Sometimes, even good intentions can't cover up poor execution.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently launched a campaign to promote clean energy in general, and electric cars specifically.

The program's name, you may ask? It's entitled, "How to be a clean energy baller."

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Presumably aimed at a younger audience, the program seeks to encourage its audience to drive electric cars by proving that they're cool.

But the cringe-worthy title seems at odds with that mission.

For the record, "baller" refers to "something extremely good or impressive," according to Google.

2017 BMW i8

2017 BMW i8

Urban Dictionary is more specific, noting that the term originally alluded to ball players who made it up out of the streets to earn millions of dollars—but that it is now "used to describe any thug [who] is living large."

While electric cars can certainly be impressive, something about a federal agency using the term to describe them in an attempt to appear hip seems more than a little off.

A page on the DOE website for the "clean energy baller" campaign uses similarly-awkward language to make the argument that electric cars are cooler than their internal-combustion counterparts.

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"Electric cars have their gas counterparts beat when it comes to things like style, performance, and technology swagger," the text declares.

"Swagger" aside, it also tries to debunk the stereotype of plug-in cars as slow and sterile, pointing out things like the Tesla Model S P90D's performance, and the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid's sexy styling.

The DOE also notes the number of tech features in new electric cars, pointing to Tesla's Autopilot and Summon systems, as well as apps that allow drivers to control charging remotely.

2016 Tesla Model S

2016 Tesla Model S

If that isn't enticing enough, electric-car drivers also get the "VIP treatment," the DOE says.

That's a reference to the fact that drivers in some areas—notably California—are granted solo access to carpool lanes, something that has been shown to increase electric-car adoption, admittedly.

Electric cars are also "cool conversation starters" that attract attention from bystanders, according to the DOE.

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That's not untrue either, as many electric-car owners have likely had the experience of fielding questions from curious members of the public.

But does that really make them "ballers?"

And if they are, do they know it? And do they want to be?

[hat tips: John Briggs, Brian Henderson]


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