Electric-vehicle marketing, ads, and advocacy can often be completely lacking in one thing: humor.
Sometimes a little bit of the farcical can go a long way to help point out the strengths of EVs—or in this case, how out of touch old-fashioned used-car dealers might be in not choosing to embrace the electric side.
Enter the Governator. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who always had a thing for Hummer—a brand that GM only last week suggested was back on the table for a potential (electric) comeback. The long-environmentally-conscious Schwarzenegger previously drove a hydrogen-fueled Hummer H2, which gave way to a fully electric Mercedes-Benz G-Class conversion done by Austria’s Kreisel Electric and, later, a Hummer H1 converted to electric.
Arnold Schwarzenegger introduces the Kreisel Hummer H1 electric conversion
In the video short (or PSA, you might call it), Schwarzenegger, in disguise as dealer Howard Kleiner, wearing a flower-print shirt and ponytail, encounters a series of what are said to be real used-car shoppers considering electric cars.
This is the debut of “Kicking Gas,” a video-short series from the non-profit organization Veloz, which aims to “accelerate the shift to electric cars through public-private collaboration, public engagement and policy education innovation.”
Schwarzenegger’s appearance includes some extra jabs about Hummer. At one point he is revving the V-8 of the vehicle—which is spewing smoke and does not seem to have a functional emissions system—and asks, “Can a battery-powered car do this?”
As governor, Schwarzenegger is known on the environmental front for enacting a series of environmental regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. He reinstated Mary Nichols to the top post at the California Air Resources Board, which she currently holds but had also held starting in 1979, under Jerry Brown’s original governorship.
Tell us what you think. Is this just a viral video with the Governator? Or will the laughs—and having Arnold in it—help put electric vehicles on the map?