By on November 17, 2020

If you think the political class is interested in what kind of policies citizens would like to see implemented, you’ve clearly never heard of lobbying groups. While we’re stuck at home writing thoughtful letters to congressional interns in the faintest hope that they’ll be dictated to a senator, corporately supported lobbyists are taking legislators out to dinner so they can discuss how best to govern on a single issue. They’re important in determining the trajectory of the nation but many get criticized for placing the needs of the business over that of the individual voter.

Buckle up, because we’re getting another one. On Tuesday, the Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA) held its own coming-out party and announced its mission to advocate for “national policies that will enable 100 [percent] electric vehicle sales throughout the light-, medium-, and heavy-duty sectors by 2030.”

While we’re not certain why everyone who desires EV supremacy has picked the years between 2030 and 2035 as the period when the internal combustion engine needs to be extinguished, it has been fairly consistent across the industry. Though it does extend beyond the automotive sector. The World Economic Forum recently illustrated plans to use COVID-19 to transition the whole world into larger governments aimed at shifting society toward ending property/vehicle ownership rights as a way to build a more sustainable future at the expense of growth. Dubbed the “Great Reset Initiative,” the plan is effectively eco-communism and allows no room for vehicles that aren’t powered entirely by electricity. The targeted year of these sustainability goals just so happens to be 2030.

Similar timetables aside, the Zero Emission Transportation Association’s general ambitions also seem broadly compatible. In Tuesday’s announcement, ZETA acknowledged it would be prioritizing stringent emission laws and tax incentives that would encourage widespread EV adoption, investments into the charging infrastructure, and an aligned vision for electrification to be adhered to by all.

“For the first time in a generation, transportation is the leading emitter of U.S. carbon emissions. By embracing EVs, federal policymakers can help drive innovation, create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and improve air quality and public health,” said Joe Britton, Executive Director of ZETA, in a prepared statement. “ZETA’s formation recognizes a pivotal moment for national leadership and reflects the will of the growing clean transportation sector.”

“The next decade will be critical in implementing federal policies that accelerate the transition to zero emissions vehicles and help address these problems head-on. The clean vehicle sector already boasts hundreds of thousands of jobs but, if we encourage its growth, the United States can decisively win the global race to develop a new clean transportation economy and employ hundreds of thousands of Americans right here at home.”

We’ve got questions about this. While we’ve often heard that pushing EVs would increase the number of modern, tech-focused jobs, it appears to come at the expense of factory positions. Electric cars don’t have as many moving parts, requiring less manpower and fewer suppliers. Daimler recently announced that it would be eliminating staff for that very reason — though we have a hunch that was also a cover for it spending way too much money on development. No matter, since the outcome remains largely the same.

An affiliated group called the ZETA Education Fund has launched in tandem with the association and will be focused on “educating the public on the environmental and social benefits and opportunities associated with broad EV adoption, will launch concurrently.” Founding ZETA members include 28 major corporations, including ABB, Albemarle Corporation, ChargePoint, ConEdision, EVBox, Lordstown Motors, Lucid Motors, PG&E Corporation, Proterra, Rivian, Siemens, SRP, Tesla, Vistra, Uber, and WAVE.

[Image: Welcomia/Shutterstock]

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34 Comments on “Progress, Thy Name is ZETA: New Electric Vehicle Lobbying Group Hits the Scene...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “For the first time in a generation, transportation is the leading emitter of U.S. carbon emissions. By embracing EVs, federal policymakers can help drive innovation, create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and improve air quality and public health,” said Joe Britton, Executive Director of ZETA, in a prepared statement. “ZETA’s formation recognizes a pivotal moment for national leadership and reflects the will of the growing clean transportation sector.”

    “The next decade will be critical in implementing federal policies that accelerate the transition to zero emissions vehicles and help address these problems head-on. The clean vehicle sector already boasts hundreds of thousands of jobs but, if we encourage its growth, the United States can decisively win the global race to develop a new clean transportation economy and employ hundreds of thousands of Americans right here at home.”

    Except for the Covid reference, this story could have been written in 2009. I love grand mission statements whose stock language has been pulled directly from the leftist handbook. Who pays these people?

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      If you want to become a millionaire, start a company that produces electric motors that can bolt in to replace internal combustion engines.
      Keep the electronic control components as simple as possible, and make the batteries removeable and replaceable, like a cordless drill.
      If you can take your jalopy and put a new engine in it for a reasonable price and get another 250,000 miles out of it, you’re money ahead. A few solar panels and your fuel expenses are zero for the rest of your life.
      The future is electric. Meshing it with what we love (electric MGB, anyone?) will make it even more than palatable.

      • 0 avatar
        285exp

        RHD, one can only hope you just forgot to include the sarcasm tag.

