Recently TechCrunch ran an article title that once again helps reinforce the electric car golf cart stereotype. It’s hard enough getting the average person to understand that electric cars aren’t glorified golf carts. Many people still feel that electric and small cars are exactly this. Traditional media hasn’t done much to change this thought process. A great example is the TechCrunch title “Test Driving The World’s Fastest Golf Cart”. Many men don’t feel their image is hurt by using a golf cart on the course. But for some reason they feel their manhood would be destroyed by driving a battery powered car. Interesting how the Tesla Roadster with it’s electric engine smokes most high performance “manly” cars in 0 to 60 times. I guess that just isn’t good enough for gas noise loving meatheads.
Of course Tesla won’t give Michael Arrington a talking to for this less than smart title. Most everyone in the technology industry is down on their knees for this man. Good press on a high profile website is always desired. But from a marketing perspective I think the lousy choice of title does more harm than good. While the overall perception of alternative powered cars has improved. You still have most consumers viewing these vehicles in a negative light. I’ve heard the stupid golf cart comment many times. The electric car industry hasn’t done much to change consumer opinions. On a daily basis we see cars being announced that reinforce this stereotype. These cars are either small, micro, three wheeled or just not fully practical in some way.
This isn’t the first time Tesla has let less than stellar marketing slide. On the BBC show Top Gear Jeremy Clarkson almost drops a load in his drawers when feeling the acceleration and power of a Tesla Roadster. He then proceeds to trash two of them. One ran out of battery power and the other had the brakes heat up to where they no longer would work. Clarkson then goes on a rant about how the cars didn’t live up to real world use. Then starts in with how the cars aren’t really eco-friendly do to how electricity to power them is produced.
A positive review turned very negative. I think it was Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Charlie Rose or maybe I read it where this negative was promoted as a positive. I can’t find the tweet I did on this at the time. But I was astonished that someone could even state Jeremy Clarkson gave the Tesla Roadster a rave review. Anyone who watched that Top Gear episode knows even though his eyeballs almost popped out he was still mostly negative in the end.