Sometimes I find myself meeting people who don’t believe that global climate change is human induced, yet they are huge fans of plug-in electric vehicles.
This sort of encounter happened a couple of weeks ago when I sat in on a large investor gathering to get the “pitch” on the burgeoning automaker, Fisker Automotive, which has managed to get a U.S. Department of Energy commitment for low-interest loan funding of $528.7 million. Fisker is raising more money to meet the government’s matching requirements.
A private car dealer hosted the gathering at a facility in Marin County, California, just over the Golden Gate bridge from San Francisco. Henrik Fisker himself was there to tell a very compelling story about the company’s potential. A beaming and shining Karma plug-in hybrid electric vehicle was center stage in a very large room full of classic cars.
Setting aside the fact that I work for an electric vehicle advocacy group, I am not your typical car nut. However, these antique vehicles were pure eye-popping eye candy. Included in this collection was a Porsche 64, a McLaren, a Ford Model T, and generally speaking, cars that one would see in the movie The Great Gatsby.
After the investor pitch, we all found ourselves sipping wine, networking, and mulling around the Karma, watching people’s expressions as they sat inside the vehicle. Plug In America board member Marc Geller is shown in a photo that was taken using my mobile phone, so the quality is not ideal. But the experience is written all over his face – he was quite smitten with the Karma.
Getting back to climate change, the woman who very adamantly insisted that this is a myth explained her own reason for wanting an electric vehicle. She wants a car that will not sip any petroleum. She admitted that the Karma comes close (as a plug-in hybrid, it runs initially on electricity, then on an internal combustion engine), but she may hold out for an equally appealing pure battery electric vehicle.
So many people are drawn to electric vehicles for many different reasons, whether for the environment, or for energy efficiency, or for wanting to establish U.S. energy dependence, or just the old-fashioned appeal of American ingenuity.
Posted by Jeanne Trombly, Plug In America managing director
Photos by Jeanne Trombly