InsideEVs Unique Interview With Normal Motors EV1 Advertising and marketing Director John Dabels


One of the vital extraordinary issues that InsideEVs enjoys is  an above reasonable banter over the articles and stories discovered right here.  Next our fresh interview with John Dabels, 3 questions stood out.  So, InsideEVs went again to John Dabels for more info in the name of our readers.

 (If you missed Part 1) …or… (If you missed Part 2)

Did CARB Cave?

Mark Hovis: Every other factor that gave the impression to be going down along with of the EV1 program was once the 0 emissions mandate (ZEV) by way of the California Wind Useful resource Board (CARB). Our individuals want to know why did CARB cave?

John Dabels:  A snappy historical past. CARB issued the mandate for ten p.c 0 emission cars within the 1990’s and was once changed quite a few occasions. Previous to the mandates taking impact, the automobile corporations initiated a lawsuit to have the mandates overturned. Next some length CARB indubitably to release  the mandates.

As a result of CARB dropped the mandates for ZEVs the belief is, as some readers declare, CARB caved.  However like a batch about EVs, there’s extra to the tale.

A couple of years upcoming I used to be requested to connect a mini crew  to support assess what we idea went proper and what went unsuitable in launching EVs. The crowd integrated representatives from other nations, academia, the utilities, the automobile business and CARB. Throughout some of the conferences the consultant from CARB, a senior legit, was once requested the similar query, “Why did CARB cave on the ZEV mandates? Aren’t you guys disappointed CARB  could not implement the zero emission vehicle mandate?”  The CARB representative said “No we are not. We CARB supported the decision.”

The following is my summary of CARB’s rationale.  I do not know if this accurately represents CARB’s official position but this is what I heard.  And the rationale makes sense.  First, imagine a yardstick standing on the table.  The 36” mark represents air pollution in California before the ZEV mandates.  After the ZEV mandates air pollution would drop to say 30”.

But the auto companies provide an alternative.  If CARB drops the ZEV mandates, then the auto companies agree to that all light-duty vehicles sold in California will meet the ULEV (ultra-low-emission vehicle) standard.  Adopting ULEV standard rather than forcing the ZEV mandate will result in air pollution dropping not to 30” as with the ZEV mandates, but to 24”.

Exactly what the percentage differences were in air quality, I don’t know.  But the proposal by the auto companies improves air quality more.  The proposal is a win for both sides.  CARB is charged with improving air quality in California.  The auto proposal improves air quality more than the ZEV mandate.  Both sides avoid protracted litigation.  I suppose the loser might be EV’s but CARB’s mandate is improving air quality, not introducing EV’s.  From a government policy standpoint, I think it was a good decision. People are elected to office or appointed to positions in government to solve problems. Obviously I can’t speak for CARB but seems to me they did what the people of California charged them to do.

So we have 170,000 EVs instead of maybe 2,000,000, but every auto has a catalytic converter and other low emission standards….

Ovonics Nickel Steel Hydride Battery

Mark Hovis:  There were many questions about Ovonics and why it was sold to Chevron(Texaco).

John Dabels: As for the sale, I can’t answer that. But there is additional information that rounds out the story, and most of it public.   After resigning from GM, Bob Stempel became an advisor to Energy Conversion Devices (aka Ovonics).  In 1995, Mr. Stempel is appointed chairman of ECD.  He held that that position until 2007. (If you have read Part I &II your brain is engaged now)  From the points of view of an investor in ECD and the EV industry, having Stempel as chairman is a great asset.  The founder of ECD, Stan Ovshinsky was a brilliant engineer but not what you would call a great businessman.  With Bob Stempel, the company has significantly more credibility and begins to migrate the nickel-metal-hydride technology from the lab to higher-volume production with more quality control.  Plus, Stempel is a great supporter of and great spokesmen for EV’s.  ECD seemed to be working very hard to become the standard battery for hybrids and EV’s.

Mark Hovis:  Why do you think the technology was sold to Chevron/Texaco? I think the readers see Chevron/Texaco as sitting on the technology.

John Dabels:  Exactly why the sale I cannot answer.  Look, if you have an investment, need cash and can sell it for a profit, it happens.

Mark Hovis: I realize you had left GM at this point.  What were you doing?”

