He basically responded by saying that he doesn’t believe in the conspiracy theories.

Moreover, even if there was an attempt to kill electric cars, they would fail – “Oil lobby couldn’t kill electric car if they tried

Well, Agag’s opinion seems reasonable to us, though from time to time those with conflicting interests probably will give us a hard time.  We’ll prevail.  Electric cars will prevail.  We’re not concerned.

“Environmentalists have been trying to replace combustion engines for years, and while electric cars have been heralded as a viable green alternative, the technology has been slow to develop. What’s standing in the way of the mass adoption of electric cars, and can an electric race car championship shock the competition into innovating the car of the future? Oksana Boiko is joined by the CEO of Formula E Holdings, Alejandro Agag, in this electrifying discussion.”

Categories: Racing, Videos

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

44 Comments on "Formula E CEO – “Oil Lobby Couldn’t Kill Electric Car If They Tried” – Video"

newest oldest most voted
I do believe in conspiracies. They have been discovered many times in history. Especially auto history. When GM, Firestone, and Big oil were convicted of killing trolley cars years after the damage was done. Or when the GM EV1s and Honda EV Pluses were grabbed and crushed and then the Large format NiMH battery tech was sold off to Exxon. So… yeah conspiracies can happen… greedy folks can do nasty things that are not in the public interest. Having witnessed the EV1 debacle and seeing most all the induction chargers decay away through the decade after EVs almost got adopted then… It seems like we are far enough along now that it is less likely to disappear for another round of nonsense… but unfortunately with the large number of leased EVs and low volume compliance cars they could fade away in 5 to 10 if enough neglect and malice happens again. I’d hate to see it… and some of us who bought our EVs would hang on as long as possible to keep them alive to the next gen like the original Toyota Rav4 EV owners did last time. (Many of these are still on the road) SO… I hope… Read more »

The Big Oil conspirators succeeded for a hundred years, now they are more subtle with PR plans to slowly drive public opinion toward hybrids and ill ranged, expensive are rare BEVs.

Uh huh.

Tesla is currently selling a car that is none of those. Why don’t the offer it cheaper?

Because they *can’t*. As it stands, they’re barely turning a profit, and most of that profit doesn’t actually come from car sales anyway. And it’s not like they don’t *want* to sell a cheaper car to the rest of us, they really, really do. But first, they have to make the batteries cheaper. And you can’t say that LG is colluding with oil companies or auto manufacturers to make batteries too expensive, because LG doesn’t do any of that. There’s literally 0 incentive for LG to not produce cheaper batteries to undercut their competition.

You may as well try to claim that typewriter manufacturers colluded to make personal computers slow and expensive in the 1980s. It makes as much sense as your argument now.

youre comparison sucks because typewriter companies were not 1/1000 powerful as tha car/oil cartel.

You are one of the rare people here who is not (or fake not to be) aware that it is the master plan, but it takes a LOT of money to do it.
It is almost ten years old now.

The plan is doing well so far, as detractors are whining about GAAP profits. Amazon and other dynamic companies do not make any GAAP profits because they are constantly investing in new markets and expansion. Tesla is doing exactly this, expanding the SC network and developing Markets in China, Japan Indonesia, Australia, Europe etc…

As we speak tesla IS developing cheaper batteries. Tesla IS investing billions in the Giga factory.
They are getting the model X on the market when it is financially relevant, perfecting it meanwhile…

They are getting Model 3 ready for 2017, and like any good industry practice, they are not disclosing details until it is marketing time to do so. Stop complaining and go test a Model S. Like in Hollywood movie, you will be “contaminated” like so many others 🙂

Personally I think the demise of the EV1 was because the change it brought was too drastic for the economy and for the public. You’re going from oil consumption to no oil consumption in one step.

Today, the transition is not as drastic. Sure, you have pure EV’s, but there are a ton of new PHEV’s and traditional hybrids that still run on gas. Almost every mainstream car manufacturer is coming out with a version of a PHEV that still runs on gas. That is good because it is a gradual transition. We already know that not transitioning off oil is bad and that an immediate and sudden transition off oil is also bad. We’re simply taking the middle road now. Sometimes baby steps are better than a giant leap. It gives everyone time to adjust including the infrastructure.

