CARB, GM, SoCal Edison and Others Join Forces to Keep California in the Lead of the Great Electric Vehicle Scam +VIDEO
The sky is falling, the sky is falling!
By Marc J. Rauch
Exec. Vice President/Co-Publisher
THE AUTO CHANNEL
NOTE: For maximum effect, play "California Dreaming" while reading this editorial
The latest attempt to shake down the taxpayers and citizens of California took place two days ago (October 3, 2018) with the launch of a new "partnership" between government agencies, non-government organizations, for-profit corporations, and a new entity called Veloz. The launch was heralded with a telephone press conference that I've titled, "The Sky Is Falling."
I've written about California's electric vehicle carbon-emission reduction efforts on various occasions in the past. The crux of all these editorials was that the initiatives are really just a scam to take more money out of the pockets of the public and the companies trying to do business in California. You can find some of these past editorials by clicking on the following links:
Wednesday's press conference and subsequent press release did nothing to change my position. Mary Nichols - the very nice Chair of CARB (California Air Resources Board) - said nothing that I hadn't heard her say many times over the last two decades in support of electric vehicles and their touted promise of cleaner air, etc. You can do a search on TheAutoChannel.com website and you'll see that we've reported on Mary since at least 1997. We also have a couple of videos of Mary on our YouTube pages.
The difference in this announcement is the amped up nature of the hyperbole used to try making their message more believable and important. The tone and words used in the announcement was one of panic; of impending disaster; of world-ending calamity. With all of the threats of horrific catastrophe, I wondered if they purposely selected October to make this announcement because this is Halloween month. Then I remembered that it's also just a few weeks away from Election Day.
Here's the situation: If we (the editorial "we") are facing the immanent end of the world as we know it because of man-made climate change that is caused by the burning of petroleum oil abiotic fuels, then why the heck are we fooling around with electric cars. Electric is not clean. The production of electric power is filthy. The production of lithium batteries is filthy, and it involves the use of what amounts to slave labor.
I have nothing against electric vehicles. I believe that they are the future - and I said this during my statement/question in Wednesday's press conference (I come on at about the 47:30 minute mark in the YouTube video). I agree that electric cars are thrilling and exciting to drive (of course, when autonomous driving with computer controlled state-mandated speed limits kicks in, how would anyone know that driving an electric car could be exciting? But this is an issue to discuss at another time).
For now, electric cars are the future...the rather distant future. How much in the future? I don't know, I'm not a soothsayer - I may say some things that can soothe, and I always try to say the sooth, but I'm not a soothsayer. I reckon that electric vehicles will become the norm in about, oh, 30 to 75 years after I'm dead (I'm nearly 67, so there'll be quite a wait).
To the question that I posed to the panel in the phone press conference, Ron Nichols (president of Southern California Edison) talked about how California is 40% carbon free in electric power supply. That still leaves 60% that's not carbon free. If we're facing global extinction why is 60% okay? Where is there evidence that being at 60% is not killing us? I'm not saying that 60% or 90% or 10% is killing us; I don't know the answer (and frankly, neither do they, but that's not the point). If we are facing annihilation, and the only way to save us is to force people to buy electric vehicles that they can't afford and don't want to buy, then why don't we take the sensible immediate step of admitting that ethanol is safe in all internal combustion engines and mandate that all internal combustion engines use E30 or E40 or E85? Hey, I even have a good catch phrase that the promo campaign can use: "Stay Alive, Use 85... E85!"
Now you may say to yourself, "Hey what does Marc mean when he writes that people are being forced to buy electric vehicles?" Good question, thanks for asking. The whole point of the "The Sky Is Falling"
press conference was to announce that a TV commercial campaign was commencing that is intended to convince people to buy electric cars. The Veloz people revealed that studies show that an enormous number of people don't
know anything about electric vehicles and that 50% or so can't name any electric vehicle. As a marketing expert (yes, I am a marketing expert), I would tell you that the only reason why so many people don't know
anything about electric cars, and why they can't name a single electric car or brand, is that they don't care. It isn't important enough. And the younger generations don't have the passion for automobiles
the way us older people did.
