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Electric Road Trip — Week 4: GM strike, Ford’s “sexy” EV, breaking the law

Electric Road Trip — Week 4: GM strike, Ford’s “sexy” EV, breaking the law

This is Jeff Tomich Midwest reporter for
E&E News and I’m Pete Behr with E&E News Washington office. We are wrapping up
week four of the electric roadtrip Which began in Motown went west through
Chicago and Iowa and up into the Twin Cities. We stopped first in Detroit
nearby with the UAW Local 5960 Which is on strike against General Motors. There they make a conventional GM car. The all-electric Chevy bolt and a prototype
of a self-driving General Motors car. So technology is both a source of concern
about more job losses but also a key to their future. From there on to Ford where
Darren Palmer the head of product development for EVs for Ford and Lincoln
said that Ford wants to sell electric vehicles not just on their climate
benefit but on their sex appeal. We also met with utility industry folks
throughout the week including an interview with Consumers Energy CEO
Patti Poppe who stressed the importance of off-peak vehicle charging which can
bring benefits not just to those who own EVs but all consumers if it’s done
right. We also were really heartened this week by the reception we’ve gotten
wherever we’ve stopped, including here in Red Wing where we’re filming. We pulled
in last night and found a note welcoming us on the on the car charger itself. We
also got a very special welcome in Illinois right Pete.
Oh thanks Jeff yeah well so this is a 6,000 mile trek sooner or later someone
was going to get pulled over and that was me. And trooper Cronin wanted to know
why I was driving 73 in a 70 mile an hour zone So she came by and looked in
at us and decided that we were not dangerous, crazy maybe but not dangerous
and sent us on our way with a smile. So we were also got a wonderful greeting of
a different kind in Red Wing from Bill Gehn, Who is a power company engineer who fixes everything and Bill is an example of grassroots commitment to EVs that
we’re discovering along the way. Well that’s it for now but stay tuned to E&E News for week 5 of the electric roadtrip As our colleague David Ferris takes it
west through North Dakota.

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