Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Strategy for EV Dialog

I feel my last post on types of naysayers was a bit negative. EV owners should be able to talk to most people. In my experience I've found though the naysayer tends to be a bit closed.  Still this is on a range and one should be able to simply talk.

Four general points for discussions:

Stay truthful. EVs like my Leaf are by no means perfect. We have battery ageing, reduced cold range, and used value issues. I think the 'next gen' is well on its way to solving these but it's important to acknowledge issues. Range is good to acknowledge as it formerly was not a showstopper but was inconvenient quite often. Because the 'next gen' and 'high end' solves this issue it's a great one to discuss.

Stay positive - Present EVs are incredible on maintenance and cost to run. Plenty of good studies of well to wheel and complete lifecycle show electrics to be superior both in cost and environmental impact. Fun to drive is a big point too - in person, offer a test drive. I find that is a game changer because of how peppy the Leaf is. I'm sure it's even more exciting in an S or Roadster.

Stay informative - Example - I often hear claims of batteries being toxic. True of older battery chemistry, lithium is easily recycled into new batteries. Even old battery stacks before recycling are generally reusable in home backup systems. Almost all the major objections are similar - an out of date talking point that has been solved or can be clarified as not stopping EVs.

Stay polite - This can be hard when the 'Rolling Coal' bonehead demands his god given right to take a dump on the planet you would like to pass down to your grandkids. Take a breath.  Sometimes when there are multiple parties I'll instead praise the most levelheaded for their ability to argue without name calling.  I may use 'bonehead' above to make clear I have negative feelings about an obstinate opponent but it never is productive in a dialog. I generally keep exchanges short in these cases and provide links to factual data. Pointing out fallacies such as 'ad hominem' may put the debater on an angry defensive posture as they don't understand the point. A more laymen's explanation like this chart may assist:  http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/10-commandments-of-rational-debate.jpg

A tip for each type listed in the prior post:

The Perfectionist - Make a final point that intermediate progress is critical due to cumulative nature of CO2 / CO / Carbon particulate damage.

The Novice - Usually approachable and often interested in a test drive. Keep discussion short and pointed - if interest appears get them in an EV!

The Stakeholder - Stay calm. Point out economic pluses for green industry. Short and Factual.

The Conservative Media Consumer - Stay apolitical and point out economic losses associated with denial of the climate problem. In particular point out that very conservative insurance companies have increased rates for coastal and flood insurance - meaning money is on the side of the facts even if  lobbyists are spouting misinformation. Links to studies when they are skeptical of EVs advantages will help.

The Professional - Expose their sources and sponsors if possible. In my case I submit my motivation - survival and a good life for my children and the world.  Link to factual scientific studies and disengage early - you are not the one being paid here. 

Remember in all these cases the argument may not change the debater, but may expose the fallacies of their side. Our goal is to get the good information out and allow the silent audience out there to make up their minds.

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