NOTE: My statements are not necessarily my opinions. I often post point-counterpoint essays in which I strongly take one side of an issue and later counter that with antithetical views. This intellectual exercise helps me see the merit in opposing opinions and augments my creativity.

Overcoming resistance to electric vehicles

Commenting on an innovation that permits electric vehicles [EVs] to recharge while driving, Gizmag said, “The greatest obstacle standing in the way of electric-vehicle adoption—besides crafty, deceitful right wingers—is limited range.

I'll steer clear of the political jab and instead focus on a better way to encourage consumers to drive EVs: folks will look better, feel better, enjoy better health, and even have more fun in the bedroom.

Farfetched? Far from it. Countless scientific studies indicate that engine exhaust damages the body in many ways. Drivers are relatively insulated from their exhaust, which usually floats out safely behind them via their tailpipes, but they breathe in air contaminated by vehicles approaching them, in front of them, or otherwise near them. Let's also not forget the heavy exhaust exposures associated with snowmobiles, ATVs, tractors, lawn mowers, snowblowers, and other devices with small engines that emit big clouds of pollution. Even the invisible stuff is toxic.

young and old

However, better health and even better appearance are too nebulous to emotionally connect with consumers. I suggest a better target is to focus on one of the long-term results of engine exhaust: skin damage resulting in more wrinkles and less tone. Less yummy and more granny, with more sags and bags. Photoaging from the sun or other ultraviolet sources ages the skin, too, but vehicle emissions also degrade appearance.

Men are often less concerned about their appearance, so to get through to them, it may be necessary to educate them on the link between exhaust and vascular disease that results in impotence: erectile dysfunction or ED. What's better than Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra is not needing them. Even if they are effective, they cannot undo the damage that affects other vessels, increasing the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other vascular disease.

We need consumers to be willing to put up with the limited range of electric vehicles because the Stanford system discussed in the aforementioned Gizmag article is too expensive to solve the EV range problem, which boils down to too much time required to recharge batteries. That resistance could be partially overcome by permitting drivers to do more than twiddle their thumbs while their batteries recharge while away from home or work. They could check their e-mail, surf the Web, work via computers (on projects or via telepresence), make phone calls, exercise, eat, shop, take a nap, read a book, pay their bills, and so on. Or vehicle batteries could be swapped in less time than it takes to fill a fuel tank. That's such a no-brainer and so easily achievable I wonder why vehicle range is still perceived as a major stumbling block that limits EV acceptance.

However, even EVs are the wrong approach. No one but car buffs want vehicles; most people care only about transportation, and there is a much better way to do that. Put your thinking cap on and read my article, The perfect way to kickstart our economy and put people back to work.

The views expressed on this page may or may not reflect my current opinions, nor do they necessarily represent my past ones. After reading a slice of what I wrote in my various websites and books, you may conclude that I am a liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican. Wrong; there is a better alternative. Just as the primary benefit from debate classes results when students present and defend opinions contrary to their own, I use a similar strategy as a creative writing tool to expand my brainpower—and yours. Mystified? Stay tuned for an explanation. PS: The wheels in your head are already turning a bit faster, aren't they?

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Reference: Imagining dialogue can boost critical thinking: Excerpt: “Examining an issue as a debate or dialogue between two sides helps people apply deeper, more sophisticated reasoning …”

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