It won a film award in Spain, it’s not coming to the U.S., and frankly, it’s not that big a deal because a recent Chevy Volt ad sidesteps the actual target its marketers no doubt thought of in highlighting primordial fears associated with “range anxiety.”
Face it, some people today would worry about electric cars in the event of a terrorist attack, or calamity, or emergency – or some reason for needing to hightail it out of town.
Beyond that, GM has always emphasized the Volt solves a perceived everyday problem of limited electric range by offering gasoline backup serviceable at normally available gas stations.
That said, GM’s ad playing off of subconscious fears baked in from Hollywood-style post-apocalyptic scenarios features a gasoline car running out of gas while zombies chase two guys running from the mutants left from the catastrophe.
Portrayed this way, GM bypassed its opportunity to implicitly diss the likes of the Nissan Leaf, or Mitsubishi i, Ford Focus Electric, or any other electric car that can go 70-100-some miles before running out of juice without a plug in sight.
Instead, the poor refugees picked a gasoline-powered clunker car that runs to Empty, with zombies closing in.
To be fair to more optimistic critiques, we’ll note others have observed this is a first Volt ad that emphasizes the car’s ability to travel on electricity when gas leaves you stranded.
This is possible. The European Volt and Ampera do have a “Hold” feature enabling them to run exclusively on gasoline, saving the battery power for later.
OK, we get that point too, but assuming it was in electric mode – and ignoring that the Mazda in the ad is in an American desert with a California license plate – the Volt would be a victim of range anxiety soon enough – possibly sooner than a Leaf for that matter which has a larger battery.
And otherwise, how much difference does it make comparing gas car versus gas-electric Volt? Those guys could have stashed a couple of 5-gallon gas cans in the trunk and put hundreds of miles between them and disaster.
Their odds were otherwise nearly equal to the Volt’s extended-range solution, but perhaps GM was being too polite?
GM even made up a new definition of “Range Anxiety: The fear of being stranded in an automotive vehicle.’’
Nope, sorry. That is not what was said before. The message has consistently been the Volt beats EVs as a solution for range anxiety and offers all the advantages of a gasoline car.
Oh well. It’s an novel commercial at any rate. People can be entertained for a minute and still get the point, even if it is watered down.