Renault plans TV blitz to raise EV awareness

Renault is planning a global TV advertising campaign to raise awareness of its electric vehicles (EVs), according to reports.

The French automaker, a European early adopter when it comes to electric vehicles, plans to air an EV commercial in its global markets from September, according to auto industry newspaper Automotive News.

The advert will use comparisons with steam engines to highlight the advanced nature of electric vehicles, said the report, using the example of a steam-powered credit card device in a restaurant to "underscore how consumers interact with electric power without realizing it."

It will be backed up by a social media campaign and will be part of Renault's largest television ad campaign this year.

The automaker plans to start sales of the all-electric Renault Fluence Z.E. and the Renault Kangoo Z.E. van this fall, with the compact Renault Twizy following by the end of the year and the Renault Zoe hatchback available by mid-2012.

By 2015, it believes that it, alongside partner Nissan, will be the largest manufacturer of electric vehicles in the world.

Consumers remain unconvinced about electric vehicles and Renault has been pushing hard to combat the issue before it launches its cars - last year it became the first European automaker to use Apple's iAd platform to push adverts for electric vehicles to smartphones.

Other electric vehicle makers, including Peugeot, Nissan and General Motors in the US, have also been hammering the point home through ad campaigns - everywhere from the US superbowl to the London Underground.

Results of the marketing blitz have so far been mixed - a recent survey from British utility group nPower suggested that the public remained seriously misinformed about electric vehicles, believing among other things that the cars would cost around £15 (€17) to charge and that there were only 50 charging points in the country (in reality, there are over 300).

An April survey by Nielsen in the US painted a slightly more optimistic picture, concluding that 57 percent would purchase an electric vehicle when their current car needs replacing.

Full story: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110506/ANE/110509930/1497#ixzz1La7yBDET

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