Each automaker tries to pay its tribute to the 50th anniversary of the man landing on the Moon in its own way. Toyota announced it will have a lunar rover in ten years from now, probably in time to celebrate 60 years of the Apollo 11 mission. Volkswagen tried to associate it with another big endeavour: selling EVs. Especially now, when it is on the verge of selling them by the millions.
Very emotional – with Bowie's “Space Oddity” as the background music, and not a very appropriate one – the video shows real images of people witnessing Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin land on the Moon in lots of different countries.
Many of these photos show the Volkswagen vehicles of the time, mostly the Bus. A solitary Beetle also manages to appear.
That’s when Volkswagen tries to establish the parallel with the following texts: “In 1969, the world united behind a mission.” In fact, the world was divided in 1969. Cold War was paradoxically at its boiling point.
"Now we have a new one." And the company describes its EV plans, which we have more than covered.
When the song enters its countdown sequence – now the song makes some sense – the German carmaker names its goals.
The first is investing US$ 50 billion worldwide until 2023 on electrification – among which US$ 800 million in Chattanooga, for EV production. Then presenting 70 new pure EVs by 2028 – most based on the MEB electric modular architecture – and finally going carbon neutral globally in 2050.
That’s when the video conclusion emerges with an invitation that makes anyone who supports EVs feel flattered: “Drive something bigger than yourself. Drive bigger.” The intention is clear: to imply that driving an EV helps save the planet.
We just wonder if Volkswagen ever thought that way before Dieselgate. Or if it now does precisely because it once decided to sell emission-cheating vehicles. With the idea that emissions were no big deal, so now it has to amend that. And make things right.
That does not change the fact that the company, as Elon Musk said, was among those that did not take EVs seriously and that it now has to convince skeptic suppliers it was wrong. And, most of all, that we just hope its efforts are now spotless.
If you remember, diesel cars had a “green reputation” before the scandal which Dieselgate ruined for good. Even if diesel exhaust was already considered carcinogenic.
Please be sure to do everything right this time with EVs, Volkswagen. That is the mission we expect you to accomplish.
Video Description via Volkswagen USA on YouTube: