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America Is Quickly Splitting Into Electric Vehicle nEVers vs. EVangelists - Time For a Truce

As with so many issues and choices, America seems intent on dividing itself and engaging in active othering when it comes to electric vehicles. Here are two terms to know.

America is a two-sided country. On pretty much all things. Are you team turtle or team tortoise? Are you a dog or cat person? I won’t sully this story with political parties and name a few hot-button issues that would likely drive the pageviews up, along with my stress levels. You get the point. Sadly, one more aspect of American life is now starting to split along a divide - Electric Vehicles.

nEVers - The Side Who Doesn’t Like EVs
On one side of the new divide are the folks who think EVs are a big mistake. They believe anyone who just doesn’t get that “EVs are powered by coal” is missing the obvious Achilles heel. They are quick to tell anyone interested that “the batteries will die and leave you with a paperweight.” Of course, they have never had an EV battery fail, but they saw that famous YouTube video and now they are done listening. 

Unfortunately, a lot of content creators, media members, Youtubers, TikTokers, and other folks who post factual information about EVs that cast the powertrain in anything but a breathlessly positive light are often immediately assumed to be card-carrying nEVers being handed paper bags of Benjamins behind an Esso station by an operative from Big Oil. 

I must credit my colleague George Kennedy with the term and spelling of nEVers. George is a long-time automotive media pro and officer at the New England Motor Press Association.  

EVangelists  - Those Who Do Like EVs
On the flip side of the coin are the EV supporters who see only one path to reducing carbon emissions. This is a strong cabal with their very own long list of EV-advocacy publications. These folks see anyone who doesn’t own a car with a hemp interior as coal-rolling luddites. Suggest to them that paying $41 at a DCFC to power up a Chevy Bolt with a range of 220 miles seems a lot more expensive than paying $12 to power up a Prius to travel that far and they will tell you are the reason New York is now three feet under water.

I don’t have a person to whom I can point and credit the term "EV-angelist." I’ve been using for quite a while. All I know is I’m not alone. Here’s a video of James May from Top Gear using it very politely and disarmingly (time stamp 5:00). What I wouldn’t give to have his demeanor and eloquence. 

The Great Middle Space on EVs
In between the two entrenched sides is a wide expanse of folks who either don’t give a hoot how their car gets down the road, or who may have some opinions they are willing to change. I know and work with a lot of folks in this middle space. Many report on vehicles and are not in one camp or another. Many own both EVs and gas powered cars. Many see the bright future for EVs and can give you a long list of reasons why other green vehicles may be better suited to some lifestyles today. 

In a Perfect World…
In an ideal world, these two sides could coexist. Each could respect the other and maybe realize that as fellow Americans, citizens of the world, and drivers down the road of life, they have a lot in common. Maybe even a surname. I’m not holding my breath that the two sides are headed for a drum circle kumbaya moment any time soon. A truce would be nice, but we Americans aren’t quitters. Still, it’s nice to dream. 

Gasser SUV ICEing out charger image by John Goreham.

John Goreham is an experienced New England Motor Press Association member and expert vehicle tester. John completed an engineering program with a focus on electric vehicles, followed by two decades of work in high-tech, biopharma, and the automotive supply chain before becoming a news contributor. In addition to his eleven years of work at Torque News, John has published thousands of articles and reviews at American news outlets. He is known for offering unfiltered opinions on vehicle topics. You can follow John on Twitter, and connect with him at Linkedin.


Dong (not verified)    April 4, 2024 - 5:46PM

The EV-hate is fueled by rightwing media. My rightwing coworkers are regularly crying about how EVs are being forced down their throats, because their media is constantly demonizing them, twisting headlines to make it seem like EVs will force their way on them, giving them no choices.

Whenever you see such divide, just take a look at rightwing media and you'll find the source of all the divide.