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The Electric Car PR Machine

April 26, 2013

By Paul Homewood


I ran a post last year on the Chevy Volt, which attracted a comment from a reader, Trevor, who had never commented before and has not since.

The comment tried to persuade me how super the Volt was, and I half jokingly suggested that he must be a salesman for them.

Lo and behold, after running another post a few days ago on the Nissan Leaf, another commenter, Brian Keez launched into a fierce defence of the car. Again, he had never commented before on any other post.

So, intrigued, I did a little research into friend Brian. And found that he seems to spend half of his time promoting the benefits of the Leaf, and electric cars in general, across the internet.

I won’t waste time listing them all, they are easy enough to google. But this article from Torque News gives a flavour. It starts:-


TorqueNews asked a random Nissan Leaf driver to write about his experience. Brian Keez’s story is very interesting as he writes how he obtained his orphaned Leaf and how his father also bought one, spending only 12 dollars a month on charging his EV.

Random? Don’t make me laugh!

In the article, he is described as an “IT professional”. Is one of his jobs monitoring the internet for stories about the Leaf, or otherwise promoting them?

  1. Brian Keez permalink
    April 26, 2013 1:31 pm

    I’m not being paid, to promote EV’s (unfortunately). While researching them I got tired of seeing the outright lies and misinformation, then I realized that it’s an organized effort and that no one responded. So now, it’s my hobby. I saved $8,800 in fuel cost over my old car since going electric.

  2. John F. Hultquist permalink
    April 26, 2013 4:07 pm

    Your commenter Brian (?) makes a good point in the other post, namely, autos are poor investments and operating cost and reliability are important. The one characteristic that is a real deal killer for many people is the low distance (range) per charge and the time to charge (refuel). A purposeful electric vehicle is a golf cart – short easy trips in warm weather, and quiet. A cold and snowy winter shuts the whole thing down. I live in a hilly area with winter temperatures often well below freezing. A family member has a “porcine” replacement Mitral Valve and an implanted defibrillator / pacemaker. The regional “heart center” and cardiologists are 53 miles away. The Leaf’s range is listed as 109 miles. Would that get us to the doctor’s office and home again at well below freezing. Is the interior of the car heated? How? If you just arrived home and need 4 or 5 hours of charging before you dare leave again – is that acceptable? It may be that the Leif gets Brian around in a reliable, timely, and warm manner. Or maybe his boss doesn’t care if Brian shows up, or not. We need a real car, not a toy subsidized by other, less well-off, taxpayers.

    • Brian Keez permalink
      April 26, 2013 5:01 pm

      You’re correct that a LEAF may be too much of a risk in your situation, however the car is designed for the average go-to-work-go-home driver. I’m sure a two-seat soft-top woild not fit your needs either.

      • Streetcred permalink
        April 27, 2013 4:46 am

        Going to work car ? A bicycle would be a better option … give it away, Brian, they a heap of rubbish.

  3. April 26, 2013 9:46 pm


    I respect what you are doing. But I don’t want this post to degenerate into just a product promotion.

    You talk about “misinformation and outright lies”, but have not yet shown how any of my facts and figures are wrong. I will be more than happy to address any errors you think I have made.

    One other point needs addressing ( and excuse me as I am talking specifically of the UK here, but I am sure it is relevant elsewhere). When you complain of paying £200/month in petrol , you must realise that a large part of this (I believe about 70% in the UK) goes in tax to the govt.
    If we all went for electric cars, this tax would simply have to be raised from other sources. In other words, in real terms, the actual cost of conventional cars v electric cars is much less than you make out.

    There may be all sorts of reasons to go for electric cars, but economics is not one of them.


    • Brian Keez permalink
      April 26, 2013 11:29 pm

      I understand what you mean about product promotion, but I can only really speak with experience about the LEAF since it’s what I own.

      I wasn’t specifically referring to your specific opinion regarding misinformation/lies, however your posts title is sensational and got my attention. After you drive an all electric vehicle, you will know that the cost per mile is at least 1/3 the cost of a gasoline vehicle and the more miles driven, the wider the cost differential is. I am experiencing this now.

      There are many negatives to owning an all-electric, and the tax issue you raised is one of them and it’s my pleasure to pay for the roads and bridges I use, it’s how commerce works. Still, the negatives of owning/driving an internal combustion vehicle far exceed that of and EV. It would be great to discuss the real issues related to EV’s as opposed to the made-up issues because I enjoy discussing real problems to work on real solutions.

  4. April 30, 2013 2:44 pm

    Ha ha! I’ve often wondered why our political elites are so keen on evs and why nissan etc would invest £b’s in a vehicle that most people dont want; this article sheds some light on things

    “Publicised by Euractiv and many others yesterday was the news that the University of Delaware had sold power from electric vehicles to the power grid for the first time – in what appears to be the first working application of the Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) concept.

    There has to be a reason why a website specialising in EU news should be carrying this item, and ……………… more”

    So, on a cold morning following a windless night i will have a flat battery to get me to work? Amazing!

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