In the early days of the electric vehicle we saw many showbiz personalities and business entrepreneurs jumping on the bandwagon with their own personal electric vehicles. They were in the press, they were on the Internet, and every public occasion seemed to be an excuse to roll out their electric cars. This all occurred amid rumours that many of the showbiz stars who supported EVs in public had an array of gas guzzling machines in private.
As electric vehicle technology is being pushed further and further there is a growing feeling that the "green" status symbol of years gone by is fading in favour of a more practical mode of transport.
Do EVs still carry high green credentials?
While there are many discussions regarding the actual green credentials of EVs today, the fact is that they are to some extent more practical, more efficient and more environmentally friendly than their gas guzzling counterparts. The degree to which they assist the "green movement" is debatable although as we see power generating companies moving towards greener technology this will assist the green credentials of EV's now and in the future.
The reality is that the green movement alone was never going to be able to push the EV market into the public domain and over the mass-market finishing line. The fact is that EVs have to be practical, efficient and worth their money before the general public would even contemplate a purchase. It would be wrong to suggest that EVs are currently over the "mass-market finishing line" but the fact is that they are closer today than they ever have been.
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "Toyota has focused on hybrid technology, venturing into the EV market albeit quite conservatively. Only a few Toyota Prius EV's were made and true to its Prius name, it has been lauded as one of the top EVs in the market today."
Do green showbiz personalities help the market?
There is some debate as to whether high profile personalities using electric vehicles offer any assistance to the market and indeed whether they give any impression, positive or negative, to the wider motoring public. Many of us are used to showbiz personalities and business entrepreneurs showboating for the public, while rumours circulate that behind the scenes they are maybe not as green as they suggest.
This is not to say that some showbiz personalities and business entrepreneurs do not hold green issues close to the heart but whether indeed all of the showbiz personalities and business entrepreneurs driving "their prized" electric vehicles are fully committed to the environmental cause is debatable.
On a more positive note, some people do believe that seeing high-profile individuals driving electric vehicles, and other forms of new technology, does help to promote these issues to the wider public. To what extent the wider public take notice will vary from person to person, country to country, and technology to technology. It would be wrong to totally discount the impact that high-profile personalities have on the industry but it would also be wrong to suggest that they are one of the main reasons why the industry is developing so impressively.
In years gone by, when there were very few EVs on the road, we saw an array of showbiz and business personalities in full display driving their electric vehicles. Many were jumping on the "green bandwagon", although some of them did genuinely feel they could assist the green movement and help to improve the environment. The situation today is very different because green credentials are starting to fade in favour of a more practical and efficiency-based approach to electric vehicles. Perhaps this is the reason why they are more successful today than they ever have been?
The "green movement" assisted in pushing EVs in the early days but those who acquired vehicles purely and simply for the kudos of driving an electric vehicle and "assisting the environment" may well have to look elsewhere for new PR opportunities.