September 28, 2012 - View of Denver skyline from South Table Mountain (STM). (Dennis Schroeder / NREL)

VERY discouraged — again — on solar + EV advocacy

Colorado only has about 37,000 registered plug-in vehicles — out of 1.7 million total registered vehicles. One of those is my solar-charged 2020 Bolt (upper right). We need A LOT more EVs, ASAP here in Colorado and elsewhere if we are going to make any meaningful dents in the battle against Climate Change and air and environmental pollution.

I have been actively advocating for EV + PV and EVs and solar separately for well over a decade. I have not given up, and will never give up.

But I do hit stretches where I get discouraged, very discouraged.

I am in one of those stretches right now.

The American West, where I live (I live in the Denver area) is in the grips of yet another record-breaking heat wave, in a 20-year long drought, and we in Denver have had at least two straight weeks of ozone alerts. This is all due in (large) part to our society’s addiction to fossil fuels and fossil-fueled vehicles.

This fossil fuel addiction — and our insistence on NOT changing what we do — is plunging our earth, a fragile, interdependent systems-based spaceship with a razor-thin and miraculous life-supporting atmosphere hurtling through the cold, hostile vacuum of space at tens of thousands of miles per hour — into crisis.

If we do not wake up soon, very soon, we are, in my view, TOTALLY FUCKED. Yes, totally fucked.

I don’t see a lot of evidence of the kinds of massive and quick change that we need to make. I also see almost no urgency by probably 75% of Americans on the true Climate Emergency that is unfolding around us.

I’ll take one point here to focus on, as there are innumerable ones one could zero in on sadly: EV penetration.

There are STILL so few EVs, especially in the United States. Ten years into the “EV revolution” we are STILL at far less than 1% of total vehicles on the road being EVs.

Me in front of my 2017 Chevy Bolt in Green River, Utah during a 2,400-mile road trip I took with my two daughters from Denver to Santa Barbara and back in the Summer of 2018. [Photo by Alina Demont-Heinrich]
Let’s take my home state of Colorado as an example, where, again, millions of us along the Front Range (where Denver, Boulder, Fort Colins and Colorado Springs lie) have been suffering for at least two straight weeks in dangerous ozone conditions, most of this caused by vehicle exhaust AND the thousands of oil and gas wells here in Colorado.

We have about 1.7 million vehicles registered in Colorado.

Guess how many are plug-in EVs?

Would you guess 200,000?

How about 100,000?

How about JUST 37,000.

Yes, that’s right: In one of the most progressive states in the United States on electric vehicles where we offer $2,000 to $5,000 in state tax credits for people who lease or buy EVs, we have just 37,000 EVs.

That’s 2% of total vehicles registered in the state. Yes, just 2%!

And this despite the fact that we are facing humanity’s truly greatest existential threat RIGHT NOW: The Climate Emergency. Not to mention that we are destroying our lungs and general human health with the endless blasting of the fumes that shoot out of millions of ICE vehicles here in Colorado and the US — and the world.


There is NO sense of urgency, awareness, sense that I/we need to take action. Not later, not in the distant future, but action right now, or really, YESTERDAY.

Ok, SOME of us do care.

Colorado doesn’t have nearly as many registered vehicles as bigger US states such as California or Texas, but it still has 1.7 million, and just 37,000 of those are plug-in vehicles.

But not nearly enough of us do. We are in a tiny minority, we really are.

That is made very clear by the 2% of vehicles on Colorado roads that are plug-ins and by the fact that we continue to accept — not even care about —  the fact that we are literally destroying our lungs, our health, our amazing and singular spaceship earth and our future by continuing to live in irresponsible, SELFISH, and totally UNSUSTAINABLE ways!

Primal scream ==> ARGGGGH!!!!!! 😡😡😡