It may seem like half the country got sucked into some crazy fear-based cult, but GM envisions another America — you know, the one that’s funny, has fun friends, loves a challenge, loves their country to be the greatest, will travel halfway across the world with their friends to prove they are the greatest, and doesn’t get all weird and screwy when it turns out some other country is doing it better. If you’re guessing that CleanTechnica got a sneak peak at GM’s new 60-second Superbowl ad in support of its “Everybody In” electric vehicle campaign, run right out and buy yourself a cigar — but did you know they do electric delivery vans, too?
Make America Fun Again, Electric Vehicle Edition
Not to read too much into a 60-second spot, but hey why not? GM signed three of America’s funniest people ever — globe-punching Will Ferrel, arrow-slinging Aquafina, and cosplaying Kenan Thompson — to represent America at its best before an audience of millions of potential electric vehicle buyers.
The adventure takes Ferrell and his friends on a journey to show Norway who’s boss, having discovered that the tiny country is beating American in electric vehicle sales. They pile into their Cadillac LYRIQ luxury SUV and GMC HUMMER EV supertruck powered by GM’s showpiece Ultium electric vehicle battery platform, and off they go.
You’ll have to wait for Superbowl Sunday to catch the 60-second spot, but guess what, GM has a 90-second version of the EV ad on YouTube that’s even funnier.
As for why pick on Norway, that’s the point. The first step is to admit you have a problem, and GM is not shy about pointing out that the US has been asleep at the electric vehicle wheel.
“Today, well over half of the vehicles sold in Norway are electric. Comparatively, EVs made up less than 4 percent of market share in the United States in 2020,” explains Deborah Wahl, GM global chief marketing officer.
Okay, so game on!
Everybody In An Electric Vehicle — & They Mean Everybody
Okay, so game on! GM estimates that the Ultium platform can provide a range of up to 450 miles, which should be enough to satisfy people who can drive a car for hours on end before making a pit stop.
The basic idea, though, is for the Ultium to fit all around the GM lineup, tailored for different cars and different people.
By different, they mean different. GM launched the Everybody In electric vehicle campaign with an eyeball firmly fixed on the diversity of the car-driving public. The official launch was January 8 so it kind of got buried in other national news that week, but keep an eye out for Malcolm Gladwell, Bethany Hamilton, Cody Rigsby, and Erin A. Simon in the campaign.
If you don’t know who any of these people are, join the club. Fearlessness takes many forms, and that’s part of the Everybody In message.
“The ‘Everybody In’ campaign is a call to action meant to reflect a movement that’s inclusive and accessible,” GM explains, with Wahl adding that “Unlike ever before, we have the solutions, capability, technology and scale to put everyone in an EV. Our new brand identity and campaign are designed to reflect this.”
Don’t get too attached to that battery, though. By the time you’re ready to trade in your old electric vehicle for a new one, say around the middle of the decade, GM plans to be ready with a new version of the Ultium that provides for twice the energy density at less than half the cost of today’s lithium-ion chemistry.
Do tell! There is a rather interesting GM connection to cutting-edge EV battery research going on over at the Energy Department’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, which may or may not be connected to the new version.
More Renewable Energy For The EV World Of The Future
No article about GM would be complete without highlighting GM Chairman and CEO Mary T. Barra, who doesn’t get nearly as much press as some other auto execs. And yet, pretty much everyone who drives an electric vehicle around some parts of the US will feel Barra’s influence whenever they go to recharge their battery.
Having worked her way up through the company beginning as a co-op student at the Pontiac Motor Division in 1980, Barra has taken up the theme of inclusion and a whole-of-public approach to the US auto market, and renewable energy for everyone is part of the plan.
Barra and her team have recognized the limits of putting rooftop solar panels on their factories, and for the past several years they have been working with various partners to introduce many more megawatts of more renewable energy into the grid.
GM is a member of the global RE100 renewable energy collaboration and a founding member of the influential Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, which launched in 2018 with the goal of adding 60 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2025. REBA is also flexing its considerable muscle on US energy policy, so stay tuned for that.
The public grid is also getting GM love in the form of the MIGreenPower renewable energy program, which comes under the Michigan utility DTE. Last spring GM committed 500,000 MWh to the program on top of 300,000 MWh, toward the goal of feeding renewables into all GM facilities in DTE’s southeastern Michigan territory.
The power of the big-dollar renewable energy buyer has even reached out and touched states that have been giving the stinkeye to renewable energy. In the latest such example, last fall GM swung a deal to buy the entire output from a 180-megawatt solar farm to be built in Arkansas.
GM is also all over zero waste like white on rice but that’s a whole ‘nother kettle of fish.
Hey, What About Those GM Electric Delivery Vans?
Yes, what about them? It seems that the e-commerce world of the future has put the idea into GM’s head that electric delivery vans will be a thing, and with that in mind the company launched its new BrightDrop venture last month.
BrightDrop has already sailed across the CleanTechnica radar as part of a re-energized focus on all modes of electric transport and now GM is following up with some even newer news, so stay tuned for more on that.
Spoiler alert: BrightDrop has an answer to the question, “how do you get down off a delivery van?”
If you think that can’t be done, drop a note in the comment thread and explain why.