SEE: Sales of Chevy's electric car, the Bolt, tank 41 percent during the third quarter
So, how do you make people care? One way is to exaggerate the benefits or the negatives of a product - in advertising it's called "puffery." The word "puffery" is a nice way to say "lies." Impending doom of the planet Earth fits nicely. The other way to make people care is to assess fines and fees, such as the addition of egregious fuel taxes and vehicle registration penalties, which California has already done...and there's more on the way, including penalties levied on the automakers if they don't sell the required number of electric vehicles in California. I believe that in the private sector this is commonly called extortion.
When Ron Nichols, the community-minded person that I'm sure he is, acknowledges that there is still a long way to go to get electric clean, why didn't he say to me, "Hey Marc, using more ethanol is a great idea because it's still going to take years to get all electric power in the U.S. off coal, and it's going to take decades to cycle out the hundreds of millions of internal combustion engine vehicles. While we're working towards that goal, let's encourage everyone to use more cleaner burning ethanol, after all, we've got all of humanity and the animal kingdom to save!"
Unfortunately, he didn't say that, or anything close to it. Instead he talked about the hope of having 5 million electric vehicles by 2030. He didn't say whether he meant 5 million in California or the entire country. For the sake of his ideological position, I hope he meant California because nationwide 5 million would be just a statistical pimple on the hind end of a blip on a graph. Although, if he meant 5 million in California, it's nearly as insignificant: there are more than 35 million vehicles registered in California in 2018. Even if the total numbers didn't grow by 2030, California would still have more than 30 million internal combustion engine vehicles and only 5 million EVs on the road. Are we trying to save Earth or not?
Wouldn't it be much better, much cleaner, much healthier, and much safer if we could say that the 30 million ICE vehicles were using better-cleaner-healthier-safer E40, E50, E60, E70, or E85 while we're waiting for clean electric to become a reality? I think so, and do you know why I think so? Because we have the world to save (so I'm told).
After Ron finished, Mary Nichols took a shot at replying to me. But she didn't. What she said was that she didn't want to debate the issue. That's the problem with Mary Nichols, she never wants to debate the issue. She wants to skirt the issue, to hide the issue, to stifle conversation about the issue...and she's done this for at least the 20 years that I've been aware of her. She then suggested that I don't know the facts. That made me laugh to myself. I didn't laugh because I think that I do know the facts, but because how would she know if I knew the facts since she's never responded to anything that I've written about her or California Air Resources Board. The one way for her to find out if I know the facts would be to debate me, or have someone from her staff debate me - or just talk to me - or just talk to people who know ethanol.
Of course talking and debating won't happen because the entire reason for California to go down this path is to increase revenue to the state so that the politicians can buy more votes.
The whole thing is one giant scam. And in the meantime, California Governor Jerry Brown is having his family's land evaluated for oil and natural gas fracking. Remember what the pigs in George Orwell's "ANIMAL FARM" said, "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal."
Ethanol is the fuel of the future, and it's available right now for hundreds of millions of vehicles on the road in America, and billions of vehicles around the world. If you want to save the world, this is a great starting line.
Some off-site stories about the electric vehicle scam
The following is the press release issued by Veloz and CARB:
"World is electrifying, California needs to move forward" - Press Conference with CARB, SoCal Edison and GM
Launch of new public-private partnership and cheeky new awareness campaign to accelerate adoption of electric cars in the Golden State
SACRAMENTO, CA - October 3, 2018: Today, an unlikely alliance of public and industry leaders joined forces in an unusual show of unity to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in California. This powerhouse of leaders, representing every major player in the transportation sector, announced the public launch of their organization, Veloz, and their first project, "Electric For All," the largest multi-stakeholder, multi-million dollar public awareness campaign in North America. Veloz also announced major commitments from utilities, Electrify America and the addition of new members including Audi, ChargePoint, Flo, SemaConnect and Webasto.
"The world is moving to electrified transportation, with or without U.S. leadership," said Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board in today's press conference. "California cannot afford to take its foot off the accelerator. Today is Clean Air Day - but you wouldn't know it in many parts of California. Pollution from cars and trucks is choking not just our people and planet, but our economy. But we have an enormous opportunity: Electric car technology is at a tipping point. Veloz - a powerhouse of major players - plans to push it over. That's the power of Veloz, and the power of California. We must continue to lead the U.S. and in exciting new technologies that will change personal mobility, and our lives, forever."
"Veloz is working to radically transform mobility in California and take electrification to a new level," said Veloz executive director Josh Boone. "With our distinct approach, Veloz will inspire Californians to get behind the wheel and into the passenger seat of electric cars."
