Have you? What am I asking here? A Model 3? No that is not the question here (although I am seeing more and more 3’s on the road now). No my question is with respect to EV advertising; specifically EV TV commercials?
Now if you’re in an area with a lot of EV’s (California, Washington–a CARB state) you’ve probably seen a lot of EV TV commercials. Here in Southeastern Michigan, home of the “Big 3” US automakers, I haven’t seen one in years until recently…
I think at one point in time I may have seen one of the national Leaf commercials as part of some national broadcast (most likely a national sporting event). As far as other EV’s we did see the quick 15 second Focus Electric commercial a few times (it was just someone driving across the desert to a charger and plugging it in; a very quick blink and you’ll miss it commercial).
I mention all this because for the past few weeks I’ve seen a lot of this commercial lately:
Wow kudos to Jaguar for running an EV commercial in the Detroit area (I’m pretty sure its national but still I’m seeing this a lot). I wonder how much that will increase Jaguar’s I-Pace sales? (A lot of buying an EV is actually knowing that they are available and many consumers just don’t know they are around and available).
Its a funny commercial playing on how silent EV’s are. It still doesn’t beat this Focus Electric commercial, however:
Its that time of year again NDEW: Where EVer’s country wide gather to extol the virtues of driving electric. There were two events easily within driving range of the Bolt: Ann Arbor, and Toledo. Honestly I didn’t even think to do the Toledo event until it was too late–the Toledo event was the first weekend of the week, and the Ann Arbor event was at the ending weekend.
I dutifully charged up the Bolt and was off to the event in the mid afternoon.
I’d say there was about two dozen vehicles there including some of the newer entrants to the EV world:
At least two Model 3’s–I think there was a 3rd one lurking about as well.
An I-Pace! This was one I wanted to see just to gauge the size of it (its billed as a SUV/CUV). Look at its size compared to the Bolt next to it–about the same height but a lot longer.
Finally a new Leaf.
There really wasn’t much here: It’s been in the same spot now for the past few years–an empty field behind a local Whole Foods Market. I really didn’t see a lot of browsing and/or interested parties. No one even said hi or asked if I had any questions even as I was inspecting some of the newer EV’s. This could be because I was there later in the day, most likely after the big rush–if there was one.
At least I did see some test drives going on–mostly Tesla Model S’s.
Nissan has officially released details about the new 2016 Leaf. The most important item is that the battery has been increased to 30kWh from the 24kWh one to date. This change increases the range of the Leaf by 23 miles to 107 miles–an almost 25% increase. 23 miles may not seem like much but when you’re talking about <100 mile range cars this is significant. In addition they did it with just a battery chemistry change–not much else about the car is different.
The small increase in range will be enough to increase sales of the Leaf (and steal sales away from other short-range EV makers). Why should someone pay a similar price for a car that can’t go as far? In the past the Leaf vs Focus Electric decision would come down to the battery cooling in the Focus as the main advantage as their ranges were similar, not anymore. The new Leaf’s battery is also supposed to tolerate higher temperatures better (they’ve learned that lesson already).
What other automaker will now announce a longer-range EV (not just a prototype but for sale in the next model year)?
Today was the Michigan EV Show & Rally (mentioned in a prior posting). This is an EV show given by a local community college. I went to this show about 3 years ago. At that time there wasn’t many production EVs available (I think the Volt had just been released at the time). The show resembled Maker Faire more than it did an EV show with all the custom conversions.
Today’s show was a lot different, there were may production EVs on display (and the mix resembled the mix of EVs that I see every day on the road here in Southeastern Michigan). They were handing out this chart showing available EVs (it looks a little dated).
As far as the vehicles that were there:
and more Volts:
Oh wait, there is a Leaf in there and waay in the back is an i3.
In fact there were two i3s there both were unsold and presented by a local BMW dealer (although the dealer’s location is at least 50 miles from the college–I strongly suspect that the two pickups with car hauler trailers in the parking lot was how the i3s got to the show):
i3 on the left at one of the College’s four Chargepoint stations (C-Max Energi on the right; there was 3 C-Max Energi’s there).
Ok but wait: Wasn’t there an FFE there? Well yes: mine but mine wasn’t on display–was there one on display?
Well yeah its really easy to see the FFE, and the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid (which is kind of goofy here: The show was mostly for EVs–at least the plugin variety. Lincoln doesn’t have a plugin yet).
What else was there? This cool converted S-10 pickup:
A couple of full size hybrid pickups (presented by power companies interestingly enough)(Yes that is a Cadillac ELR in the background):
Here is the aforementioned Cadillac ELR:
Leafs were also plentiful:
Like I said: The mix matched my daily observation of EVs on the road here in Southeastern Michigan: Many Volts, a few Leafs, one FFE, a few C-Max Energi’s, one Lincoln MKZ, a couple of i3s (although I haven’t yet seen one on the road). Strangely enough there wasn’t any Tesla’s there (either Roadster or Model S–I was there pretty early–I arrived just as it opened at 9am and cars were still showing up so it is possible that a Model S and/or Roadster showed up later).