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February 8, 2021
Automakers Ramp Up EV Promotional Campaigns
Source: EV Hub
The EV market is hot to the touch right now with private investment pouring in on all sides. On February 4th, Ford made headlines by more than doubling their initial commitment to EV investment. America’s number three automaker in terms of sales is now pledging $22 billion to EV investment and an additional $7 million for autonomous technology. This tops recent commitments from GM to invest $27 billion in electric and autonomous vehicles through 2025. GM continues to lead the “Detroit Three” in their electrification strategy with announcements in January to electrify all vehicles on their platform by 2035 and go carbon neutral by 2040. Tesla, America’s largest EV-only manufacturer, is expected to have a similar amount of money in its “war chest” for investment in the next two years according to analysts at Morgan Stanley.

In total, the EV Hub is tracking $29 billion in new investment commitments in 2021 so far, roughly 23 percent of the total committed in 2020. This surge in electrification pledges has also come with new advertising campaigns and a concerted push to market new EV offerings to American drivers. GM claimed two minutes of combined airtime during the Super Bowl last night at an estimated cost of at least $22 million. This follows a trend in increasing EV advertising during the most watched event in the nation in any given year. In 2020, Audi, Porsche, and GM all ran ads in the big game compared to just one EV-related ad the year prior. According to analysis from the New York Times, only two other ads had been run since 2010.

The ads from last year featured primarily luxury models including the GMC Hummer EV, Audi e-Tron, and Porsche Taycan. This year’s offerings followed a similar path. The two spots aired by GM promoted the upcoming Cadillac Lyriq and Hummer EV, two of the company’s most anticipated EVs slated for initial deliveries in the first quarter of 2022. These light-hearted commercials helped to tee up a new pitch from GM released before this year’s Super Bowl that highlights their new Ultium battery technology and “Everybody In” campaign seeking to make the push for rapid electrification more inclusive. The Ultium platform will be featured in all of GM’s upcoming EVs, including the updated version of the industry-topping Chevy Bolt.

The Bolt, which was the third highest-selling EV on the U.S. market in 2020, is one of a growing number of EV offerings that fall under or near the threshold average new vehicle price of $40,000 estimated by Edmunds. The new visual by Climate Nexus featured above shows that at least six existing and upcoming EVs are eligible for the federal tax credit, which results in their upfront price falling beneath the average. If efforts to expand the tax credit to GM and Tesla, the only automakers who have sold enough EVs to have been phased out of the policy, are successful, the number increases to eight vehicles with both the Tesla Model 3 and Chevy Bolt falling under the $40,000 mark. New offerings including the Ford Mustang Mach-E come in just above the line.

Not all automakers are pushing their new EV platforms with the same force. Toyota and Ford, two of only three other major automakers that featured an ad in last night’s game, took an uplifting message of hope and perseverance through the challenges of the pandemic without making any reference to their EV programs. The lack of emphasis on electrification has generated skepticism around the commitment of automakers to deliver on grand visions of sustainability. Jeep, one of the brands of newly formed multinational auto conglomerate Stellantis, enlisted Bruce Springsteen to call for unity in a time of political division rather than highlight their EV-related efforts. Fiat-Chrysler, the former parent company of Jeep that has been subsumed by Stellantis, is investing the least amount of money in EVs out of any major American automaker according to our records.

Fiat-Chrysler, GM, and Toyota were among several companies who only backed out of lawsuits supporting more lenient fuel economy and emission standards following the Presidential election. There are now no major automakers participating in the previous administration’s effort to revoke California’s waiver allowing the state, and any others, to establish separate, stricter standards. We are tracking all of these new policy positions and commitments every week on the Automakers Dashboard where you can go for all your information on planned and upcoming EV models as well as automaker electrification strategy.  
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GM to Sell Only EVs by 2035

On January 28th, 2021, General Motors (GM) announced plans to electrify their entire sales offerings by 2035. This follows announcements made in late 2020 that the company will increase their overall investment in EVs to a total of $27 million in support of at least 30 new EV models by 2025. GM is now leading the total investment commitment to EV manufacturing in the United States. The new announcement is part of a wider ambition for the company to reach carbon neutrality across all operations by 2040. GM is also the first of the “Detroit 3” automakers to make a commitment of this nature and follows European auto giants Volkswagen and Daimler who made similar commitments in 2020. Read More Here

Three States and DC Move to Implement TCI Program

On December 21, 2020, members of the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI) including Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Washington D.C. announced plans to be the first jurisdictions to begin administering the Transportation & Climate Initiative Program (TCI-P) that could bring $300 million of annual investment in clean transportation projects to communities throughout the region. Investment will come from the TCI program which collects “allowance” payments from major oil and gas suppliers in the region to invest in transportation electrification and other emissions-saving technologies. Emissions reductions in these four jurisdictions are expected to reach 26 percent by 2032. Read More Here

California to Ban Sale of New Gas Vehicles by 2035

California, the nation’s largest vehicle market, has announced that the sale of new gasoline passenger cars and trucks will be banned after 2035. The ban comes as a result of an Executive Order from Governor Gavin Newsom and directly addresses the state’s long-term climate goals amid an ongoing season of particularly extreme wildfires. The next steps will be for the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to establish binding requirements setting this new rule in motion. Read More Here

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In 2021, numerous car manufacturers are answering the call for electric truck and sport utility vehicles. Join CLEER, Northern Colorado Clean Cities and Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities for part one of a webinar series which will highlight the upcoming lineup of electric truck options. Read more.

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