There’s no denying that electric cars are neat, and even most critics will admit that the idea has its appeal. But while electric car sales have quadrupled in the past for years, they still represent a fraction of the new car market. Many people have never even ridden in an electric car yet. That’s why automakers should consider giving away more electric cars in contests, giveaways, and even raffles, as many nonprofits are beginning to do.
Now I’m not suggesting Tesla Motors should start giving away their high-end electric cars, though raffles like the one put on but the Messner Foundation could put you in the seat of a Model S for as little as $200. But larger companies, like GM and Nissan, could benefit from running more contests where the victors drive away in a new Chevy Volt or Nissan LEAF; perhaps even throw in a free charging station too.
Why would an automaker give away one of its cutting-edge products? Marketing, pure and simple. People love free stuff, and more importantly, the next generation of plug-in cars will be a lot more viable for a lot more people. Most Americans have no experience with electric cars, and it’s hard to convince someone to make such a big shift without knowing the first thing about them.
Don’t get me wrong here, I understand that automakers need to make money on their products, but I’m just thinking long-term here. Get people loving and wanting electric cars now, and the next time they are ready to make a new car purchase, a plug-in could be at the top of their list…and all because someone they knew got one for free.
More and more nonprofits are resorting to raffling off cars like the Tesla Model S, which seems to be in the news almost every day, as it gets a ton of attention. But if the next Nissan LEAF really offers 150 miles of electric driving range, that’s more than enough for most daily commutes. If automakers can create more EV evangelists, the good word is bound to spread faster. Not everybody is able to take a chance and be an early adopter of cool new technology.
But perhaps by giving a couple of dozen away, GM, Nissan, and other EV automakers can generate even more buzz for products that could change the way drive, forever.
This post sponsored by the Messner Foundation