Conspiracy is not the opposite of reality. She said this is not a conspiracy, it is a reality. It could be both, could it not?

YES. Since when does “believing in” something make it real, unreal, or anything else?

Do you “believe in” breathing, or not? Sorry, your body will breathe by itself, even when asleep or unconscious. Go ahead and deny air all you want.

Here is why the big oil could not stop the electric car. The energy density of Li Ion batteries today plus the efficiency of electric motors is already higher than the 20% of the efficiency of the gasoline engine. Not only that there is one guy a day at least that is coming up with a paper saying he has a higher energy density battery that is cheaper etc. but the main force is the telecommunication industry. We all want our smart phones to last longer on a single charge. This is unstoppable, conspiracy or not subsidy or not. That is why big oil can not stop the electric car since the electric car range is directly proportional to the energy density of the storage device be them batteries or capacitors.

Big Oil/fossil fuels is hoping Hydrogen will take hold….


I found out a week ago that Vancouver Canada is selling off their hydrogen buses and replacing them with diesel buses. They are also getting rid of their hydrogen program in that it coasted them five times as much to run the hydrogen bus then the regular oil powered bus and they afford it.

That wasn’t Vancouver, but Whistler, which bought the hydrogen buses for the 2010 Olympics. Since they have a really small transit system, that was feasible. It was also a pipe dream, since hydrogen is expensive and they actually had to truck it all the way from Quebec.

Not to mention the maintenance issues of the fuel cells.

Like Kodak, looking for a new kind of film.

I’m not at all a conspiracy theorist, but an effort to stop electric vehicles would be an entirely rational response by oil companies/oil producing countries. If the Saudis are willing to lose big time revenue to suppress emerging U.S. oil production, how much money would it be worth them or BP to avoid much larger, permanent structural reductions in the demand for oil? They could spend money lobbying to gut tightening fuel efficiency standards, offer manufacturers incentives (bribes) not to produce BEVs or even PHEVs, etc.

The one thing which might defeat this is Tesla, which hopefully is immune to this suasion and will produce good electric vehicles which will sell themselves, and create an expanding market hard for traditional automakers to ignore. If former Porsche and Mercedes owners now sing the praise of their Teslas, then Model 3 owners widen this to a bit more mass market audience, the snowball will have started. Few people who drive electric will go back to ICEs, and they will persuade others to join them.

In Georgia there is a massive push by the government officials to add a $200 a year fee to electric cars while at the same time remove the $5000 tax credit for new EV’s bought. I think the officials changing the tax system around could wreak EV’s.

The tax system was also what helped bring down some streetcar systems. In that the streetcars had to pay for their own rails and right of ways most of the time oil the oil powered buses got free roads.

They may not be able to stop EVs, but they have a good chance of delaying mass adoption by placing hurdles like…

1. Lobbying to reduce the $7500 vehicle credit nationally and at the state level
2. Push for imposing heavy use fees on EVs because they don’t pay into the highway fund via gas taxes.
3. Keeping up drilling to keep prices low, even if it means sacrificing their 10% margins.

4. Keeping exploration deductions and accelerated depreciation schedules, while lobbying against carbon taxes and other externality compensations/corrections.

5. Propping up petrocrat candidates and whole regimes, not to mention the entire Saudi country.

Ironically, 5 includes the smaller Gulf states installing solar, so they can have more hydrocarbons to export for hard currency and balance of trade.

Tesla produced a real car only after ten years of existence. Most of that delay was due to waiting for the technology to evolve to a practical point. Now that it has, market forces will do the rest for EVs.

That said, EVs are not yet compelling enough to take over the entirely of the market without a high regulatory tax on carbon or a breakthrough in battery technology. The main reason Tesla is capacity constrained is simply that no battery manufacturer believes a volume market exists and will not build out capacity on Tesla’s promises. In fact, nobody will give Tesla that credit save for speculators driven by Tesla’s public hype; thus the bond offering that paid for the Gigafactory.

It’s sad, this guy completely misspoke. Renewable energies are lower costs often dirty old ones.

