Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Then, today I read an article on this subject at AutoBlogGreen by Chelsea Sexton, a long time EV advocate that has been on the front lines of the electric car movement(if you want to call it that) since she worked for GM and was involved in the EV-1 program. Anyone that has seen Who Killed The Electric Car should remember her as she was a prominent figure in the movie. Anyone that hasn't seen it needs to, as soon as possible! She managed to put everything I was thinking, and then some into words, so instead of me going on about why I think this is such a bad idea, follow the link above and read what Chelsea has to say about this, I really think she is spot on.
I have traded some messages with her in the past on this subject and one of the things she believes is that the auto manufacturers should be getting more involved in this instead of just sitting by the side and waiting to see what is legislated and she is right about that. Perhaps they don't want to look insensitive to the requests of the National Federation of the Blind? Perhaps they are luke-warm about EV's anyway so they really don't care if this hurts them. I'm not even sold that the NFB even really started this. I think there was another player(hello big oil) that brought this whole issue up. Where's the data that shows this is necessary? There have been electric cars on the roads for a while now, although not is great numbers, are they running people down? I drove my MINI-E 34,000 miles so far and managed not to kill anyone. How about the other 600 MINI-E's driving this past year, did ANYONE hit a pedestrian? I haven't heard of any incident like that. How about the GM EV-1's that were on the roads for a few years or the Toyota RAV-4's that have been out there for almost a decade, can we pull some data first before jumping the gun? Can we know what we are dealing with here before we enact laws? Also, the new cars today are so quiet you can hardly hear them unless they are under acceleration. The industry has spent tens of millions of dollars trying to make their cars as quiet as possible. Now the government wants them to add noise to them. We should be striving to reduce noise pollution, not increase it. We should be striving to make the roads as quiet and peaceful as possible so we would hear the sound of tires rolling on the pavement as an EV approaches.
I'll be contacting the executives that head up the newly formed electric car division of BMW. As one of the more active MINI-E drivers I have had the pleasure of getting to know many of the top people in the program, I even had four pages dedicated to yours truly in BMW's 2009 annual report(pages 192 to 195). I know many of the BMW executives (US & Germany) read this blog so they will probably know ahead of time that my emails will be coming. I would like to see them to take a stand on this and urge the politicians to look at the facts before rushing into legislation that may in fact prove unnecessary. If the 2013 BMW Megacity has to beep or brup or whine like the cars on the Jetsons cartoon all the time that they drive under 30mph you might as well pack it in and start the new "hydrogen car division" and keep us waiting another 20 years or so to get off oil. People are not going to want to buy an electric car, even BMW electric car if it sounds like a toy and these artificial noises do just that.