EV makers step up marketing efforts ahead of launch

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Indy Lifestyle Online

With the introduction of the first mass-produced family electric vehicles now only months away, major automakers are going all out to connect with the public ahead of the launch.

On October 1, Nissan unveiled its "Innovation Station," a new exhibit at London's The O2 center which showcases the role that EVs will play in everyday life.

Visitors to the exhibition can ride in driving simulators, design a car virtually and play interactive games aimed at boosting understanding of electric vehicles.

Professional cyclist Lance Armstrong became the first customer to receive the Nissan Leaf in the United States September 30, posting photos of the car on Twitter for his 2.6 million followers.

The same week, Chevrolet kicked off its market launch of the extended-range Volt, naming 15 individuals who would receive their Volts early as part of a final validation process.

It also began a 3,400 mile (5,470 km) drive across America to "reach out to local community leaders, schools and consumers to educate each group about the one-of-a-kind characteristics of the Volt."

Cities on the tour include Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Antonio, Houston, Miami, Orlando and Washington, DC in October and Raleigh, NC, New York City and Chicago in November.

On October 1, General Motors marketing boss Joel Ewanick revealed to Automotive News that Chevrolet will premiere the first commercials for the Volt during the baseball World Series later this month, to be screened on US television network Fox.

Nissan chose the NFL as the home of its big-bucks commercial when it stepped up its US marketing effort in September, using a Polar Bear to highlight the Leaf's eco-friendliness.

The Leaf is set to launch in the US and Europe and the Chevrolet Volt will be available in the US later this year.

See the Nissan Polar Bear ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNeEVkhTutY

Follow the Volt Unplugged Tour - http://www.chevroletvoltage.com/index.php/Content/volt-unplugged.html

The Innovation Station is open daily between 12:00 and 8:00 PM at London's The O2 - http://www.theo2.co.uk/


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