Fifty percent of Californians know next to nothing about electric cars. Without desire there can be no demand. That's why Veloz, a new nonprofit assembling the best and brightest players in the transportation space, is launching a public awareness campaign as one of its first projects. Veloz's high powered and diverse board (http://www.veloz.org/about/#board) and membership of key sector companies, agencies and nonprofits are uniquely able to identify and work to overcome remaining barriers to electrification.
Utilities are a new critical player in the transportation sector, signaling a transformation in the long-standing marriage between the car and oil industries.
Ron Nichols, president of Southern California Edison and a member of the Veloz board announced a group of California private and government utilities are prepared to provide significant funding support in addition to their existing substantial membership commitment for the public awareness campaign as part of a broader group of supporters. "California utilities recognize the vital importance of moving to electrified transportation - for the world, for Californians and for our own bottom lines," commented Nichols. "We are committed to accelerating the transition to clean energy and electric cars, not just through our individual efforts, but collectively through Veloz because of its powerful membership and unique ability to overcome barriers."
Electrify America has announced a commitment of $2 million in matching funds to the Veloz campaign. In addition, the company has licensed Veloz's campaign tagline, "Electric For All," which appears in Electrify America's television and radio national advertising spots called the €˜JetStones.'
"Veloz's 'Electric For All' is a powerful message and we wanted to use our resources both directly and through our own campaign to amplify it," said Richard Steinberg, senior director, marketing, communications and Green Cities. "Electric vehicles are a fun-to-drive choice available to the public right now - joining forces with Veloz to increase ZEV public awareness and adoption is a win-win alliance."
"Now that Governor Brown and the legislature have set California on a path to an electric grid powered 100 percent by clean energy, transitioning to electric vehicles makes more sense than ever. One of the most significant remaining barriers to adoption of electric vehicles is public awareness. Veloz is an organization expressly designed to tackle that challenge," said David Hochschild, chair of the Veloz Board. "What the public - even in California - doesn't realize is that the major barriers to electric car adoption are fast disappearing. This is not your grandfather's golf cart. I drive a Bolt. These cars are fun, brilliantly engineered and quick. They accelerate and perform better than any gas car I've ever owned."
"The automotive industry will change more in the next five years than it has in the last 50," said Steve Majoros, director of Chevrolet marketing. "We believe the future is electric and plan to introduce several new EVs globally over the next few years. The good news is we are overcoming barriers to EV adoption. But public perception still doesn't match the vehicle and ownership reality. That is why the mission of Veloz is so important and why GM is involved in this effort."
The "Electric For All" campaign aims to harness this growing momentum, and spark demand among Californians of all demographics and incomes. "Electric should be the car of choice for all, but especially for communities of color, who often breathe the dirtiest air," said Orson Aguilar, president of The Greenlining Institute. "Low-income communities face a dual burden of unhealthy pollution and high transportation costs, and electric cars are less expensive to own and operate. The Greenlining Institute has long pushed to make electric vehicles accessible and affordable for all, and we look forward to working with Veloz to help make that happen."
On October 15, Veloz will roll out the first phase of "Electric For All" with its cheeky "Opposites Attract" social and digital media campaign [download campaign creatives (electricforall.org:media.html) ] using the power of short form video and memes to communicate directly to target audiences. This will be followed by television, featuring an unlikely but illustrious pair of California leaders. The campaign is laser focused on potential car buyers, and delivering dealer leads. The "Electric For All" website (http://www.electricforall.org) , to be launched formally on the same date, will provide best in class data on electric car makes, models and incentives and access to local dealerships.
To produce the "Electric For All" campaign, Veloz tapped the award-winning, California-based, advertising agency Division of Labor. "The €˜Electric for All' campaign is a true collaboration between Veloz and all the brands, agencies and partners that helped make this happen. We're really proud of the work and it's just nice to be part of something that can have such a big impact on the state of California," said Josh Denberg, creative director, Division of Labor.
"We are going to track our progress very closely and, if successful, we hope other states and nations will replicate what we've done," said Boone. "The goal is for electric cars to become the new normal. Once Californians know about and experience them, they will fall in love with a better way to drive."
For more information about the Veloz public awareness campaign, visit ElectricForAll.org (https://www.electricforall.org/)