In the world of cinema and television, electric vehicles are becoming more and more important. Whether on the big screen or on streaming platforms like Netflix, these vehicles are no longer mere background objects, but become full actors in the plot. Is this product placement like we can see so often in James Bond and other American blockbusters?
Not necessarily… Let’s see how this trend unfolds!
The rise of electric vehicles on screen
Electric vehicles are making remarkable strides in the entertainment sector, with the presence of electric vehicles in movies increasing by over 140% in the past five years. Recent examples include the Batmobile in The Batman starring Robert Pattinson, released in 2022, which is partially electric. And in just a few days, it’s the Barbie Corvette that promises to be an electric model. Examples that really give the impression that Hollywood is in service of the environment… or the automobile industry!
Most popular electric vehicle models on display
When it comes to models, the Tesla Model S is the most commonly used electric vehicle in movies. Although it has starred in films such as Kingsman (2015), Fifty Shades of Gray (2015) and Entourage (2006), the Model S has not had many leading roles, with most of its appearances being cameos in the background. What’s even more impressive is that Tesla doesn’t pay for product placement. The brand’s models have also managed to appear in nearly 150 films since 2014.
Unsurprisingly, the second most popular electric vehicle on screen is the Nissan Leaf. It was the first electric vehicle to have a role in a film and has appeared in films such as Parental Guidance (2012) and The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2020).
Electric vehicles represent a real trend and even deserve their own day in the calendar to “raise awareness” among consumers.
Source: Learn more about electric vehicle trends – auto-doc.fr
Electric vehicles and popular culture
It is clear that electric vehicles are now commonplace. Lots of people drive them for various reasons, not just your somewhat tech-savvy business uncle who keeps talking about his Tesla Model S.
The cultural place of electric vehicles (and the hybrid vehicles that paved the way) in American and Western society in general can be traced by examining how they appear on screen. The acceptance of electric vehicles, at least through the prism of popular culture, has gone through four major phases.
Step 1: Electric Vehicles as a Sign of the Future
In keeping with its general high-tech theme, the 1993 film Jurassic Park featured electric Ford Explorers that were powered by ground track (an interesting, but impractical idea to avoid the T. rex). Or take the 1997 film Gattaca, set in a retro future. As part of that vibe, vintage cars were included in the film, including a 1965 Citroën DS19 Cabriolet and a 1971 Buick Riviera. Electrical.
Phase 2: Electric and hybrid vehicles as signs of conscientious liberalism
After the first Prius was released in 1997, a character’s driving a hybrid vehicle became an easy way to tell viewers something about their politics or personality. Larry David drives a Prius in Curb Your Enthusiasm. In Season 2 of Weeds, which aired in 2006, mom-turned-drug dealer Nancy trades in her Range Rover for a Prius, symbolizing a change in eco-friendly attitudes.
Step 3: Electric Vehicles as Expensive Toys
Tony Stark had a Tesla Roadster from the first Iron Man movie in 2008. Love him or hate him, Elon Musk made electric cars cool when they were stuck in intersections, and Tesla has become a hip-hop icon today. On Friday, the first trailer of Fast X, the tenth installment of the street racing franchise, was unveiled. For the first time, the franchise will showcase at least a few electric cars, like the Dodge Daytona SRT EV concept car and the yet-to-be-unveiled Delorean Alpha 5. (Yes, it has gullwing doors.) The important thing in this era is that being “green” for these cars has become secondary. They are absolutely adorable and fabulous. Electric vehicles are starting to become more mainstream, although they remain out of reach for most audiences. This stage does not end, but along with it another stage appears.
Step 4: Electric Vehicle Like a Normal Car
In the near future, electric vehicles will appear constantly in movies and on TV, and they won’t say anything special about the characters driving them. When Dr. Joe Wilson arrives at the hospital in a Nissan Leaf in Season 18 of Grey’s Anatomy, it doesn’t mean anything. That’s all she drives. The protagonist of the 2022 sensational living doll horror film M3GAN drives a fully electric BMW i3, and has no plot relevance.
For image illustration with other examples, it is here – isiohm.fr
From everyday car to rugged off-roader to smooth-riding sports car, the day is not far when electric cars will cease to be just cars. Electric vehicles just need to be made a little more boring. The day people stop seeing them on their screens will be the day electric cars truly go mainstream.