Friday, April 3, 2015

Hybrid Drivers and their Holier than Thou FUD

It's funny how a coddled, privileged and very vocal Hybrid Car driver minority will do anything to make sure they keep every perk they've maintained for the past 20 years even to the exclusion of newer, greener technology like pure Battery Electric and Plug In Hybrid Electric vehicles.  Indeed, many of those drivers will do anything to maintain their sense of superiority by producing Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, FUD, in the face of obvious facts to the countary.  Recently my friend at Virginia Clean Cities had got a letter from a Hybrid driver who was worried about the I66 HOV in Virginia was going to switch from HOV-2 with a Tier 2 Clean Fuel exemption to HOT lanes with an HOV-3 requirement to waive the toll.  Or course when you're spoiled by a right that is discriminating against folks more worthy, you'll do anything to keep those more worthy out while wishing to maintain your undeserved right.

Don't get me wrong, I like the Single-Occupancy HOV easements, I just think we need to step out of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first.  Hybrids are yesterday's technology and EVs are the wave of the future.  They're cleaner, more energy efficient, cheaper, let you fill your pack in the comfort of your own home and also run on 100% domestic energy.  Yet Hybrid drivers are obsessed with making a case that EVs are as dirty as hybrids by citing the downstream sources of pollution when comparing EVs to Hybrids yet ignoring where one's petroleum comes from.

It took me a few minutes to calm down enough to respond to the FUD this coddled Hybrid driver was throwing in my face, but eventually, I tried to respond in the most reasoned way I knew how.  This is what I said:

Dear [name removed], please don't be blinded by the propaganda.  What you just said is naïve in the extreme because it posits the idea that some how petroleum comes magically to the pump with no consequences.  I know exactly what Dominion Virginia Power's energy mix is, an Electric Car can be powered by Solar and even if not a driver can buy a 1.3¢kWh Rider which requires Dominion to generate that much electricity from Renewables only.  But even in the worst case, the Prius is dirtier than a LEAF:   Even at 50 mpg the Prius is 14% more polluting than a LEAF on regular Dominion.  I'm sick of lemmings thinking they can compare where electricity comes from without taking into account the pollution from refining, disasters like the Exxon Valdez—when we're smack dab in the middle of the anniversary—as well as the deepwater horizon that nearly destroyed the shrimp economy of Louisiana, and folks clamouring for more of the same in the Alaskan Arctic and all the terrorism we're funding not just in the places you know but in places like Nigeria and Boko Haram.  You do realize that a plurality of the foreign oil used in this region is coming from Nigeria?

The long and short of it, I am greener, and can be much, much greener.  Can you power your car with photovoltaics?  I didn't think so.  And what's more, your car is just gonna get dirtier and less fuel efficient over time whereas Dominion is constantly installing cleaner power sources making even the worst case energy requirements cleaner over time, not dirtier.

Before you go spouting FUD, try to learn the facts first, please, dirty-prius driver.  Thank you however for being cleaner than a Ford F150.  Now can we move on without any more ad hominem attacks?

Okay, I'll admit it was a bit harsh of me to accuse a prius of being dirty.  It is, of course, probably the most fuel-efficient non-plug-in car available outside of diesel—oh, but what a hybrid diesel could be.  It's just that, clearly EVs are cleaner, from a little cleaner (on the standard Dominion Virginia Power fuel mix) to infinitely cleaner with a solar array.  So can we finally stop with the fuel source FUD?

Note: The above slides come from my failed February 4, 2014 lecture which I had been planning to give during the Electric and Hybrid Vehicles seminar for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute of George Mason University, however the slides had not been ready in time.

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