After a mysterious “monolith” shaped piece of metal was found in the Utah desert and mysteriously disappeared, EV companies are getting in on the meme with humorous tweets that help us relax a little during a hard year.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you heard about the “Utah Monolith” (now with its own Wikipedia page), a chunk of metal that appeared in a remote area of Utah. Placed in a sandstone slot canyon, the object was a triangular prism in shape and loosely resembled the Monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey (and its sequel, 2010: The Year We Make Contact). Nobody has indicated why it was constructed and left there, nor does the public know who did it.
The same is true for two “copycat” monoliths that appeared in Europe and California. All have since been removed, with the first one from Utah having been removed by a handful of people who took “leave no trace” very seriously.
The new rechargeable Jeep® Wrangler 4xe will be out of this world. (Coming Early 2021) pic.twitter.com/lilnnzXPEo
— Jeep (@Jeep) December 4, 2020
Unlike the monolith spoil sports, Jeep has a sense of humor. With the rugged marketing (and capabilities) of the Jeep Wrangler 4xe, the idea of using the monolith as a charging station is definitely a good fit. They photoshopped their vehicle next to the monolith in photos and then added equipment to make the object into a powerful, alien charging pedestal, emblazoned with the Jeep logo.
In reality, the plugin hybrid will not likely ever charge in the middle of nowhere, but hey, it’s fun to imagine, right?
Either way, it’s a neat vehicle and I feel that Jeep made the right call to first release a PHEV version of the vehicle. Sure, it’s not a full EV, but charging infrastructure is severely lacking in the rural United States. Until the aliens (or, maybe humans) see fit to install more of these charging pedestals, we are going to have to burn gas to get to some places.
I reached out to Jeep’s Twitter people and didn’t hear back, but I’m sure coming up with this creative concept was a fun story.
Just like the mysterious Utah monolith, where do you think Electrify America's next station will pop up? pic.twitter.com/E8ycdz47fb
— Electrify America (@ElectrifyAm) December 4, 2020
Electrify America was also quick on the draw, and they are obviously good at point shooting because they hit the mark.
If you’re not familiar with Electrify America, they’ve been building charging stations along major US highways. Despite the effort starting as part of Volkswagen’s “Dieselgate” settlement, the team at Electrify America isn’t phoning things in. As I said in this other article, “They’ve proven a commitment to getting this right that goes far beyond the bare minimum VW was required to accomplish by the courts after #Dieselgate.” In other words, they’re the real deal and they’re on our team.
“Who would not want to be part of the mysterious monolith meme? We thought it was a funny and relevant tweet since our stations are expanding across the country. One might not know where a charger will appear next just like the mysterious monolith,” said Misti Murphey, Senior Manager, Marketing & Advertising for Electrify America.
“2020 has simply been such a difficult time for many. At times — it was just a downright bizarre year. So sometimes we simply just need to laugh. This year Electrify America has had our own interpretation of trending meme’s or in this case the phenomenon of the metal monolith. Our Electrify America social community has been terrific in engaging and envisioning with us the unique possibilities of where our stations will grow so why not have fun with the monolith meme?”
And she’s exactly right. I’ve made it an almost unhealthy hobby checking PlugShare to see where Electrify America stations are popping up. I even took them to task once for not posting upcoming stations (and they responded awesomely to the community with the information us EV news junkies crave). While they are sticking to the interstate routes mostly (because you have to start somewhere, and covering those first makes sense), you really never know where one of their stations will pop up next.
We could all use a little humor and fun in 2020. Most of us aren’t wet blankets and enjoy oddball stories like the monolith. I also wouldn’t have minded if the thing got left up for others to enjoy later.
Besides, more may pop up later, and we hope the aliens put them in cool places.