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To Be Clear, It’s the Cars!

EVs Change the Game

Issue 55 | Lee Peterson | Gabriella Doerschlag | Auto

Estimated Read Time: 2 - 3 Minutes


A Journey of a Thousand Miles Starts with One Step, Not 50

The Story

Sometimes, you have to keep it simple. Like this message from NASA mid 2020:

"We immediately saw widespread decreases in NO2 (nitrogen oxide / pollution levels) across the United States during the pandemic. NO2 levels dropped by about 35% on average."1

If you recall, those reductions happened within days. Not months. Not years. Days. And those incremental improvements in air quality over the course of the worldwide lockdown amounted to a dramatically clear glimpse of the world that couldn’t be ignored.

Since then, we've always wondered; don't you think a simple marketing campaign could be put together to get the ball rolling on sustainability initiatives that have results we can actually see, and see quickly? Thinking back to the 2020's 'moment', seems we dropped the ball on an opportunity to do just that.

We can see the billboards and ads now, "It's The Cars, Stupid!"

The dramatic shift in pollution reduction didn't occur in the US exclusively. People in India saw the Himalayas for the first time in decades. The French could see the Eiffel Tower for miles. Manila was clear as a bell. Even Beijing was breathable again. Just one thing made that much difference. Transportation.

Where were the environmentalists during all of this? Either overly concerned (like the rest of us) about COVID, asleep at the opportunity wheel, lousy marketers, or maybe just shocked. Perhaps it was all of the above, but it was almost as if our planet said, 'Remember what I look like underneath the haze? Think fast!' But no one did.

This happened for a lot of reasons. For starters, we didn't have the pedal to the metal attitude towards prototype replacements for our dinosaur vehicles, let alone their sustenance. Then there's that scaling part. Back in 2020, we were at square one.

But this is America, and we move fast (on some things). At least one or two people got the message; there's a solution, it's better all the way around, and we can do it. And like all things American, the market heard those one or two people and said, "prove it," and when they did, a sky full of opportunity opened up.

We're here to help develop a plan to keep that ball rolling and convince you to trade in your 10 mpg SUV or Pickup for an EV replacement as soon as possible. According to The Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS), nearing 100% low-emission new-vehicle sales is a part of a potential net zero 2050 scenario. So do it now, because you can! With one trade-in, you will not only help the environment, but also save money and drive a faster car, all while secretly thinking "I'm much cooler than my neighbor." Don't worry, we're thinking it too.

The Plan

Dealers
When consumers see the EV's out there and then test drive one of those crazy-cool, super-fast sleds, they're going to want to cut through the clutter and get right to it. Like when they know there's a BOGO deal at the grocery store; no one wants to wade into an ocean of wanna-be's, they want what they want. It's up to dealers to create spaces that showcase their EVs and make transactions easy. Spaces like these (renderings / photos below). No persuasion necessary. Customers will be ready to drive off the lot with their new car, just point them to the right place and let the mighty market forces take over.

Service Stations
This is the easy part. Why? Because anyone can play – convenient stores, grocery stores, restaurants, drug stores, parking lots, and yes, even gas stations. You (and everyone else) have one at your house, too. So why not your business?

Consumers want that, too. In a study, we asked 1,750 people to share their opinions on Electric Vehicles and the role of the illusive charging station. Not only did 72% of all respondents say that if there were more charging stations, they would purchase an EV, but 75% also said that they would frequent a retailer more often if they offered more EV charging stations. So go talk to your Planning and Zoning Commission and get a charging station set up now – it's a clear win for consumers, retailers, and the environment.

The Power of Focus Compels You!

You may remember, or at least have heard of, the genre-changing movie The Exorcist We hope so, because there's a bit of unforgettable, high-level marketing wisdom imparted in that movie that applies to what we're getting at about making a sudden impact.

In one of the many infamous exorcism scenes, the younger priest, talking about a possessed child in front of them, excitedly says to the older priest, "there seems to be many personalities inside her!" The older, wiser priest sharply turns to the young one and says, "NO. There is only one."

And with that, we believe we can say the same thing, slightly revised: let's start with one, one that we know works and works fast. We've actually seen it work. We could be days away from making a huge difference, so this time, let's do it, and make it stick.


Lee Peterson
Lee Peterson
EVP, Thought Leadership
WD Partners
Gabriella Doerschlag
Gabriella Doerschlag
Associate Manager, Marketing
WD Partners


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