April Fool's Joke
Happy April, Fools! Oh, umm, wait, never mind; just kidding! Have you ever planned something and then watch it go wrong? In life, you always have to expect the unexpected. Sometimes, if you're lucky, things will work out for the better, but sometimes, it just backfires. Just like with TV commercials – sometimes they're so good, you remember it clearly; other times, it's so terrible but still leaves an impression on you. And well, if no one is talking about you, then where are you?
Earlier this week, Volkswagen sent out a press release stating that they would rename their U.S. brand to "Volkswagen of America" to draw attention to their electric vehicles. Like many other brands, Volkswagen is investing millions of dollars in manufacturing, marketing, and growing their share in the EV world, especially here in the U.S., where electric vehicles are still not as popular as in some other countries. Although electric vehicle sales are still only about 2% here in the United States, many brands are pushing for an increase in the following years. Here it has been a little difficult to gain momentum, and it could be for several reasons. Popularity could be one thing, and another could be easy accessibility. As of Feb 21, 2021, there are only about 100,000 public charging stations available across the United States (Statistica).
As more and more manufacturers are getting into electric vehicles and trying to find their place in the market, we will continue to see them released on the roads and advertised across various media channels. In light of their announcement, Volkswagen said they planned on changing the look of the logo/badge to differentiate their electric cars from the gas ones.
"It said Volkswagen would be placed as an exterior badge on all EV models and gasoline vehicles
will have the company's iconic VW emblem only, as they now do. ICE-powered vehicles would display
the VW logo on a dark blue background, while EVs would display the logo on a light blue background."
Well, later that same day, another press release was released saying, just kidding! It turns out it was a joke, as in an early April Fools' joke. It was a marketing tactic to generate interest and talk towards their new ID4. But how did it play out? Like anything else in life, you can't please them all. Some out there thought it was clever, some who thought it was an odd joke, and some who thought it was in bad taste. I fell in the category who didn't know much of it until I realized it was all a joke – then it piqued my attention. While there were people who thought it was brilliant, unfortunately, at the same time, this brought up bad memories for some, reminding people of the whole Dieselgate drama a few years ago. As I said, you really can't win them all.
In other news but relatable, President Biden unveiled a $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan to boost electric vehicles and clean power. What exactly is in this plan? $174 billion of that money would go to electric vehicle initiatives. Biden is asking Congress to invest in electric vehicle rebates, charging ports, and electric school buses. His goal is to move away from gas-powered vehicles slowly. He also asks Congress to sustain tax incentives for consumers, which is currently $7500 when purchasing an electric car.
"The plan would spread the cost for projects over eight years and aims to pay for it all over 15 years, without adding to the country's debt in the long run, a senior administration official said… Biden's initiative also would give a 10-year extension to tax credits that have been a boon to wind, solar, and other renewable energy projects. His plan, which requires congressional approval, would also make those clean energy tax credits refundable -- a so-called direct-pay option that developers have sought as tax equity financing has dried up…"
It's a long-term plan, but it looks like more and more people are leaning towards electric vehicles, boosting cleaner air for our economy. It will be many years before we see the full potential, but as always, one has to start somewhere.