Report Says Carmakers Aren’t Advertising Their EVs

There’s been a chicken or egg sort of debate involving EVs – is there a lack of demand because not enough models are on sale, or are automakers limiting availability due to lack of demand?

Well, whether consumers aren’t demanding EVs, or whether consumers actually want EVs but there aren’t enough models to choose from, one thing seems clear: EVs aren’t advertised as heavily as conventional gas-powered cars, trucks and SUVs.

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According to new data, that’s not just an anecdotal observation. The data, compiled in 2015 by Motor Intelligence and CompetiTrack, show that if you think EVs are hardly ever advertised, you’re right. Ford, for example, advertised the gas-powered version of its popular Focus compact car approximately 4,750 times during national TV broadcasts, while advertising the electric version of the same car around only 200 instances. That means Ford advertised the gas version 24 times more often.

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Another example is Mercedes-Benz, which ran commercials for its C-Class about 1,400 times but never ran an ad for its B-Class electric.

Even Nissan showed around 3,500 Sentra ads compared to about 1,750 for its highly-touted Leaf. Chevrolet was a little closer, with about 700 ads for its Cruze compact to around 200 for its Volt extended-range electric concept. However, GM did advertise the Volt almost 800 times in ads targeted just to the California market. On the other hand, the Volt was only advertised about 10 times in ads for the Northeastern part of the country.

Volkswagen was an outlier in this trend, with more ads for its electric Golf in the Northeast than in California.

Automakers spent little on EV advertising in the Northeast, but put some money towards the California audience. Nationally, the range of sales dollars went from zero for Ford up to $19 million for BMW. The Sierra Club suggests that this spending could be a driver of higher BMW sales.

While the data was compiled by research firms, the Sierra Club blogged about it for Huffington Post, and the environmental advocacy group opined that the data proves that automakers simply aren’t trying hard enough to sell EVs, and consumer demand would be stronger if these cars were advertised more.

Whether the Sierra Club’s assertions are correct or not, it’s clear that automakers aren’t doing much to get the message about EVs out. Whether that’s for lack of trying or because of consumer demand for trucks and SUVs, either way, unless you live in California you might not see many ads for EVs.

Huffington Post


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