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Mission Impossible (Burger)? 3 suggestions for marketing electric vehicles

Mission Impossible (Burger)? 3 suggestions for marketing electric vehicles

 

By NICHOLAS SAKELARIS | CoServ

In a detailed response to this Texas Co-op Power magazine article, a CoServ Member recently questioned the environmental benefits of renewable energy.

Among his points: Solar power requires rare earth minerals that have a huge environmental cost, and wind turbines are fatal for birds.

A similar concern has surfaced for the lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles. Making the batteries that power EVs requires intensive mining for lithium and other minerals and, when they eventually die, what do you do with them?

For another example, cooking at home should save money in the long run if you’re strategic when buying groceries and are a good cook. But do you ever consider the time and energy needed to go buy groceries, freeze, refrigerate, cook and clean dishes?

The bottom line: Everything has a cost, and these costs can be calculated in this age of analytics.

This Forbes column takes a unique approach, comparing Burger King’s plant-based Impossible Burger to buying an electric vehicle. Both products attract purpose-minded audiences that see the unintended consequences of conventional choices and aren’t bound by tradition or habits.

But the number of people for whom this is an important part of their purchasing decision is low.

Burger King’s advertisements for the Impossible Burger don’t highlight the fact that no animals are killed to make the patty – because animals are slaughtered to make other menu items.

Rather, Burger King touts the great taste and the fact that meat lovers can’t tell the difference between the Impossible Burger and the traditional Whopper.

In the same vein, the columnist writes that EV marketing may not be able to appeal to people’s environmental conscience to reach a wider audience. Traditional automakers would have a difficult time talking about the environmental impact of the oil industry and gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs because that’s still their bread and butter and is expected to be for years to come.

Instead, the columnist argues, EV makers should focus on:

  • Speed and Fun: EVs are fast and fun to drive because of the instant torque and rapid acceleration.
  • Convenience: You leave home every day with a full “tank” and never have to visit gas stations. It’s rare that drivers will need to travel more than 200 miles in a day, so the battery’s range should be sufficient for daily use. If you are going to take a road trip with an EV, there are public-charging options available but this EV News & Notes shows real-world examples of road tripping in a non-Tesla fully electric vehicle in Texas.
  • Economy: Electricity costs less than gasoline, and EV maintenance costs are lower. Over the life of an EV, the cost of ownership is lower than ICE vehicles.

Of course, when it comes to selling cars, nothing beats cold hard cash.

The Ford Mustang Mach E should hit the streets in December with $7,500 in incentives available, according to Green Car Reports. Some states offer even more incentives. Because this is Ford’s first major fully electric vehicle, the carmaker hasn’t come close to reaching the 200,000-vehicle threshold where the federal tax rebate expires.

This could give Ford a competitive advantage over Chevrolet, which hit the 200,000 mark in 2019 thanks to the hybrid Volt and fully electric Bolt.

The Mach E starts at $43,995 before the $7,500 incentive. The price for the 2021 Bolt hasn’t been announced, but the 2020 Bolt retails for $37,495 with no federal incentive.

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