Living in an Electric Vehicle Would be Better for Homeless People and the Environment

Electric Vehicles

But Just Like Housing, It Is Out of Reach

I just saw a very irritating ad on the internet. It was for a vehicle. The manufacturer created an ad implying that you wouldn’t be driving a gas-powered vehicle if you love nature and care about the environment. They imply you are a hypocrite if you do. Of course, the irony is this company is still making and selling brand-new gas-powered vehicles. How’s that for being a hypocrite?

I have always loathed advertising. I generally don’t find commercials funny, witty, cute, or enjoyable. Of course, some ads are worse than others. This ad, however, touched a nerve.

I am a huge lover of nature and animals, and I would LOVE to drive a zero-emissions van that only needs to be charged by electricity and does not need fuel. However, this technology is not available to the poverty-stricken, nor will it be for a long time. Furthermore, this hypocritical company does not offer a van for sale, much less one that is electric only.

How dare they imply that I have no ecological conscience? They don’t know me or my situation, and even under the best circumstances, I am not their target customer.

If they are so ecologically friendly, why are they still producing gas vehicles? Why didn’t they begin leading the industry a decade ago and stop making high-polluting gas guzzlers? Because they aren’t trying to save the world.

What about people like myself? I am disgusted by the amount of fuel my van uses. I wish I could put money aside to save for things like a tiny piece of land rather than burning my money up in a gas tank. But the truth is that hybrids and all-electric vehicles are not affordable for poor people.

Also, if you lived in a huge affordable housing apartment building, would you even get a spot to plug your EV into? That’s assuming you could get one for very little money, which you cannot. EV vehicles, and even hybrids, will not be standard for the poorest among us for a long time. As usual, those who can afford the least are forced to pay the most, even for something they need to get to work and earn far less than a living wage!

Now let’s take into account what I do to be environmentally friendly.

Think of how many housed people around the globe leave lots of lights on, even when not in use. Think about how many people use countless plastic jugs of giant laundry detergent bottles that never get recycled.

I have given those up and use eco-friendly, fragrance-free detergent sheets from a manufacturer that donates to homeless shelters with every purchase. Even the envelopes the sheets come in are compostable, and the envelope can be easily stored in a van or car.

I use plant-based trash bags instead of plastic. I put my bottles in recycling bins. I put any unwanted clothing into donation bins to be recycled as rags if not used as clothing. I also advocated for wildlife and have supported many efforts to reduce energy use and plastic waste. I have a long history of caring about nature.

Companies like the one advertising the new electric vehicle want to imply that everyone who does not buy their EV is an environmental hypocrite. I will be sure to let everyone I speak to know that this company is hypocritical, and I am happy to shine a light on just how much so.

Those who read my column regularly may recall I’ve written about this before. Almost no electric vans are available, and any available are priced so high that there is no way a homeless, disabled person could ever afford one in the near future. I predict that those vans will be inaccessible to people like me even years from now.

Greed-driven corporations buy used cars and sell them for far more than they are worth.

To add insult to injury, they have payment plans that will mean that, in the end, you paid even more for that used car than the already overinflated sale price. If the 2009 model van that I have is being listed at $19,000 by these greedy used car companies (carfax says my van is worth $1,350), then how much do you think a used EV van will be worth, even many years from now?

In the meantime, I will continue to do whatever I can to lessen my environmental impact. Yes, I have to run my vehicle for climate control, especially when it’s warm. I have multiple sclerosis-related heat intolerance, and cooling is medically necessary. However, I use far less heat in winter than most people because I thrive in the cold. 

People living on the street, in a tent, or even in a gas-powered vehicle still use fewer resources overall than housed people.

Advertising is made not to inform people about products but to coerce people into buying things (often that they either don’t need or are bad for them), and they prey on an emotional response to do the coercing. In this case, the message was if you see a vehicle with an “I hug trees” bumper sticker, they’re a hypocrite unless it’s an EV. And if that’s you, run out and buy an EV so people with money won’t look at you with a sarcastic smirk and think you are a hypocrite because you’re still using gasoline. 

Homeless Loki

Invisible Loki


Invisible Loki is a disabled homeless person also on the autism spectrum currently homeless in upstate New York

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