Yes, EVs can plug into renewable energy


editors-blog-entry3The photo above, of a Tesla Roadster speeding by a wind turbine farm, captures perfectly the revolutionary potential of EVs.

Unlike gasoline powered cars, which will never have the capacity to plug into wind, solar, geothermal, hydro and other forms of renewable energy, EVs can tap these air pollution free sources directly.

This is a truly radical advantage for EVs.

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This is clearly not lost on Tesla, which like another automotive start-up company, CODA Automotive, makes a clear effort to connect its product to renewable energy on its web site.

You won’t see the direct connection between renewable energy and EVs emphasized on the web sites of larger, mainstream car companies like Nissan, maker of the pure electric LEAF, or GM, which is producing the plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt.

It seems the big automotive boys don’t have the courage to truly foreground one of the great advantages of electric cars — the fact that they can run completely air pollution free.

Big carmakers not playing up EVs + renewable energy
It’s likely the big guys are worried they’ll offend non-greenies (or the anti-greenies) by directly pitching the EV + renewable energy connection. If they are in fact worried about this, theirs is a rather odd fear.

tesla-solarAutomakers have long since recognized that you can pitch different cars in completely different ways to very different audiences — for instance a pick-up truck to the off-roading consumer and a hybrid to the green crowd — without fear of turning folks with different needs and opposing political views away from their brand.

Seems to me you could effectively pitch the same car in different ways to different audiences in different media outlets — for instance, by advertising the LEAF in a conservative media outlet without pitching its green connection while simultaenously advertising the LEAF with that green connection front and center in a more liberal media outlet.

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Can you go wrong with EV + renewables message?
I’m not a marketing expert, and I could be wrong on this one.

Then again, it’s hard to see how linking one’s electric vehicles to solar, wind, hydro power etc. on your web site — while also making a pitch to those who might buy an EV for different reasons, for instance, in order to get the U.S. off of foreign oil — could hurt. In fact, CODA Automotive’s web page, which I wrote about several months ago, does exactly this.

It’s fantastic to see Tesla and CODA Automotive placing the EV + renewable energy synergy front and center. Let’s hope that the big boys eventually realize that doing the same can only help them sell more, not fewer, EVs (of course, it’s possible they don’t want their EVs to undercut sales of their gas-powered cars) — and that they’ll decide to place more emphasis on the EV + renewable energy connection sooner rather than later.


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