by Mary Hunt of In Women We Trust
Saturday at the Santa Monica Alternative Car and Transportation Expo, I was truly ga-ga over the go-go aspects of the new cars and their under-the-hood/seat/trunk technologies. Cool! We are finally on the right road and it was nice to see lots of women like me also enjoying the new options. Then I was asked to sign a petition...
"It's a petition to send a message to the auto companies saying that you would buy an electric car if they made it," says the petitioner.(I couldn't sign it fast enough) And, why do we need this? I'm thinking, hasn't the Prius proven that we are past this conversation of whether customer's will buy cars that use alternative fuels? Reading my mind she continued,"Because even though 80% of the California voters wanted to lower emissions, the car companies and dealers are trying to block the state law. The trial starts on January 30, 2007."
Across the hanger, the Union of Concerned Scientists had their own petition aimed directly at the California dealers who were supporting the lawsuit. They claim that by forcing lower emissions it will A) make vehicles too expensive and B) limit consumer choice. What?!? Too expensive? That never stopped anyone from buying a BMW, Lexus or Mercedes. Limit consumer choice? They don't have a choice now and besides, do consumers really care about choice when their wallets and air is at stake? Drive across Orange County and you'd think that Honda Civic's and Toyota Prius' were the only choice. Apparently, not only do customers not care if they look alike, it's becoming a driving badge of honor.
In yet another corner, Plug In America was selling "Who Killed the Electric Car" (the DVD) as well as the book, "Plug-in Hybrids - Cars that will recharge America." A downer and an upper in the same space.
Wait a minute... I thought this was an auto show as part of the LA auto show... WRONG. My marketing side kicked in and I looked for who was sponsoring it. Not a BIG car company to be found. Instead, it was instigated by the City of Santa Monica along with Platia Productions. I Googled Platia and found an article with the quote,
"Our show is more than a car show. It's about not being in cars," said Christine Dzilvelis, owner of Platia Productions, which is putting on the Santa Monica exhibit. "We are offering a genuine and passionate challenge to the status quo."
...Beyond displaying and selling the alternative cars, some of which are from Ventura County-based companies, the fair is a venue for discussing the future of cars and the urban planning that currently relies on them so heavily...
Well - there you have it Mr. and Ms. Status Quo, the real reason this show was so earthshakening. Every day people were funding the R&D and marketing of this concept.
We need more venues to discuss ideas (and actions) as it's very apparent that time is running out and those at the top don't have the chops to make the really hard decisions and do what's right. It will be up to consumers, with women leading that sector, to put their money where their heart is and get big business back on track without disrupting the economy.
Originally posted on In Women We Trust