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Electric Vehicle Phobia
Inevitable change from steam to petrol to electric. Photo courtesy of Majella Waterworth.


Electric Vehicle Phobia

We are restarting our pre-COVID travel plans now that the chance of getting locked out of our state is past. In Australia, individual states closed their borders with little warning during the height of COVID, leaving travelers stranded and facing severe quarantine restrictions for months. Leaving the state of Queensland was a risk we weren’t prepared to take. Hence our road trip west to Winton instead.

This time, however, we will be going south into New South Wales and Victoria, and charging should not be such an adventure. Electric vehicles are well catered to on the coast. What we are discussing is the reception we may get as we visit old friends and stay with relatives en route. Some of them suffer with electric vehicle phobia. Or perhaps electrica odium.

We have had a taste of this already as we have contacted those we will be meeting up with. Some are wary of the Tesla Model 3 and fear for our safety. Some think we might not get there at all – running out of electrons on the highway. In the extreme is my elderly aunt in Murwillumbah, a staunch anti-vaxxer who believes Elon is a devil-possessed cult leader. Just don’t go, you say? Not an option — it may be last chance we get to see her.

Electric Vehicle Phobia

Inevitable change from steam to petrol to electric. Photo courtesy of Majella Waterworth.

Many of the negative comments we get are borne of ignorance. Some of it might be jealousy. After some strange comments over the phone, I asked my cousin, “How much do you think a Tesla costs?” Four hundred thousand dollars he responded. That was an easy bit of FUD to debunk.

We have plenty of information to share — about battery life and recycling, the benefits of EVs for the environment, and even the benefits for the grid. So long as people are willing to listen, and to believe. It’s like the personal choice of buying a car has become a religious or political issue. It’s just a car. … Or is it?

We will offer everybody test drives, and hopefully that will help break down some of the barriers and lead to genuine questions that can be answered. Like, questions about cost savings, speeding tickets, and safety. And we can have some fun! Fart mode and rapid acceleration should get them laughing. Though, I must remember to tell auntie to put her head back when we do a launch and check that it really is Tess making those noises.

My older brother Ross would get upset when I mentioned electric cars, so I stopped doing so. After three years, he is now the one to bring up the subject because he is starting to see mentions in mainstream media and ads on the tele. Attitudes will change; it will just take time and patience. We won’t let electric vehicle phobia stop us seeing relatives and friends.

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Written By

David Waterworth is a retired teacher who divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He is long on Tesla [NASDAQ:TSLA].


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