Last week the UK Government accelerated its ban on the sale of ICE cars to 2030, and it’s been a fascinating few days for Fully Charged.
It was a refreshing reminder of, after 10 years, how far Fully Charged has come, and how far it still has to go in the next 10 years.
When Robert was on the airwaves with Nicky Campbell and Rachel Burden on BBC Radio 5 LIVE, and with James O’Brien on LBC, we were struck by how much more open-minded the UK public is to pure electric vehicles.
On the flip side, we were shocked by the sheer volume of misinformation, and in some cases disinformation, emanating from those stakeholders that have lots to lose from the transition to Electric Cars and Clean Energy.
Chief amongst those stakeholders are the London-based newspapers, and there were several stories that crossed from innocent ignorance, to deliberate deception.
Several ‘tall stories’ caught our eye:
The Telegraph in particular had a shocking week with a series of ‘stories’ including the ‘Telegraph View’ that ‘If the PM is to reboot the Government, he must focus on realistic goals’.
An editorial that included this idiotically ignorant and downright dangerous statement: ‘Hydrogen-based technology would be more environmentally friendly and can use the existing petrol delivery systems.’
The Spectator rolled out a well-known fossil fuel shill to write an article about how we need an entirely new power grid because of electric cars. This was expertly deconstructed by the peerless Auke Hoekstra.
Ill-advisedly, The Times talked about a ‘Spike in mayday calls as electric cars run out of the juice.’ This equated to almost 600 EVs in 2 years, while 800,000 petrol and diesel cars do this every year. D’oh!
And perhaps, most revealingly The Sunday Times told us the ‘Ten Electric Cars to buy in 2021’ and somehow managed to omit Tesla’s Model 3, S, Y & X. A ludicrous omission.
Logically then, are we to assume then that to get positive coverage in these titles, you need to pay for it?
As ever, whenever reading the mainstream media, you should always ask ‘Cui Bono?’ ‘Who does it benefit?’ Or in less florid terms, you would be well-advised to ‘Follow the money.’
Not only do newspapers rely on advertising revenues from the traditional fossil-fuelled businesses, but they are also owned by tax exiles like the Barclay Brothers, and known climate science deniers, like the Murdochs.
Hardly a glowing endorsement.
And that’s why in this day and age, independent voices, such as Fully Charged, are so important.
And to recap, our episodes and podcasts are funded by Patreons and YouTube members. But that’s not the point.
The point is we will harness the energy, positive and negative, around last week’s announcement to convert more and more people to clean energy and electric vehicles.
We are closing in on 750,000 subscribers by 2021 (nb subscribers are only ~30% of our audience) and we will be working to reach the 1 million subscriber mark before 2022.
There’s no silver bullet to audience growth though, it’s a slow, painstaking process, that requires real patience.
So when we witnessed some scepticism last week (and some ignorance too) we weren’t deterred, this is what we would expect as we start to peel away at another layer of the onion.
If the 1st layer, those that bought EVs were ‘the pioneers’ (people like Robert); and the 2nd layer were ‘the early adopters’ (people like me); we are now on the cusp of the 3rd layer, ‘the early mainstream’.
But beyond that there is still the 4th layer, the ‘late mainstream’ and the 5th layer, at the heart of the onion, ‘the laggards’ that will resist to the bitter end.
Before this makes you cry, I bring this up, because we shouldn’t waste our time and energy on the 4th layer and the 5th layer, they are simply not ready. Instead we should focus our efforts on the 3rd layer.
We aren’t easily discouraged, because for Electric Vehicles to overpower conventional cars, we really don’t need (or even want) everyone to buy into EVs immediately.
After all, ‘the pioneers’ and ‘early adopters’ put up with certain shortcomings in a way that the ‘early mainstream’ will not. And they in turn, will be much more tolerant than the ‘late mainstream’.
And the ‘laggards’ that come last, will be first to say ‘I told you so’, if they experience similar shortcomings.
So, after my multi-layered preamble what am I saying?
Well, what I’m saying is that it’s up to us, that’s Fully Charged, and our audience, to identify and focus on those that make up the 3rd layer, and to ensure they enter the mainstream as early as possible.
Who of your friends and family is starting to show more than a passing interest? Which of your colleagues are modern-minded technology lovers? How can you convert people when they corner you in a car park?
These individuals can be identified as the third layer, and these are the people we need to appeal to. But how?
If you have a little more time, perhaps you can help promote our Fully Charged Survey (open til midnight this Sunday) to everyone you know on Facebook?
By the time you read this, we will have more than 10,000 responses to the survey, but a high percentage are aware of Fully Charged and we want to attract a thousand or so that don’t.
Oh, and look out for our ‘EV World Cup’ coming very soon on Fully Charged. This is a fun competition, designed to get people talking, and discussing the pros and cons of the 32 electric cars that are participating.
Whatever you do, as ever, please accept our heartfelt thanks for helping us to peel the onion.
Here’s to a Fully Charged future!
Follow Dan on Twitter.