Are the legacy automakers serious about EVs? That’s a complex question, and the answer depends on when and whom you ask – every brand has its pro- and anti-EV execs, and corporate strategies can shift from one month to the next.
However, if the appearance of a company’s home page is any indication,
then GM is gung-ho to go electric. On a recent visit to www.GM.com,
I found a page plastered with articles about electrification:
- Why All
AVs Should Be EVs
- Chevy Bolt
EV Never Needs an Oil Change
- It’s Time
for American Leadership in Zero Emissions Vehicles
Motors Offers an Easy Way to Connect with At-Home Charging Electricians
- How GM
Manufactures EVs, AVs and Traditional Vehicles on the Same Assembly Line
There are more. The overarching narrative is one of a
company focused on the future, working on several levels to prepare for the
coming transition to EVs. (Your results may vary – companies change their
splash pages frequently, and there are often several alternate ones that may show
up depending on what your cookies reveal about your past browsing interests.)
Meanwhile, what’s happening over at www.Ford.com? SUVs, pickup trucks and Mustangs. However, Ford’s site does have a new section called the Electric Learning Zone, which addresses common misconceptions about EVs. A lack of customer awareness about plug-in vehicles may just be the greatest current obstacle to widespread adoption, so it’s encouraging to see major automakers putting this kind of educational material out there.
However, before we fete GM as EV Brand of the Year, let’s point out that the decorations on a company’s front door may not be the best indications of its business strategy. It’s doubtful that many car buyers visit the home page at www.gm.com – most will go directly to pages for the brands or models they’re interested in. When I go to www.chevrolet.com, I’m greeted by a splash page touting “The Strongest, Most Advanced Silverado Ever,” and there is no mention of the Bolt to be found (the Bolt has its page too, but you’ll have to find it on your own, or convince the cookie monster that you’re a greenie).
Here’s what we really want to see from GM and other legacy automakers: a wide range of EV models on dealers’ lots, and some serious campaigns to put buyers in them. But talking about EVs is a start.