Is Tribalism Helpful In BEV Revolution?


By David Waterworth

While they may not watch it, people around the world are well aware of the no-holds-barred sport that is played in the Australian Rugby League. Players don’t wear protective gear and blood is frequently seen on the field. New-age gladiators, indeed.

The epitome of this is the State of Origin series, Queensland vs New South Wales — three matches played in the middle of each year. Everywhere you go in Queensland, everyone is wearing maroon — with a few courageous blues supporters scattered about. It is billed in Australia as state against state, mate against mate. This is sports tribalism.

We also have car tribalism. For decades, it was Ford vs General Motors Holden. The epitome of this was the Bathurst 1000, drivers thrashing their V8 supercars lap after lap at Mt Panorama, while devotees drank beer and watched it on TV when they couldn’t get to the track. Sadly, Holden no longer exists, since GM began its exit from the world stage to focus solely on the US market. There is no more Ford vs Holden.

Who benefits from tribalism? The fans certainly do — it adds a bit of fun to a sporting event. The corporations do, as it boosts sales to their demographic. So long as it doesn’t get out of hand and lead to assaults and vandalism, all is well and good.

So, why am I writing about this? Sometimes I see some irrational hate creeping into conversations online between fans of internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs). This is much worse than the FUD promulgated by trolls and vested interests. As the newer technologies prove themselves, the old technology will be displaced — this is inevitable.

In the meantime, we need to realize that car people are car people. It’s all about pride in your ride. It doesn’t have to be tribal ICEVs vs. BEVs. We can all be revheads together. Or not.

David Waterworth is a retired teacher who divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He owns 50 shares of Tesla.

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