Fuel Freedom Foundation co-founder Yossie Hollander recounted to an amused audience of more than 750 people attending the first TEDx conference at Chapman University (and 11,000 watching online) how Tesla Motors was forced to pay a $275,000 fine to the EPA because it didn’t have an emissions certificate. “Apparently, you need to test emissions for an electric car as well,” Hollander said to widespread laughter. Electric vehicles, of course, produce no exhaust.
Hollander was a featured speaker at the June 21 conference, titled “Icons, Geniuses and Mavericks,” which also included, among others, automotive innovator Henrick Fisker, Freedom Writers founder Erin Gruwell, and Ryan Heuser, co-founder of Paul Frank Industries. Hollander’s talk—“Ending Our Oil Addiction”—explained how American consumers could have $2-a-gallon transportation fuel if natural gas, methanol, ethanol and electricity were allowed to compete at the pump with gasoline. Standing in the way, however, are a closed fuel distribution system and outdated regulations, such as EPA emissions rules for electric cars and the fact that car owners are barred from converting their vehicles to run on methanol fuel. Methanol, which can be made from natural gas, municipal waste, or any material that at one time was alive, is cheaper and cleaner replacement fuel for gasoline.+