Message to BP CEO: Turn Over a New Leaf

BP CEO Tony Hayward will be stepping down from his post soon after a dismal handling of this summer’s Gulf Oil Spill. But is he willing to take on the role of electric car advocate? A new campaign called intends to get Hayward behind the wheel of a smooth, green machine to win him over to the clean tech movement.

Hello Electric is a campaign started by the social enterprise, Purpose, to build an online community of electric car supporters. In this initial project, Hello Electric hopes to attract 25,000 electric car advocates to sign a petition that states that Hayward would be better off driving a Nissan Leaf instead of a gas-guzzling internal combustion vehicle. On the Hello Electric site, a letter appears addressed directly to Hayward:

Now that you’ve got more free time on your hands, we’re offering you the chance to truly move “beyond petroleum” by driving an electric car and encouraging the world to do the same. To make it easy for you, we’ve picked out an awesome new electric car and paid the deposit. Once 25,000 people have signed this goodbye card, we’re offering the car to you personally.

Of course, Hayward could buy his own Nissan Leaf with the $17 million he is expected to receive as his pension. However, the campaign is a clever way to send an important symbolic message.

In the midst of the Gulf Oil Spill, many of us were left wondering what can really be done as a solution. Making the switch to electric drive is an obvious choice. Less oil consumption = less need to engage in risky oil extraction.

The Hello Electric community is actively seeking supporters to sign the petition and help communicate this message. Visit their site to learn more and give BP a unconventional version of the “middle finger.”

Shannon Arvizu, Ph.D., is a clean-tech educator and consultant in the transportation sector. Learn more at

Shannon Arvizu, Ph.D., is a clean tech educator and cutting-edge consultant for the auto industry. You can follow her test drives in the cars of the future at

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