Do electric vehicles get exposure?

In my previous posts, I talked about what electric cars are and how they function as well as how they are portrayed in media today. One important aspect of their media portrayal is the frequency and patterns of when they are portrayed. That will be the subject of this post

A Tesla Model S ad. Courtesy of

While electric cars are gaining popularity their representations in media differ between mediums. In US television, we often see car ads that try to show off certain features of their cars in order to persuade you to buy them; such as 0-60 mph times or crash safety ratings. On TV electric vehicles tend to follow suit in much the same pattern. We may see them being promoted in the same ways regular cars are. Think back to the last Prius commercial you may have seen. Most likely somewhere inside the video there was rhetoric about its gas mileage and perhaps some green images; in both literal and metaphor sense. What this is doing is attempting to sell you a car both by being practical and better for the environment. While these are true to some degree or another, TV ads are genuinely saying something about our culture when we associate these images with these specific cars.

A Chevy Volt Ad that shows off the features of the car.

The internet is another medium in which electric vehicles may be represented in frequency. Specific car forums and websites are obviously going to be tailored to whatever vehicle is the subject but on sites like BBC or even local news websites, there may occasionally be posts about electric vehicles. When mentioned they are often portrayed using the environment and efficiency as talking points. Sometimes talk of fossil fuels and the future is used as well. Other times however, they may be used similarly in TV and they can be compared to other existing cars or simply to inform readers about newer happenings with these vehicles.

Image courtesy of

When we often think about stereotypes about anything where do they come from? Family, friends, and our surrounding. Media can have a large effect on how we tend to decide what to attribute to something. If electric vehicles are being viewed as mentioned before, green and efficient to use, then some rhetoric about the environment is getting seen although in a reduced capacity. Often we see movies and memes making fun of electric cars granting them a stigma. These interpretations by media signify that the previous values are being either being rejected or are never present to begin with.

The bigger picture here is that some mediums will show electric cars in a different light depending on what it is setting out to do. An ad will play upon sell-able aspects, a meme will use whatever it can in the pursuit of comedy, and a scientific website may portray these cars as a progression. It simply depends on what agenda the media may have and what purpose that the particular vehicle can serve.


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