One problem with electric cars is that they may be invisible.
Despite proliferating charging stations, multiplying car models, and extended range for many new electric cars, fewer than half of California drivers are even aware they exist, says Mary Nichols, head of the California Air Resources Board. For electric-car advocates and automakers, it's tough to sell something nobody has heard of.
On Wednesday a new coalition of 35 organizations spanning the gamut of players in the electric-car industry came together to change that—at least in California, electric cars' primary market in the U.S.
The new "electric for all" ad campaign scheduled to launch next month comes from a new non-profit organization, Veloz, made up of automakers, government agencies, non-profit advocates, utilities, charging networks, and others.
Charging network Electrify America, a major backer of Veloz, already used the tagline under license from Veloz in its "Jetstones" ad campaign.
The first Veloz ads, dubbed "opposites attract," will feature unlikely and "unusual spokespeople" who find electric transportation ideal to suit their needs, said Josh Boone, executive director of Veloz.
The goal is to "inspire Californians to get behind the wheel and into the passenger seat of electric cars," he says. "We hope the public will fall in love with them as a better way to drive. The goal is for electric cars to become the new normal."
The project will start with at least a $4 million budget for the first year, half provided by Electrify America as part of the electric-car marketing funds that Volkswagen agreed to spend as part of the legal settlement over its diesel emissions cheating scandal.
Nichols noted that Veloz hopes to raise additional money for future campaigns.
The campaign will parallel the "Drive Change. Drive Electric" campaign that 12 Northeastern states launched in May.