February 9, 2021

EV: no catalytic converter required

Superbowl 2021 featured an ad for GM's EVs. It's got Will Ferrell, Kenan Thompson and Awkwafina traveling – separately, getting lost in different countries – to see what's up with Norway's success in getting electric cars on the road, and how come they're ahead of the United States.

Spoiler: as Robinson Meyer points out, "EVs command 54 percent of the market share in Norway not because Norwegians love Tesla, but because Norway has thrown a small fjord’s worth of incentives and mandates behind them."

I suppose if you're GM, you don't want to remind anyone that until quite recently you threw your considerable clout behind fighting federal mandates that would promote EVs. You focus on the made-in-America thing, the patriotic thing, the masculinity thing, even if what we're talking about here is electro-masculinity.

I want to see an ad that makes fun of the fossil-fueled, horsepower worshipping masculinity. Pitting, say, a mom bringing her kids to soccer practice without mishap in her EV, against her neighbour with the gasoline powered muscle car who gets stuck in his driveway because his catalytic converter has just been swiped for the precious metals it contains. The tag line for the EV: "No catalytic converter, no tears".

As catalytic converter theft has been rising dramatically, people would recognise the consternation you feel at realising that you can't get ouf of your driveway. Not to mention that it takes upwards of two thousand bucks to get your gas-driven vehicle to carry you around again. In contrast, an EV has no tailpipe pollution, so it doesn't need a catalytic converter.

The irony is that the Prius, that symbol of the clean drive (before EVs came along that is), is one of the cars most vulnerable to losing its catalytic converter to theft. My brother finally had to let go of his twenty year old Prius, after the second time its catalytic converter was stolen. The catalytic converter is just about the first thing you see when you crawl under a Prius; also it's shaped like a tardigrade so it's irresistibly adorable.


No wonder people are now selling covers that make it harder to take off the catalytic converter.



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