I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon in a television studio in Ventura, interviewing Plug-In America vice president and co-founder Paul Scott. Paul had generously committed the time, and drove his Toyota RAV-4 EV up from Santa Monica for the occasion. I hope to have the interview chopped up into 3 – 4 minute segments and up on YouTube shortly. A still shot from the studio is below.
I walked away from the process far more hopeful and optimistic than I was when I first sat down. Here’s why:
Obviously, the oil companies are working hard to make sure this never happens. One could argue that some of them are more enlightened than others. In particular, according to Matt Simmons of peak oil fame, it’s something of a mixed bag. Here’s a bit of dialog from my book on renewables (to be published soon) — an excerpt from my interview with Matt:
Craig Shields: I don’t want to be crass about this thing, but it seems to me that if you are Chevron saying, “Imagine an oil company being part of the solution” you’re talking to people who simply don’t believe you. They are not part of the solution; they’re trying to milk to pump the last ounce of crude out of the ground.
Matt Simmons: That’s very accurate when it comes to Shell, BP and Exxon. Chevron is almost bold enough to break out and say that they actually acknowledge peak oil. And I had never met Jim Moulder — the chairman and CEO of ConocoPhillips — until the “Oil and Money” conference in London this fall. He’s sincerely interested in this….
But what about the car companies? I had always believed that they — overtly or covertly — were not intersted in promoting the migration to EVs either. But according to Paul — and I have to say that he more-less converted me on this point — the car companies and the power utilities are sincerely committed; it’s no longer just lip service. He feels strongly that the Fords, GMs, and Nissans of the world — soon to be followed by the laggards — view this is a make/break point of global competitiveness.
I certainly hope he’s right — and I welcome your comments.