Automakers typically promote their own products for obvious reasons, but Volkswagen has found itself in the unusual position of promoting the Chevrolet Bolt.
As part of a $45 (£35.2 / €39.5) million public awareness campaign, Volkswagen’s Electrify America will promote an assortment of electric vehicles in television and radio ads across the United States. The first TV spot was released today and it prominently features the Bolt.
The ad is called the “JetStones” and Electrify America says it aims to “broaden consumer awareness of the advantages and availability of electric vehicles, plus a growing network of EV fast chargers in metropolitan areas, along highways, and in communities at workplaces and multiunit dwellings.”
In the clip, we can see a driver of a poorly disguised Subaru stop at a red light and look over to see a ‘better version’ of himself in a Chevrolet Bolt. The car then speeds away as the clip says “With instant acceleration, electric cars are more fun to drive and more affordable than ever.”
While it’s unusual that a Volkswagen ad is featuring a Chevrolet Bolt, Electrify America noted the commercial is “brand-neutral” and is part of a larger $2 (£1.5 / €1.7) billion campaign that aims to improve awareness and infrastructure for zero emission vehicles. The ad also shows glimpses of the BMW i3, Honda Clarity, Hyundai Ioniq, Nissan Leaf and VW e-Golf.
Volkswagen isn’t doing this out of the goodness of their heart as the company’s Electrify America subsidiary was born out of the dieselgate scandal and its resulting settlement agreements. That’s an embarrassing footnote, but Electrify America will do plenty of good as the company has plans to install thousands of fast chargers across the United States.