He needed to speak with vision and possibility. RT would have supported that, they are a positive media outlet.

Yeah, *now*. It only took what, 40 years between the invention of solar panels and the invention of solar panels that were cheap enough to replace coal-produced electricity.

Now is the time to switch!

I think electric cars at this point won’t go away but that doesn’t mean they will become a major player ether.

Such as I could see it happening where they build 2000 to 3000 new 80 mile range Nissan leafs for the next five to ten years. While this is going on the oil powered Nissan Versa still has production around 8000 to 11,000 a mouth.

This would keep the oil companies happy in that the electric car sales would not be growing due to their limited ranges. Also it would keep the EV’s on the side lines for a good long while.

I think this is what is most likely happening.

Annual global production of the Nissan Leaf is about 60,000. Admittedly that’s low compared to the top-selling gas guzzlers at about 450,000 annually, but it’s a heck of a lot better than 3000.

The EV revolution isn’t advancing as fast as we EV enthusiasts would like, but it is advancing. There is a promise of longer range BEVs and longer electric-range PHEVs, to come, in a couple of years. We should start to see sales pick up significantly if and when those go on the market.

No, evry time the curve of EV sales is going just a little toward exponential :

– Toyota produce a very expensive lousy AER plugin Prius, stops RAV4-EV, praise H²
– GM stop the sales of the only selling hybrid (notice it is no BEV) Volt version 1 by multiplying announcements about version 2 one full year ahead, and giving no rebate at all on V1.
– Nissan goes on hiding the Leaf, selling it way too high priced, in very small numbers while the mediatic spin wants to make us beleive that 60,000 is a terrific sales number.

All these merry cartellized ICE carmakers do prepare “new” versions with supposedly 5 years of technological advancements and fierce competition, to release poorly 15% -ish improved range when EVERYONE knows that range is the number one deal breaker ..

Only Tesla does all it can (really) to shift transportation away from fossil fuels that are killing us in many ways.

” There is a promise of longer range BEVs”
Seaking of promises, if i refer to recent GM’s history, The Bolt is more likely to get an EPA 125 miles range!

Two or three weeks ago someone posted a link to this video

Following that guys logic, electric drive trains are going to do internal combustion engines what cd players did to turntables, VCRs did to 16mm movies, digital cameras did to film cameras, PCs did to typewriters and well, you get my drift. He says that electric cars are a disruptive technolgy and are going to disrupt the current status quo.

You dont even have to believe that Peak Oil will cause it, as he claims the Age of Oil will not end because of shortages of oil but, because it is replaced by something better!

Of course some kid is going to stumble upon this comment and wonder, “what the hell are cd players, turntables, VCRs, 16mm movies, film cameras, PCs and typewriters?”

Yes, EVs will take over because they are simply better. Especially when cars become autonomous, at that point the car can go by itself to recharge while you don’t need it.
I don’t think we’ll reach 100% solar within my lifetime though, the nuclear plants we already have and are building right now are not going anywhere.

Just like to add that in Tony Seba’s possible future, solar doesn’t always mean photovoltaic. Concentrated solar power may play a large part of the future of energy. It’s in some of his other videos. He also has an interesting lecture where he posits that if solar PV prices keep falling, at some point PV will be cheaper than the cost of maintenance of the grid. At that point, large power companies will become obsolete.

Just to set the facts straight, Tony Seba’s prediction is that by 2030 all NEW electricity generation will be solar. By that he doesn’t mean that all electricity generators will be solar.

There will still be wind, hydro, geothermal and biomass (other renewables) but as Ben P says, he predicts tht solar will be so cheap that all those plants that already exist and those that are currently being built, will be loosing customers, as more and more people will find it cheaper to use PV to harness their own electricity. It’s kind of difficult to wrap your head around but, I totally get it!

