Many of you were critical of USA Today for publishing an article recently about a study on the relative cleanliness of plug-in vehicles. Those of you who joined the criticism have something in common with the Electric Drive Transportation Association, which has sent a letter to USA Today's editor that calls the article misleading and
pointing out items that the reporter, James Healey, minimized in his article. EDTA president Brian Wynne also sent out an email (read it after the break) that describes his organization's displeasure with Healey's piece. His email is more directly critical of the article, saying it "used selected information, creating unlikely scenarios and misleading implications about grid-powered transportation." Wynne writes that the electric drive community was unified in its criticism to the USA Today piece, a unification that will probably be tested more and more as new people try to understand what it means to have a plug on a car.
Statement from Brian Wynne, EDTA president:
In Washington, it is often pointed out that you are entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts. This week, we were reminded of the importance of keeping the facts of electric drive straight.
As many of our members and partners read, USA Today ran an article on potential adverse air quality effects that plug-in electric drive vehicles could have on air pollution. Unfortunately, the piece used selected information, creating unlikely scenarios and misleading implications about grid-powered transportation. The corrective response from the electric drive community was swift and unified, but the article reminds us that we have ongoing work to do to in our education efforts. The article and EDTA's letter to the editor can be seen here.
Consumers and policy makers are seeking thoughtful analyses of electric drive options. As an industry, we need to ensure that they get them.
Electric drive is integral to addressing the security and environmental challenges that we face. To achieve electric drive's benefits, there are challenges that must be met. EDTA is working with its members and other groups to make sure that both the benefits and challenges of this evolving technology are well understood.
As we head into an election season, with the prospect of $4 a gallon gas, Congress and the public will be looking for answers about transportation alternatives. EDTA, as the unified voice of the diverse electric drive industry, will be working to ensure that they know the electric drive answers.
This year, while continuing our advocacy in Congress, we are expanding our outreach to new audiences. This spring, we will be running an intensive Washington media campaign to educate the public. We are also increasing our visibility at industry and policy events. Through this comprehensive effort, EDTA will make sure that the public and policy makers have the facts they need about electric drive.
Brian P. Wynne