Image: Sergei Fadeichev/TASS via getty imagesBy Monica Chin2018-03-28 21:07:11 UTC
Automakers around the U.S. really, really want you to drive an electric car.
A group of car companies and state governments launched a campaign Wednesday to convince consumers to consider electric cars. It’s called “Drive Change. Drive Electric.”
Partners include BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo along with New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and New Jersey.
“What we’re here to do is educate and inform consumers that there are a wide range of zero-emission vehicles, electric vehicles available in this region at a price point they can afford,” said Toyota general manager of environmental regulation Fred Turatti.
The campaign is aimed directly at consumers, rather than vendors. It will center around a brand new website and will also produce advertisements, social media campaigns, and events — all to convince potential customers to consider an electric car before they enter a dealership.
“It’s really important to get this information to consumers before they go to the dealership,” said Britta Gross, General Motors director of advanced vehicle commercialization policy. “Nine out of 10 consumers already know which technology they want in their vehicle before they go to the dealership.”
This year’s New York International Auto Show was full of hybrids and promises of ambitious electric cars to come. It was fancy, flashy, and aggressively futuristic. But the reality is that consumers decide which cars, and which technologies, become the next big thing. And when you’re shopping for your next car, automotive behemoths will be working alongside governments to try to pull you toward an electric option.
“Automakers are really good at saying ‘This is why you should buy my pickup, my SUV, my sedan over somebody else’s,'” said Robert Bienenfeld, Honda’s assistant vice president of environment and energy strategy. “What we’re not as good at is saying ‘Here’s a new category and you should consider the new category.'”