Friday, February 4, 2011

I Create a Bit of a Stir With a Challenge!

I few day's ago I received an email from editor, Brad Berman. Brad sent me a link to a Washington Post article written by Charles Lane titled "Cold truths about electric cars' cold-weather shortcomings" that pretty much slammed electric cars and basically said that they were useless in the cold and actually even dangerous because you will get stranded and freeze while you are waiting to be rescued. Brad knows I'm driving a MINI-E here in Northern New Jersey and I have mentioned to him in the past how I drive it in the snow and freezing temperatures all the time so he thought I would find Mr Lane's article rather amusing.

After reading the article I sent Brad a response that I asked him to post on his site which he did. I also attached some nice pictures on my MINI-E in the snow for effect. In the article I explained how I have been driving in the snow and freezing temperatures all the time and I have never been stranded, never got frostbite and never ran out of charge. At the end of what I wrote, I even offered a challenge to Mr Lane. I offered for him to come up to New Jersey and drive with me and my car for a few days in February, the coldest month of the year, so he can see for himself that an EV is perfectly fine for personal transportation in the cold, snowy north.

The article I wrote was very well received, and lots of people commented that they appreciated that I wrote it and how great it was to hear from someone that is actually living with an electric car instead of journalists guessing how it may be. Then a bunch of other websites picked up the story, like Engadget and Autoblog an I started receiving dozens of emails thanking me for sticking up for electric cars.

Then to my surprise, I received an email form the Washington Post journalist that wrote the story, Charles Lane, asking me to give him a call. I did and he said he would like to take me up on the challenge. He felt that it would be make for a good story, and I agree. The only issue is that he now needs to convince the Washington Post to give him an allowance for the trip. I am now waiting to hear back from him. When we talked he was very clear that I'm not going to change his opinion on electric cars. That they are basically a waste of time and we would be better off just continuing to improve the internal combustion engine to make it more fuel efficient. He said he could provide me many, many studies that would support his stance but he was willing to come and do the story anyway.

So now I'm waiting to hear back from him. I do hope he can get it approved. I welcome the chance to help change his mind. If not completely, maybe I can at least make him see why I love driving electric and how others will also. Please leave comments on what you would like me to ask or tell Mr Lane, should this actually come to fruition.

Here's the link to the article I wrote for

UPDATE: The trip to NJ and the story have been approved by the Washington Post so it's going to happen!
I have a request though, it seems that many people have been emailing Charles and prodding him to accept the challenge I laid out. So much so that he asked me to ask people to stop emailing him and blowing up his inbox!!! He has agreed to do this, so I see no reason to bother him with emails so if you were going to , please don't. There will be plenty of time to get involved in the story as it unfolds here. Thanks


  1. I saw that on Engadget yesterday, really cool! I hope he does do the story, it will make for an interesting interaction between you two.

  2. I'm sick of these blowhards writing about things they have no practical life experience with. This guy has zero experience driving an electric car in the snow and he's warning his readers now to try it. He must have his retirement funds invested in Exxon stock

  3. So it this going to happen? Any word yet?

  4. anonymous: I have not heard back from Charles yet. I'll shoot him am email on Monday if I haven't heard anything by then.

    Don't worry, as soon as I have word, I'll post an update here

  5. Great job Tom. It's really informative to read about your experiences. As you wrote, you are writing about real life experience not guesses and bullshit opinion. I hope he meets you with an open mind or he shouldn't even bother doing the story

  6. I have been following this blog for a while now and you have made me a believer. This blog has been a great resource for EV information and dispelling untruths printed by the media. I don't necessarily think they are conspiring to kill electric cars, I just don't think they are properly informed.

  7. Great news that he is going to do the story. I hope he has an open mind about it though. Judging from his article, this isn't going to be a lovefest so be ready