John Dabels:   Working with Lee Iacocca on the electric bicycle — eBike. We were trying to build a distribution network for the bikes and expand to begin offering smaller electric cars.  We were in regular contact with Bob Stempel and ECD.  Rest assured ECD was seeking all types of applications for the NiMH battery.  There was no indication whatsoever of not making the technology successful

EV1 Marketing

Mark Hovis: One more topic . Some of our contributors would like an explanation to what we affectionately refer to as the “alien commercial.”

John Dabels: I want I may pluck credit score for it, however I will be able to’t.  Got here nearest I left.  I love the economic.  Plus, the truth population are nonetheless taking about it greater than 15 years upcoming is a sign the economic had an affect…pun supposed. I can proportion any other EV1 advertising and marketing gem.

Robert Frost album (complete 19 web page gallery beneath)

Debatable promoting for the EV1 began early on.  One of the vital first controversies was once number of the chief for promoting.  I’m unenthusiastic to quote names as a result of I’m really not positive who desires to stick within the background.

I first met the advert supervisor time we had been interviewing at Princeton for a summer time intern.  She got here to Buick for the summer time and taken an overly fascinating and insightful standpoint to promoting.  Next graduating from Princeton, she labored for Saturn for a couple of years.  Next we recruited her to the EV1 program.   The rent was once debatable on account of her background – what can a historical past primary find out about promoting – and her moment – a lot more youthful than someone in a matching place.

One of the vital first advert techniques for EV1 was once a album.  However her concept was once now not simply any album.  Her concept was once to mix the surrounding with some American historical past.  A advertising and marketing innovation was once with the ability to utility the paintings of  Robert Frost in a business marketing campaign.  So far as I do know that was once the primary date the Robert Frost Bedrock had given such goodwill.

UPDATE (06/06/2014):  Terrell Orum Moore contacted us with a correction in regards to the origins of the album.  The Buick supervisor in query it seems that had the general goodwill at the hand-out, however was once in truth advanced, designed and published my Mr. Moore thru his advert company (which John leased).  He notes that within the ultimate goodwill “changed two words.”

The album was once embossed at the outdoor with a profile of the car.  At the diverse pages there have been portions of Frost’s poems that strengthened the pitch we had been seeking to all set with the EV1.    I additionally want to point out we were given a batch of backup from McCann-Erickson.  I had labored with McCann at Buick and so they assigned top-notch population to the EV1.  And sure, we stayed inside of price range.

We dispensed the album at meetings and for the ones population who contacted this system.  Parched to take into consideration it now, however we began when Web was once nonetheless in its infancy.  We leased a company – Trio Communications – to support lead the shouts.   Should you wrote or referred to as the 800#, you might get a letter again  about your subject.  The letter was once on my govt stationery.  I hand-signed each a kind of letters– with a fountain pen – plus generally wrote notes within the margin.  Over a 3 generation length, I signed twenty 5 thousand letters.  Right here we’re two decades upcoming.  On presen I can be in  somebody’s place of business and they’ll take away the letter and the album.  Block and give it some thought, how ceaselessly do population hold directly to brochures and letters?  I’m nonetheless shocked on the backup for that program.

Mark, thank you for making the try to support spherical out the tale of EV1.  Hope the readers have a greater figuring out of probably the most choices

EV1 Abstract

Mark Hovis: The remark that I’ve heard over and over again was once for the esteem of ways a lot nowadays’s Chevy Volt and the EV business at immense benefited from the EV1.  We nonetheless argue over terminology and the charging connection requirements of which I will be able to’t support however grin over the inductive charging paddle of the EV1. In some way I am getting the sensation that bankruptcy isn’t over both.

John Dabels: I nonetheless suppose that it was once as a lot schooling as anything and Musk, just right evil or no matter you call to mind Elon, is undoubtedly in the market selling it and making population suppose.

With the intention to my collection of article imagery? For me,  EV1 stocks a factor or two with Gene Roddenberry’s initiation. Gene began with a 5 generation venture that syndication scrapped nearest generation two. Gene labored on a shoe fibre of the cheap, however those that had been impressed by way of his ocular would now not let it die. A decade nearest its dying (Celebrity Trek) it surfaced another time and we’d by no means be the similar once more. So is also the legacy of the EV1

Gallery (beneath): Robert Frost EV1/Affect Book Gallery

Source link