Mexico’s newly elected President Andrés Manuel López Obrador ordered the surprising decision to close off state-owned pipelines that contribute to billions lost to siphoned taps. The decision has led to nation-wide fuel shortage and crisis.
For weeks, Mexicans have waited in lines for hours at fuel stations to top off, but the crisis has created another effect: a heightened interest in electric cars and plug-in hybrids. Automotive News (subscription required) reported the Chevrolet Bolt EV cashed in on the crisis with an innovative marketing campaign.
Chevrolet Mexico set off in a Bolt EV and launched a social media campaign to visit local fuel stations and report supplies to followers. Hashtags followed the Chevrolet Bolt EV as it stopped in at fuel stations, and immediately, those waiting in line for gas or diesel began asking questions about the electric car. Online, the campaign returned thousands of interactions and positive touchpoints for the Bolt EV.
A gallon of gasoline reached the equivalent of $3.80 per gallon in Mexico last year, and the shortage has only raised prices. Hybrids and electric cars already began to pick up steam in the market after 2016 when Mexico City’s government restricted use of vehicles powered by an internal-combustion engine to help combat emissions and pollution in the city.
Yet, challenges remain in Mexico and are closely aligned with issues around the world for electric cars: price. Such vehicles are still expensive in a market that clamors for cheap transportation. Toyota, for examples, has started to incorporate its hybrid technology in the affordable car segment and sells a hybrid model for $17,000.
Chevrolet has sold the Spark EV, Volt and Bolt EV in Mexico.