The conspiracies are real. They managed to destroy the image of biofuels by planting biofuel crops in starving Sahel on purpose. The ban sale of Biofuels in Belgium where I tried to start a direct sale station. They managed to avoid the BMW i3 being a normal series 3 type car that would sell and instead made it with weird doors 4 seats only and of course a 2 gallon tank. They did the Volt with 2 seats in the back. They blocked NiMH of course and now probably block Toyota on hydrogen somehow as well. They tried to bankrupt Panasonic trough an endless trial on the RAV4 EV and Prius batteries. They corrupt Peugeot they stopped EVER Renault models and the ECC Volvo. They advertise fuel heaters and keep the price of heat pumps sky high. No the oil conspiracies are not gone; they are out there alive and kicking.

It’s not a “conspiracy” when one technology fails to be able to compete with another for economic reasons.

Biofuels aren’t being “suppressed” by an conspiracy; they’re simply too expensive in terms of EROI (Energy Return On Investment) to ever be practical.

NiMH batteries were not suppressed; they’re still being used today in the Prius, and were used in the Honda Insight.

Streetcars were already on the wane before they were bought up and shut down by auto manufacturers, because most Americans prefer to drive their own cars.

Do conspiracies actually exist? Sure, occasionally. But conspiracy theorists see conspiracies everywhere, most of which do not represent reality.

There is always 1 or 2 or even more Big Oil P.R. agencies keyboard mercenaries on green sites. And they don’t like it when we expose the big 100 years old Oil conspiracy.

I don’t agree with Priusmaniac this time. The reason is that the whole bio-fuel gimmick was staged more than 10 years ago by Bush (and Harper in my country) as a mean to perpetuate the use of internal combustion engines, while giving a greenwashed image of the oil companies and stopping public interest about EVs. It is a non viable option, heavily subsidized, like now with fool cells .

It’s definitely true that the interests of the oil industry are always well looked after on green car forums. It appears oil companies are a lot like baby seals that way: people just can’t help themselves from feeling protective towards them.

Except oil companies are nothing like baby seals of course so I guess other explanations are in order that are hard to come by without using terms like “shill”or “troll”.

After Chevron acquired the NiMH patents that GM wanted to bury after its scorched earth style termination of its EV program it was never used in plug-in cars again, Chevron saw to that.

Conspiracy? Just ruthless and calculating business tactics really, but one could call it conspiracies.

If I may add a little something, conspiracy is in our very genes, any hunting imply conspiracy, survival is a never ending game of cunning and deceiving predators to eat and prosper. Camouflaged prays are conspiring to survive. The best sports team are the best conspirators… etc.

A politician said once “The strength of american propaganda is that the population is not aware of it”

Public Relations is the psychological science of luring the masses and manipulate them. they are the camouflage of capitalist businesses and governments.
Their main partners are mega corporations, the ones that dip every day of every week in conspirations, spredon 5-10 and 20 years agendas.

The expression “conspiracy theory” along with it’s ridiculous connotation of impossibility, was invented and injected by the P.R. spin doctors to add a camouflage layer upon crony powerful world wide societies Vs unsuspecting populations that adopted the fact that mass manipulations by our leaders/medias/corporations is not possible only because they heard it a lot, without thinking further.
“Repeat a lie a 1000 times and it will become the truth” – Mein Kampf

Calling critical thinking/not accepting official narratives “conspiracy theories”is definitely a very widely used and effective tactic to humiliate and discredit people who are not content with the mushroom role the powers that be have in mind for them (that is: keep them in the dark and feed them sh!t).

Toyota use lithium’s now, not Ni-MH.
Street cars were very very much appreciated as a public service(even my old mother told me about it!), very low maintenance cost compared to diesel and short life of busses. There WAS a large conspiracy from Standard Oil(Exxon), Mack, Firestone and GM in the ’30s. This was a real, documented and sued conspiracy.

I suggest “Internal combustion” written by Edwin Black. While I don’t agree with his conclusion, I learned a lot about electric transportation’s History, how it was largely spread and appreciated, and of course many real life ordinary capitalist “business as usual” conspiracies, with tons of references.

“They managed to avoid the BMW i3 being a normal series 3 type car that would sell and instead made it with weird doors 4 seats only and of course a 2 gallon tank. They did the Volt with 2 seats in the back.”

Let’s not forget that Ford ditched the PHEV Escape for the C-Max Energi with no trunk because it is filled with battery’s.

The Escape plug in would have dominated compared to the Cmax.

