One Finite Planet

One Finite Planet

Big oil ramps up anti-EV stance… but how much?

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Big oil has been investing heavily in swaying public option against both climate action and electric vehicles for decades now, but it is reported that now in July 2023 they have taken the new step of creating video advertisements to boost their campaign against EVs.

However, reading the reporting of this event quickly revealed the pervasiveness of their anti-climate campaigns.

The new anti-EV advertisement.

The advertisement is presented as an advertisement for “the world’s leading synthetic motor oil” but the entire focus is to suggest our lives are shackled by the reliance on electrical devices such as computers and phones that all need to be connected to the electric grid, and true freedom can only be delivered by devices that are “free” by virtue of running purely on fossil fuels.

It does seem a stretch to me, but then, I find advertisements that create vague associations like “things go better with Coke” a stretch too, but the soft drink company running with this has been doing so since the 1960s, so that must work, and this might too.

There was a Nissan Leaf commercial back in around 2012 that pushes the opposite side of the argument, so perhaps they are just finally fighting back?

Well, except that in the Mobil advertisement it is trying to get people to perceive their reality differently and see their devices running on electricity as problematic, without wishing people to think about what life would be like if those devices did not run on electricity!

The pervasiveness of anti-EV messaging.

One media site reporting the story of the fossil fuel advertisement was the Driven, which is a respected Australian web site for news on EVs.

So, it was interesting to see just a few days later a new story on the Driven which echoed the anti-EV telling of the story of BYD releasing a “surprise plug in hybrid model” the BYD Seal. The article does note the dimensions of this new “BY Seal DM-i” are different than the dimensions of the Seal EV, but missed the fact that the only surprise was the rebranding for this unrelated vehicle previously known as the Chaser 07 or Destroyer depending on translation to now use the Seal name.

The article mistakenly suggests “BYD Seal to be offered as a plug-in hybrid in home market” instead of the more accurate “BYD Chaser 07 plug-in hybrid to now be marketed as BYD Seal DM-i in home market”.

The mistake follows from anti-EV stories suggesting BYD needed to produce a hybrid fossil fuelled version of the Seal EV and is backing away from EVs, as opposed to the reality that BYD are increasing the importance EVs and the name of EVs in their product mix.

These two vehicles, Seal EV and PHEV previously named “Chaser 07”, are built on completely different platforms from BYD, a company that started building ICE vehicle in 2003, introduced the world’s first mass produced plugin hybrid in 2008, their first pure battery EV in 2010, and is on a path towards being EV only, having ended non-plugin vehicle production in early 2022.

BYD, having now taken the lead as the largest producer of vehicles in China from Volkswagen and Toyota, the world’s largest producer of plugin-vehicles, and the fastest growing producer EVs globally, plug-in is huge target for slight misrepresentations perpetuated by fossil fuel funded influencers trying to diminish perceptions of success by BYD.

Interestingly it seems the efforts of oil industry backed influencers can now even shape stories in the EV press.

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Australia as a clean energy superpower? Yeah…nah!

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