How Low-energy Vehicles Work

Author's Note

It's hard to deduce whether the credibility of plug-in electrics is enhanced or diminished by the California bourgeoisie. According to CleanTechnica, half of all EVs in California are owned by households with an income over $150,000 [source: Shahan].

Granted, that doesn't go far in I hear. (But I certainly wouldn't mind trading up in location and lifestyle.)

The statistic really doesn't come as a surprise. It makes sense that California's rather unique situation was studied for this article, because the state's invested so heavily in the technology and infrastructure to support electric vehicles. This is because Californians are stereotypically adopters of new tech innovations and they are stereotypically interested in environmentally-friendly pursuits. Also, California has to push these initiatives. It's huge, people drive a lot, and in some parts of the state (here's looking at you, L.A.) the air is filthy.

It seems a little hypocritical, though, that these six-figure households probably aren't using an EV as their only car (based on insinuations made by the aforementioned source article...and supported by my perhaps limited understanding of human nature). It's better, of course, to use an EV for a trip within the range limits, but when all those good-vibin' miles are offset by joyrides in the midlife-crisis-mobile, what's the point? (Unless, of course, we're talking about a Tesla.)

Maybe the disconnect is a result of thinking that an avoidance of consumerism should be a natural side effect to eco-friendliness...but neither are traits associated with the car industry. As EVs spread eastward, we'll likely see a shift in their role.

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