Electric cars. Self-driving cars. While many automakers remain focused on producing traditional cars, there’s no doubt that in one way or another, they will soon have to come up with at least one vehicle which is electric and/or self-driving. Especially now that there’s almost always something about climate change and global warming in the news, the auto industry is under enormous pressure to do their part in helping save our degrading environment. It’s clear what they must do — produce more fuel-efficient cars, or better yet, produce ‘green cars’ that will not contribute in further worsening our planet’s atmosphere.
There have been many concept cars that are geared toward this ‘green’ objective. The problem is, many of those have remained as mere concept cars, with only a few actually progressing into production. If we were not in this troublesome age, being presented with a concept that doesn’t materialize might not be such a big deal. But we’re living in different times. Aesthetics and convenience are no longer sufficient. Now, there’s the aspect of being environment-friendly that has to be incorporated too. Which is why it’s critical that concept cars be more realistic so the chances of being built will be much higher. And electric cars — though not necessarily self-driving ones –are the latest trend in automobiles.
The question is: how come carmakers — particularly the ones who already have electric cars on sale — are not advertising their EVs (electric vehicles) in the same way they do for their conventional cars (the ones using gasoline and diesel)? And they won’t be able to deny that this is what’s happening because a recent survey conducted by Altman Vilandrie & Co. has just confirmed that 60% of Americans are unaware that electric cars actually exist. And 80% have never ridden or driven one.
Except for Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA), it seems other carmakers are hesitant to market their own EVs. Even more curious is the notion that some might even be embarrassed about having an EV as one of their products. A case in point — Chrysler’s Pacifica Hybrid minivan does not even show anywhere on the vehicle that it’s a plug-in car. Only the owner knows that he/she is driving an EV. For the rest of the world, it’s just like any other ordinary car.
Maybe it’s the high cost of buying and maintaining an EV, or probably a limited demand for it that’s preventing carmakers from making a full-blown advertising campaign about EVs and the benefits of having one. But there’s a bit of an irony there because isn’t the purpose of advertising to make people aware of what’s available? And especially if there’s no demand, it’s the job of advertising to create a demand for it, right?
Sure, EVs may be more than what the average-earning public can afford. At this time. But technology and many brilliant innovators are on our side. And it’s hard to believe that nothing can be done to make EVs more affordable than they currently are so more will be encouraged to make the switch.
There are already several EVs on the market, including the BMW i3, Chevy Bolt, Kia Soul EV, Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe, Tesla Model S and the Volkswagen e-Golf. This year, we’re expecting Tesla’s Model 3 and the Hyundai Ioniq.
Other carmakers that have committed to produce EVs include Audi, Ford, Jaguar, Mercedes Benz and Volvo. They will likely introduce their EVs as concept cars in upcoming trade and auto shows. We hope, however, that more if not all of these concept cars turn into real cars within a reasonable amount of time. Speaking of concept cars, check out this BI video featuring ten best concept cars of 2016.