        • 0 avatar
          Old_WRX

          “RHD, one can only hope you just forgot to include the sarcasm tag.”

          Have to be careful about claiming some feat of technology can’t happen. If you described a smart phone to someone 60 years ago they would tell you that was impossible.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            ” If you described a smart phone to someone 60 years ago they would tell you that was impossible.”

            I was working in advanced research for a small company that was in the telecom sector. I had a working prototype of a modern cellphone. Couldn’t convince management to build it. They didn’t think it would succeed.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            I left out some info. The prototype was in 1997. Used it a lot out in public.

      • 0 avatar
        wolfwagen

        The Future is electric? Really? How? 1.Solar and wind are not reliable, No new nukes are being built, and the greenies dont want to burn any fossil fuels. That leaves geothermal and hydro-electric (The 2 sources that are the smallest of power generation) to fill the gap, it is not enough. 2. The power grid is at best aged. Add 274 Million cars (providing you could do that all at once) and the grid blows up. Even if you added a million cars a year it will probably screw up the electric grid. Look at California – they dont even have enough power for the state. You have to get the power from somewhere. Smiles, high 5s and unicorn farts are not the solution

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          ” 1.Solar and wind are not reliable”

          Doesn’t matter. Various grid storage technologies make it a non-issue.

          “No new nukes are being built, ”

          Not true. TVA got approval for an SMR last December. There are numerous others in the pipeline as well. SMRs are coming.

          https://apnews.com/article/8f6d02c0a3355271c78581afb48bc60c

          https://www.nuscalepower.com/projects/carbon-free-power-project

          https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-54703204

          • 0 avatar
            Old_WRX

            mcs,

            “TVA got approval for an SMR last December.”

            Nukes are nice and clean unless they pull a Chernobyl or a Fukishima. They probably are the way to go, but there is no denying that a worst case scenario for nukes is really, really bad.

            “I had a working prototype of a modern cellphone.”

            I hope that company’s mission statement didn’t include the word “vision.”

          • 0 avatar
            ToolGuy

            Proposal: Have the U.S. Navy do it.

            https://preview.tinyurl.com/y3musnnn

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        RHD,
        “If you want to become a millionaire, start a company that produces electric motors that can bolt in to replace internal combustion engines.”

        Like this one?
        https://electricgt.com/shop/gte-253-ala-carte-e-crate-motor/

        Also, both EVWest (a top tier electric conversion/hotrod shop) and GM have announced EV crate engines meant as a mostly bolt-on substitute for a conventional engine.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    “While we’re not certain why everyone who desires EV supremacy has picked the years between 2030 and 2035 as the period when the internal combustion engine needs to be extinguished”

    It is close enough that it bears spreading some cash around now, but far enough away so that the people spending the cash will have moved on by then and not be in the least curious what happened to all the money they spent on this goal when the time does arrive andthey drive off in their Suburban to meet whover is lobbying for 2030’s big causes.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Those dates also relate to when the economies of scale are expected to be in place for cheap EV production.

      It’s also one of the times people have historically thought the oil supply might start to shrink. Of course, there have been false alarms about this along the way, so nobody likes to talk about it, and maybe new drilling technology will kick thst cab down the toad yet again. [Shrug]

      In any case, there’s more thought put in to these dates than you describe.

      Boring traditional ICE vehicles aren’t going anywhere, though. The question is whether they become specialized niche vehicles, or remain the default choice.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Oh good, more lobbyists.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Yeah…

      Even though I’m an EV hippie, thst doesn’t mean I want to see lobbyists.

      Even the lobbyists I’ve tried to support (AOPA) have turned out to work against my interest most of the time.

      F*ck lobbyists.

      If you like EVs and can afford it, buy Teslas instead.

  • avatar
    MKizzy

    Another potential major workforce disruption in a post ICE future is the existential threat to even EV certified auto repair shops once the first genius or electric contractor runs with the idea of at-home EV maintenance.

    Imagine the convenience for consumers. Why waste time in a auto shop’s waiting room or arranging transportation when you can schedule an at-home EV maintenance appointments with your Angie’s list approved local auto-electrician? Nirvana.

    • 0 avatar
      Old_WRX

      MKizzy,

      Could also be a mass hacking of EV’s. Maybe ransomware, or… Just picture it. Driving along and the tablet in the dash flashes up “$5000 by credit card at this URL or your car won’t let the doors open”

  • avatar
    2manycars

    Total insanity. CO2 is not a pollutant, the idiots who think it is are not going to take control of the earth’s climate by pushing electric cars, or with the rest of their “green” nonsense. As I’ve said before, I will never buy an electric car no matter what morons like ZETA and its supporters want.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      Oxygen isn’t a “pollutant”, either, but too much of it will make you catch fire. It’s the over-concentration that is harmful. Too much C02 in a plastic bag and you will suffocate. Too much C02 in the atmosphere, and our climate goes out of whack.
      No matter what your political bent is, the grim reality does not change. Our children and grandchildren are inheriting a s#!tshow, and you want to just pretend that it doesn’t exist.

