German automaker Volkswagen has put itself at the fore of vehicle electrification, even going so far as to establish a subsidiary named “Electrify America” to help lay the groundwork for future Volkswagen EV sales in the United States. The subsidiary plans to spend $2 billion over the next ten years in order to expand Zero Emission Vehicle infrastructure; initiate ZEV education and outreach programs; and increase access and exposure to such vehicles across the country.
Now, as part of a $45-million public awareness campaign, Electrify America is promoting an array of different battery-electric vehicles in television and radio spots across the country. Thus, rather unusually, Volkswagen finds itself spending millions of dollars advertising the Chevrolet Bolt EV.
The Bolt EV is the focus of the first in what will be an assortment of television spots promoting electric vehicles from a range of manufacturers throughout the United States. Titled “Plug into the Present with the ‘JetStones'”, the ad depicts a man in a debadged petrol-powered vehicle stopped at a red light when a more clean-shaven, chipper version of himself pulls up alongside him in a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The man looks over at his “better” self, who smiles and nods before quickly taking off once the light turns green. A woman then says in voiceover: “With instant acceleration, electric cars are more fun to drive – and more affordable – than ever.”
Certainly, there’s something to be said for the pleasure that comes with driving a properly good, sonically pleasing petrol engine, but the ad raises a valid point: the Chevrolet Bolt’s cute, crossover styling belies its surprising capacity for driver satisfaction. The battery-electric CUV can reach 60 mph from a standstill in as little as 6.5 seconds, and the low-mounted mass of the battery pack is a recipe for fun handling. (Click here for a full review.)
Electrify America and its advertisement for the likes of the Chevrolet Bolt EV could do a lot to drive EV sales in the US, but embarrassingly, Carscoops notes, the whole campaign resulted from Volkswagen’s settlement agreements in the wake of its prosecution for cheating on diesel emissions tests. Still, we’ll take it.