Getting conservatives to support EV + PV

[ABOVE] The link and picture from a story about how national parks are adding EV charging stations posted by the Colorado Renewable Energy Society that came through my Facebook feed recently.
editors-blog-entry3First, I want to say I know there are quite a few conservatives and right-leaning libertarians who drive electric cars and many who power/fuel their EVs with home solar. They are tapping into the great joy and independence and freedom of solar-charged driving, with independence and freedom being values often associated with political conservativism.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of conservatives who are downright anti-electric vehicle and downright anti-solar. And the sad thing is, I think too many, maybe most of these people, are anti-EV and anti-solar simply because they view electric cars and solar as being somehow “liberal”.

In other words, they’re not against electric vehicles and solar, and solar-charged driving because they’re inherently against EVs, PV and the independence that EV + PV delivers. They’re against them simply because “liberals” are for these things.

I’ll give you an example of how ridiculuous this reflexive, anti-liberal vitriol can get. The Colorado Renewable Energy Society, which I “like” on Facebook, posted a link to a story from Wilderness.Org about how national parks are starting to install EV charging stations.

I posted a comment to this CRES shared story on Facebook. In the comment, I noted: a) It’s good news that national parks are adding EV charging stations; b) how it would be great to see EV charging corridors leading to and from national parks to urban areas like Denver.

This is a pretty a-political comment, as far as I can tell.


Within 30 minutes I was flamed by a guy named “Steven Lechner”. In a response to my totally a-political post, he sneered about how gasoline is allegedly more efficient than batteries (actually, it’s not, Steven, not even close), how EV batteries are horrible for the environment (actually, Steven, they’re all going to be recycled), and, yes, how “everyone” — “everyone” except idiots like me, that is — “knows” Tesla is going to go bankrupt.

Say what?

I’m writing about EV charging infrastructure, and this guy is laying into me, and all EV supporters, for what, exactly?

Basically, for exisiting, and, allegedly, for all being “liberals”.

I know Steven is conservative because I surfed to his Facebook page and encountered, among other things on his page, a sneering post about gun ownership and how liberals threaten his gun rights, an anti-Obama picture about illegal immigration, etc., etc., etc.

Yup, my political views are diametrically opposed to Steven’s — on all counts probably. And probably the only thing of signficance we might agree on are that we are turned off by each others’ political views.

But just because I’m a liberal and I like electric cars and solar and EV + PV doesn’t mean that Steven has to reject those things simply because some liberals like them.

While I do get into comment wars online — and it’s definitely not good for my mental health, in fact, I posted some infographics back at Steven that completely undermine his false claims about gasoline and hydrogen — my first comment was NOT political, meaning I did not bait Steven, or other conservatives.

I certainly don’t reject things simply because I view them as being “conservative”, or being controlled by conservatives. Heck, if I did, I might be forced to reject my identity as American ;-), which, of course, I do not.

In fact, I try not to do this — at least in the first comments I put on Facebook, etc. about electric cars, solar, etc. Even my comments back to Steven contained no reference to politics, just references to facts about gasoline and hydrogen.

I certainly don’t reject things simply because I view them as being “conservative”, or being controlled by conservatives. Heck, if I did, I might be forced to reject my identity as American ;-), which, of course, I do not.

I have two questions for you (and me):

1) Why do there seem to be so many conservatives who outright reject electric cars and solar (though some embrace them, for instance the Green Tea Coalition, who I follow on Twitter)?

2) Why a reflexive response to EVs and solar as “liberal”, which, because they are allegedly “liberal”, must therefore be rejected? This even though EV + PV delivers exactly the American/domestic fueled cars, fueling independence model that should be so appealing to so many conservatives?

3) What can I, you, and others, do to change the reflexive anti-EV, anti-solar views of so many conservatives, many of whom, I think, in reality are reacting not against EVs, solar, per se, but against “liberals” and “their” “things”?

One answer is for conservatives, like the Green Tea Coalition, who embrace either solar or electric cars or both to lobby fellow conservatives to do the same — in fact, that’s probably the best answer. But there must be other answers/solutions.

Anyone have any ideas on how to turn more conservatives on to electric cars and solar, and solar-charged driving?

If so, please post them in the comments field below. I’d love to see millions of conservatives — indeed, all Americans of all political affiliations — hop aboard the solar-charged driving express, wouldn’t you?