      • 0 avatar
        Old_WRX

        RHD,

        “Too much C02 in the atmosphere, and our climate goes out of whack.”

        If you want to be accurate, scientifically speaking, you would have to include a “maybe” in that statement.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          “If you want to be accurate, scientifically speaking, you would have to include a “maybe” in that statement.”

          When a scientist says “maybe”, it usually means “I’ve researched the $&#%& out of this, and I believe I’m right — but please don’t use this statement to ruin my retirement savings.”

          This is often started with a number instead, including the usual p<0.05.

          Scientists tend to be the kind of people who think ahead, and their career is based on being right about things. So they pad their statements with a lot of uncertain words just-in-case somebody learns something 30 years from now thst contradicts some minor detail of what they just said.

          I'll give scientist's more credibility than a politician's certainly every day of the week. Even for the subset of politicians I happen to respect.

          • 0 avatar

            Luke42,
            Unfortunately,all too often scientist’s funding depends on politicians,who won’t pay for research that contradicts the pols beliefs.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I agree with you, but driving an electric car does not mean you also buy the agenda. I’m on my second EV, and it’s been a great experience.

    • 0 avatar
      Old_WRX

      stephen,

      “Unfortunately,all too often scientist’s funding depends on politicians,who won’t pay for research that contradicts the pols beliefs.”

      Exactly. Also, the MSM is owned by the same people who own the pols. So, watch out for all the “scientists” whose opinions are in the media.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Isn’t the ZETAs already a cartel?

  • avatar

    Killing ICE is easy. It is already dying. No one in his right mind is going develop new IC engines.

    Powering airplanes with electricity is more tricky. Anything other than using microwave lasers to deliver energy doesn’t come to my mind. And how to apply it to jets is beyond me. Only option I see is to ground all planes and force people to travel on electric trains and ships.

    • 0 avatar
      shipping96

      Aviation will most likely be powered by hydrogen in the future. It can be liquid at cold temperature and high pressure. Possibly it could be used as such into a gas turbine engine. Or consumed in a fuel cell and then the electricity would power motors spinning propellers or ducted fans.

    • 0 avatar
      Brett Woods

      I was in Phoenix, AZ when all the planes were grounded in 2014. It has happened in the summer on several occasions since. Bombardier regional jet maximum ambient operating temperature ~ 118 F. Boeing and Airbus full size jet maximum ambient operating temperature ~125 F.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        The density altitude is probably what grounded the planes. Hot weather makes the air less dense.

        High density-altitude make the takeoff run longer, faster, and less safe.

        https://youtu.be/p2WdRK6lW0o

        • 0 avatar
          Brett Woods

          Yes, that’s it. Runway length, altitude, weight, and temperature are inter-related. And if Phoenix starts to get higher summer temperatures for a few weeks every year, planes won’t stay grounded.

          First, the 2 pm flights can be changed to 2 am flights. After that, new and old planes can be certified or re-certified for a higher temperature.

          When it comes down to the planning session, it’s better not to giggle about this. We want to stay light on our feet.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Here’s an electric plane, available for sale now:
      https://www.pipistrel-aircraft.com/aircraft/electric-flight/alpha-electro/

      It has some limitations to be sure, but it’s a real airplane with a real application.

  • avatar
    Old_WRX

    “Dubbed the “Great Reset Initiative,” the plan is effectively eco-communism and allows no room for vehicles that aren’t powered entirely by electricity.” It involves a lot more than that including almost complete destruction of life as we have known it.

    Very interesting. I’ve never seen the term “Great Reset” used anywhere other than on web sites that are the type that the MSM twits as being “conspiracy theory” or “fake news. The Great Reset has been mentioned for a while on such sites and the year given has been 2030. Some of the other things mentioned have also been coming out into the open lately. Maybe these conspiracy theorist know something. Can’t be or CNN or the NYT would have told us…

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Eye roll.

      You can mischaracterize these things if you like, but that doesn’t make you correct.

      • 0 avatar
        Old_WRX

        Luke42,

        “Eye roll.”

        I know. I know. How could anyone be so silly as to question? I’m sure it is just the case that those sites in the process of random blathering happened to have info about the “Great Reset.” You know like that famous room full of monkeys typing randomly? Yall need to wean your mind from the idea that everything you read in the MSM (biased towards your personal point of view, of course) is true. Or…whatever.

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