Are the Big Oil companies “conspiring” to stop or slow the EV revolution? Well, I guess that depends on whether or not you consider it a “conspiracy” when it’s being done quite openly. Businesses using advertising to promote their own product, and denigrate competition, isn’t a “conspiracy”; it’s just standard business practice.

Fortunately, history shows us that economic forces are more powerful than any attempts by business to stop progress. For example, the Big Three of Detroit succeeded in using political influence to put the Tucker Car Corp. out of business, yet they could not stop safety glass, disc brakes, fuel injection, or seat belts from becoming standard equipment in cars. State dealership associations are currently preventing Tesla from selling cars in ~35 of the 50 U.S. States, but that’s not stopping the EV revolution from advancing.

Big Oil, in conjunction with legacy auto makers, can -slow- the EV revolution. (The current promotion of “fool cell” cars is one example of how they’re trying to do that.) But they can’t stop it.

“history shows us that economic forces are more powerful than any attempts by business to stop progress.”

John D. Rockefeller built the first monopoly in the US but you have to read between the lines of history and do thorough seraches to apprehend that he and other banksters from 1910 staged a coup to silently take over the congress. They succeeded, and now we have the Federal Reserve(nothing Federal and no reserve whatsoever), economic crises and inflation. On the petroleum side, Standard Oil (S.O., Esso, Exxon) was on the surface, split in many small company to end the monopoly, but in real life it was the birth of the +century old now global most powerful cartel of all.
So compared to electric transportation that should have prevailed if the *artificial* rules of competition were followed, we have now noisy, stinky, fragile and costly vehicles with a fuel that is dangerous for our health, our biospheres and now our only climat.
Is this what you call progress?

There is no secret conspiracy, there is an open ongoing political attack against anything related to green energy: 1) Put special taxes on EV’s that they say are highway taxes, but in reality are much higher than equivalent highway taxes paid through taxes on gas for a similar sized hybrid that burns gas. 2) Put grid-tie fees and other fees on Solar Panels, while removing electricity buy-back from excess production from roof-top solar, effectively CHARGING people with solar panels to produce electricity for the grid. Just one example of such legislation: 3) Roll-back both state and federal CAFE regulations, EPA requirements, CARB ZEV mandates, gas guzzler taxes, green energy requirements for electricity utility companies, Wind/Solar/EV tax incentives, etc in an effort to kill the green energy industry. While at the same time exempting the fossil fuel industry from financial responsibility for the damages they cause, and increasing fossil fuel subsidies. The net effect is to drive people away from green energy, and drive people out of the green vehicles. It isn’t some secret conspiracy. They are openly doing all these things without any effort to hide what they are doing. Legislative groups like ALEC don’t even hide it anymore,… Read more »
You seriously think that a politician sold to oil companies actually beleive what he advocate?!? B.S. what we see on the news is the tip of the iceberg. And I would say it is the other way around. No politician dare to really attack the military-industrial complex. they stay very shy on that question. You know what happen to those who try ? they goes the way of JFK but it is most of the time disguised as accidents. in fact Democrats and Republicans are the two faces of the same coin. One openly devoted to international industrial cartels, and the other making us believe of their good faith by taking some secondary actions against pollution, or declare that Natural Gas from fracking is green! Lol! Each 16 years we are presented a “savior” … that changed mostly nothing at the end Democracy is THE biggest underground conspiracy of our times, and is was slowly swindled into place by those mighty bankers, industrials investing billions and billions a year on P.R. soft propaganda to turn around public opinion. Read “Propaganda” a 1920 little book by the Sigmund Freud’s own nephew, on how to manipulate masses unconscious. Edward Bernays is the… Read more »

The biggest conspiracy is the attach and stigma that has kept bicycle ridership below 2percent. What other form of transportation is simple and more efficient and cheaper?

Bicycling is free and safe, but we in america have been told that only poor loosers ride bikes.

We here are interested in elecrrification of automobiles, but true low hanging fruit is getting 5 percent of people to ride bikes. That would have the equivalent effect of getting a million cars off the road. And remember, If ever second car in california was a Tesla, you would still have the same traffic jams you do now.