I'd like to add Ian Wright to the list. Ian created the Wrightspeed in his own garage with his own money. Ian opened many skeptical minds by building a pure EV, seen by many as among the most thrilling and fun driving vehicles ever to hit the road.
Thousands have converted existing chassis to EVs, but Ian headed in a very different direction and was able to get his Wrightspeed EV written up very favorably in many respected auto journals. Corporate propagandists have spent years and gobs of money attempting to portray the electric vehicle as impractically slow and boring. Ian single-handedly shattered that notion. That must annoy the hell out of someone. Ian Wright deserves the gratitude of anyone promoting electric transportation.
Paul Scott <paul@...
> wrote: Doug's piece below deserves a wider audience than just the one list. Please read it.
From: doug korthof
Sent: Friday, June 01, 2007 8:12 AM
Subject: [electric_vehicles_for_sale] EVWorld audio of ARB meeting, and the story of the vigil...
EVWorld.com offers free reporting as a lure to become a "premium
member" at a small charge. While resisting ANY internet fees, it's
a good idea for the General Public to support such non-profit
websites, and keep them honest.
Donations to big ORGs like the NRDC, UCS, Sierra Club, etc., get
sequestered for paying expensive rents and salaries, expenses, fund-
raising, lobbying for grants, and other stuff that a big operation
needs to do.
Much more can be accomplished by a few self-financed members of the
public, who spend a few dollars on research, materials, signs and
travel, than by legions of Sierra Club execs. If it had been up to
the Sierra Club, Toyota would never have been convinced to change
its policy and stop crushing fleet-return RAV4-EV. If it had been
up to NRDC, the EV1 would have been forgotten, as well as crushed.
It was Dean Devlin, in remembrance of the late EV1 driver Don
Devlin, who put up the money, and well-spent, to finace the movie,
and hours of at-risk work by such as Jesse and Chris who brought the
I think Devlin never did recoup the last couple hundred thousand for
this picture, which changed history, reframed the dialogue, altered
thinking in the mainstream, which is the definition of art. It
never would have happened, if up to the big money-seeking "enviro"
orgs. The picture would never have been made, and the EV1 would
have remained forgotten.
The UCS purposefully turned its back on EVs and backed the myth of
fuel cells, the "Hydrogen Hype". Suck-ups like Terry T and Alan
Lloyd sprouted fuel-cell nonsense to please and befuddle their
master in Sacramento.
Never forget that it was self-financed members of the General Public
who mounted the 24/7 vigil, first successfully on the Th!nk, then in
Sacramento on the Ford Ranger-EV, then (tragically) outside the GM
facility in Burbank; self-funded ex-EV1 drivers, would-be EV1
drivers, former Honda EV drivers, current Toyota RAV4-EV drivers,
and some folks, like Jerry from Seal Beach, who had wanted to lease
an EV1 but was told by GM that it was in practice impossible (this
in early 2000), Al Benoit, who never had a chance to lease any EV,
and many others who did not even appear in the film (like
Greenpeace's Rolling Solar, solar music icon Jon Sherman and
GoGreenPowerGirl, who had a brief flash at the end).
It was an upstart group of individuals, led by Dave and Heather, who
started the successful DontCrush RangerEV campaign, helped by
Rainforest Action Network, who was helpful throughout the Th!nk,
RangerEV and tragic EV1 vigils:
and ignored by the big money-hungry "enviro" orgs.
This morphed into PlugInAmerica, which was centered on this same
group, who had known that they would lose with GM (no one thought
that GM would ever pay attention to the public or its customers, and
we were right, they crushed all the cars and tried to intimidate the
LATimes into not covering the story -- successfully, until the
Washington Post broke it nationally! Then GM pulled its $10M ad
budget from the LATimes, later reinstated after they reached
But PIA knew that there was a better chance with Toyota; still, the
vigil at GM had to be done, even though we knew it was a loser, and
futile, and heartbreaking.
Some formerly-loyal GM-fanatics cried when they saw their captive,
beautiful, helpless EV1 cars, and some felt even worse after GM
banged them, smashed them, into the imprisoning car carriers to haul
them to the tragic desert killing ground.
Mike L. and Chelsea followed them, or tried to; GM did an avoidance
pattern, and called the Highway Patrol to intercept and delay their
car. Nothing in GM but the face of evil; when it comes to customer
relations, GM is the WORST, the MOST HATED, and the LEAST
PERCEPTIVE, judging by their treatment of the vigil.
Then, when Alexandra and Colette blocked the transporters from
leaving on the next-to-last day of EV1 life, GM not only called the
cops to protect itself from these two ladies, but had them
handcuffed and arrested, hauled off to jail, convicted, fined,
sentenced and forced to do public service work (!! what was the
vigil, but pure public service !!). GM has not apologized, or
explained why it jailed the two, instead of just having them
removed; or, why not just sell the cars to us??
Instead of gaining enmity and scorn, instead of arresting, GM COULD
HAVE just sold us the cars!! But no, it had to put the conviction
for blocking the sidewalk on the record of the two heroic dames.
But that's this ragtag band of EV drivers and would-be EV drivers
got results, not by supporting the NRDC, which is mired in salary
Bill Moore, who runs
travelled out to report on and perhaps help a bit in the vigil, and
So also did Jeff Thomas, with entourage, of
who is the guru and expert when it comes to the EV1 power train and
the S-10E (uses the same power train). Lots of others helped, too,
including passer-by, those who lived nearby, even local Burbank cops
were sympathetic (one whispered to me, "...I tried to get one of
those EV1, but failed...") as well as local S-10 driver and now
Solar Homeowner Chris Reeves, Bob Siebert, Mike Kane, Bud Raymond
and his dad, who were almost assaulted by GM goons for trying to
take a picture, etc.
All self-financed, while the big orgs twiddled their thumbs and did
nothing to help. Well, one did write a letter of support, so that's
Here's the link to the EVWorld story:
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