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The History of Electric Cars and How Car Manufacturers and Oil Companies Have Manipulated You Against Them

The 1990 GM Impact electric concept car
Image source - Wikipedia: Fair use, Link

For as long as I can remember maintaining a car is more of an inconvenience and unexpectedly expensive. Particularly keeping the engine maintained. Not to mention having to actually drive to a service station to make sure you have enough fuel to go to wherever you're going. How many of us wait until the fuel gauge is showing nearly empty before filling up?

If you could have a car that is extremely low maintenance, low cost to run, and you could fuel up at home whenever you wanted, you would right? That's pretty much what an electric vehicle offers but so many people are strongly against these vehicles?

Did you know that electric vehicles (EVs) have been around since 1884? Not only that but also EVs dominated the roads over gasoline powered cars before said cars became quieter and easier to operate?

Did you also know that there was an EV revolution (almost) in the mid 1990s with GM releasing the EV-1 to unexpected acclaim before they took back the 660 cars they made and crushed them all in the desert?

More bizarrely, the people who leased their EV-1s wanted to buy their cars when the leases ran out but GM refused in favor of destroying the vehicles. 

These are just some of the interesting facts I learned from ColdFusion's video How General Motors Killed the First Modern Electric Car (below). Dagogo Altraide, the man behind the ColdFusion YouTube channel is an independent researcher of all thing technology, business, and history based. The video essays on his channel generally seem well researched, balanced, an objective.

Tesla were not the first modern consumer EVs. ColdFusion's video tells the history of EVs and how car manufacturers and oil companies killed the modern industry just as it was starting to take off. 

What stands out to me about this video is how the car and oil companies manipulated the public conversation against EVs. Which isn't particularly surprising however their arguments against EVs back then are very much the same as those being put forward now.

I understand concerns like distance anxiety. The fear of the car's battery going dead before the next charging station. It's a genuine concern but... remember when I mentioned waiting until the fuel gauge was on empty before filling up your vehicle? Distance anxiety is not unique to EVs and you get to know your vehicle's limits no matter what powers it.

Although the video talks about environmental concerns driving the EV revolution, I honestly think that doesn't sit that highly on vehicle owners checklist when it comes to owning a car. It's nice to know your vehicle is less damaging to the environment but who cares when you're sitting on the side of the road with a dead battery? You just want a car that can get you to where you need to be in comfort and maybe with a bit of style too.

For most of us city dwellers a modern EV will do just that. As charging stations become more prevalent and you get a better understanding of when to charge your vehicle, for optimum distance between charges, distance anxiety won't be any more of a thing than it is for gasoline powered vehicles.

I just don't get why people are so against the savings and convenience an EV can bring to vehicle ownership? Fewer moving parts to go wrong. Fuel up at home. Less servicing requirements. Modern battery technology requires that you'll only need to replace it once every decade (how many of you own cars for a decade these days?). 

One thing I do know is no one's ever said "If you run out of gas in my driveway don't ask me to help you in any way to get more gas." 

Not withstanding such a statement makes you sound like an a-hole, people who say this in protest of EVs act like a potential one time assist is going to leave them homeless from the recharge cost. If it's that big a deal ask for 'gas' money, like you would if a friend needed a ride and you were low on gas.

Better yet install an EV charger in your home and lease it out as a charging station now that public charging stations aren't free. Might be good little side income while the world is still transitioning to electric powered vehicles.

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