Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mary Nichols and Veloz Team Up To Launch the Kicking Gas Campaign
The dynamic duo that made car history is at it again. After driving some of the most innovative changes in the automobile sector—making cars and trucks cleaner—former governor and megastar Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board and founding Veloz member, are focusing on the next big thing: going electric. And they are joined by automakers, utilities, environment and government leaders in the launch of Kicking Gas, an unlikely campaign that reveals why everyone should drive electric.
Kicking Gas is an edgy, funny series of movie shorts produced by the nonprofit Veloz for its “Electric For All” campaign—the largest and most inventive multi-stakeholder public-awareness campaign for electric cars in the United States, targeting Californians first.
“We chose humor—not fear or fury like some people—because negative emotions are burning people out,” said Arnold Schwarzenegger. “Humor, on the other hand, lights people up. Besides, we figure the world could use a little laughter just about now.”
In Kicking Gas, Schwarzenegger goes undercover as Howard Kleiner, a frustrated car salesman trying to push gas cars on unsuspecting customers who came looking for an electric car. Scenes captured by hidden cameras include the former governor donning a fake mustache and wig and surprising wouldbe customers.
“Tough guy Arnold Schwarzenegger has no problem making fun of himself. Imagine a world leader like that—willing to do what it takes for the greater good,” said Mary Nichols, who serves on the Veloz leadership team. “For some members of our unlikely coalition, this campaign is tricky and treads difficult territory. Change is hard. But everyone knows the future is electric, and California, for one, is committed to capturing the market advantage.”
“Our goal with Kicking Gas is to bust barriers and kick down the norms of traditional electric car campaigns,“ said Josh Boone, executive director of Veloz. “Veloz brings together an unlikely coalition of automakers, public-policy leaders and other sectors as positive world changers. We are focused on igniting public imagination through innovative and bold messaging—electric cars are more fun, have more performance, and are more exciting than other cars. Everyone should know they are simply the best drive ever.“
The campaign aims to address the biggest barrier to electric car adoption: lack of public awareness. More than 50% of Californians know next to nothing about electric cars, according to UC Davis research. A recent survey of Veloz members released found that most sector leaders see other barriers—cost, range, choice, charging infrastructure—are disappearing fast, leaving lack of public awareness as the single largest obstacle to electric-car market growth.