In social media feeds, almost daily, someone is promoting the transition to electric vehicles. Some responses may be less enthusiastic, but it’s also possible that we’ve forgotten why the change is inevitable.
Reasons for not buying an EV today are usually centred around convenience and range:
“…the main thing stopping me from jumping on the electric car craze is a lack of supporting infrastructure like charging points. I don’t feel like I can go away for the week or a long weekend and ask the hotel/AirBnB host if they’d mind me just plugging in my car…”
The immediate preference to avoid extra cost or an increase in involvement in journey planning is understandable. It’s not something we’re used to and, for full transparency, I haven’t fully switched to an EV yet. I ride an eBike and leave my vehicle behind as often as I can.
Why are we doing this at all?
The focus of the EV conversation has become the individual cost to us as users. What we’ve mostly lost sight of is why we are making the change. Cognitive dissonance that has slipped between what we need to do and why we must do it.
It needs calling out – again and again.
- This week, Sydney, Australia, recorded its highest ever night-time temperature at 25.4ºC.
- Global wildfires hit a record number in 2019. 2020 has beaten that by 13% already.
- Through melt water and expansion, sea levels are rising at the rate of 3.3mm a year. If you don’t understand why it matters, please make it your business to read around the subject. It does.
Listen and learn
The excellent podcast How to Save the Planet asks, how do we adapt to changes that are already inevitable? It’s a great question and it picks up on other madness, such as non-transport related planning policy allowing building development in flood plains, simply because the effect has not been felt yet.
How to Save the Planet cites a study showing that “Miami Beach could be mostly underwater within eighty years, but construction of new beachfront properties is booming.” Miami isn’t alone in this.
We all make our choices based on what’s important to us on that day. COVID has taught us that things change, and quickly. 2020 has given us new versions of normal literally overnight. Suggestions that a return to mass attended events can be looked forward to next year now send a shudder through most of us who look at a concert crowd and wonder how we’ll feel like going to that kind of event again.
Borrowed from the same podcast, and included as an essay on the subject of climate change and the Miami construction paradox, Heaven or High Water, by Sarah Miller, contains the line, “I’m afraid of dying, sure, but so far it hasn’t been an issue.” Cognitive dissonance in all its glory.
Back to you and your next car
Like selling a future scenario that means a company must change how it operates, selling a thus far unexperienced event isn’t easy. As a consultancy, room44 faces this all the time.
The reason we’re heading down a road that will see lives lived differently, very soon, is not because it’s good for our pocket. It’s because we must all make an individual effort to reduce our own impact on the environment, to slow down the rate at which the world is warming.
Buying an EV is a bit like changing your unhealthy diet to a better one. If you don’t do it, you just have to live in hope that nothing bad happens.
The switch away from internal combustion engines is inevitable. And if it’s inevitable in 2030, it’s necessary now. Like a lot of things in life, we are all good at putting off what we know needs to happen in favour of a short-term convenience.
Future thinking. Future proofing. It’s what we do.
#howtosavetheplanet #allwecansave #sarahmiller #alexblumberg #ayanaelizabethjohnson #trends #environment #climatechange #electricvehicles #ecargobikes