After serious production issues causing delivery delays, Tesla can now finally deliver electric cars to the consumers who waited anxiously to become part of the “green” movement. However, there was an incident where a California man got into Tesla only to see a message that would suggest a political agenda interfering with an individual’s personal freedom.
Let’s review the details of the incident with Ehline Law and our personal injury attorneys.
California lawmakers are encouraging the use of electric vehicles (EVs) as the state aims to ban the sale of gas-powered automobiles by 2035. However, consumers did not expect the government to use these EVs to achieve their political interests.
One such car owner received a message on his Tesla Model 3 that infuriated him. On September 7, 2022, Mike Bolen, a real estate investor, got into his recently purchased Tesla when he received a Flex Alert that reminded him to charge his vehicle during certain hours to avoid higher prices.
The Flex Alert is one of many sent by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services through the car’s wireless network. It is California’s coping mechanism to combat the energy shortage the state is experiencing. These alerts require consumers to voluntarily stop using power during peak hours or face involuntary blackouts across the state.
Many people took their frustration onto social media, stating that they booked the Tesla Model Y in early August, but the delivery date keeps getting pushed back.
Consumers have to go through a lot of hassle to get their hands on a Tesla, from having a Tesla account to book the vehicle to the continuous rolling delivery date. After they receive their electric vehicle (EV), which is way past the estimated delivery window, Tesla owners now have to face emergency government alerts letting them know what they can and cannot do. After receiving the Flex Alert, Bolen immediately took his frustration over social media platforms and voiced his concerns.
The incident “California man gets into Tesla immediately notices infuriating message on screen” isn’t the first time the company has asked its consumers to avoid charging their EVs during peak hours. Earlier in the summer, another Tesla owner shared a similar notification she received when she sat in her Tesla S Plaid in Texas over Twitter.
Liberal California decided to transition toward greener energy without a proper plan, which has created a severe energy crisis in the Once-Golden state. The state is legislating against gas cars and is now telling EV owners not to charge their vehicles.
California officials have messed up big time. They first planned to stop their lone nuclear power reactor by 2025, only to provide $1.4 billion in emergency loans to keep it active until 2030 as the power crisis worsens. California Independent System Operator asked the Department of Water Resources to reactivate the gas-powered generators to address the electricity shortfall.
As the state remains dependent on fossil fuel and nuclear energy, it continues pushing its political agenda forward by eliminating gas cars from California roads, a move suggesting officials’ mixed priorities.
Flex Alerts require individuals to voluntarily stop energy usage during peak hours to avoid blackouts, a questionable initiative that experts believe will not help curb electricity demand during hot seasons. To ensure that energy rationing truly works, the government must take control of the appliances the consumers use. Here is where things get a bit tricky.
Will the government control the consumers in the future after altogether banning gas-powered vehicles? What if the government controls your driving habits to help achieve energy goals? Perhaps they could control the speed you’re driving at, the duration you drive your vehicle, the scheduling of your drive, and so on.
Currently, these EVs are receiving text messages, a concerning sign for many citizens as they believe that the Flex Alerts is the initial step to eventually controlling the population. Will it progress to more aggressive messages soon telling consumers that they don’t need to head to a charging station or out for shopping?
The sooner the consumers understand that these types of technology have only one purpose, controlling the masses, the sooner they’ll be able to raise their concerns and voice their opinions on the matter.
Due to a lack of technology protection, owning an EV seems like inviting the state to sit in the driver’s seat. There is a good chance you may have heard someone say, “Big Brother is watching you.” It could be to discourage you from doing something you shouldn’t, or perhaps they said it to mean that the government is keeping tabs through cameras or other means.
The saying originally comes from George Orwell’s classic novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, where the totalitarian government maintains its power in the fictional world through surveillance.
In the novel, the government monitors every aspect of life, down to the minutest details. All citizens must wear an identification badge and those who do not face the wrath of the authorities. Cameras track every movement and citizen’s every word, recording and storing it in databases.
The most crucial tool for maintaining surveillance over its citizens is Big Brother, the leader of Oceania himself. The totalitarian party has Big Brother all over billboards, coins, and other mediums with bold captions “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU” to ensure total control over its populace.
He watches everyone’s every move through telescreens installed everywhere, through which higher party members can monitor and report the citizens’ activities. The ruling party emphasizes how surveillance is for the betterment of Oceania.
Speaking out against Big Brother or not conforming to his standards put the citizens at risk of being sent to “Room 101”, a place of torture and a final stage of re-education.
Winston Smith, a high member of the ruling party, secretly hates the party, finds himself falling in love with Julia, his colleague, and decides to pursue a forbidden relationship. Eventually, a Thought Police agent arrests both the characters, locking them up at the Ministry of Love.
The police torture Winston over the next few weeks to ensure his beliefs align with the party. After a couple of weeks, they move Winston to Room 101, where the state would torment him with his biggest fear, frenzied rats, to ensure control and discipline. Soon, Winston breaks down and betrays Julia in exchange for release, finally accepting Big Brother.
Imagine a world where the government tracks and monitors everything you do. They record your every action and force you to answer questions about your private life. The government strips you of your personal freedoms and forces you into performing menial labor for the state. This is what life was like under Big Brother, which is the direction our world is heading towards.
The idea of a totalitarian state where all personal freedom is denied has become more relevant today. One can argue that this type of government has been a reality in countries worldwide since the beginning of time, but its impact on society has increased dramatically in recent times due to advances in technology and globalization. In particular, it’s easy for governments to monitor what people do online, and there’s no reason they wouldn’t use this power against their citizens if they wanted to.
We live in a world where personal freedom is essential. In our society, we have the right to do whatever we want, to dress as we like, say what we like, think what we like, and so on. The problem is that some of us don’t always exercise this freedom responsibly.
If a politician wants to restrict your constituents’ freedoms, it’s pretty easy for them to do that. They need to find some way to make their political interests interfere with your right to do whatever they please. For example, suppose a politician wants to ban the sale of certain kinds of food or clothing because they think it will make people fat or depressed (which they think might be bad for society). In that case, they can ban those items entirely.
Tesla has a lot of information on its consumers using location services, a built-in app, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and an intelligent operating system. They collect information from Tesla car’s vehicle identification number and payment methods to your driving habits, communication data, most frequented locations, and further details.
The question remains, are we heading toward this type of regime? Tesla makes many valid points over several concerns, but how will CEO Elon Musk address total control in the future? Will it be for the betterment of the United States?
As of now, there is no certainty that it might not happen. However, if the judicial and political system has some sanity remaining, it will raise concern over such a state’s power to make decisions for its citizens. However, the fact that it could happen should terrify all of us.
Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.