Big Oil’s ad campaign against electric vehicles

Big Oil is upping its fight against the accelerating uptake of electric vehicles, a transition that threatens to upturn its trillion dollar industry and leave it with huge amounts of stranded assets.

A new advertising campaign launched by Mobil Oil, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, has decided that “freedom” means not being attached to a cable. “Disconnecting feels a lot like breaking free,” the ad says.

The ad shows people at work, home and play being constrained by the cables Big Oil would have us believe are never detached. Clearly, they haven’t heard of batteries. The best thing to do, says Big Oil, is to cut the cable and celebrate the internal combustion engine.

There are so many things wrong with this ad – slick as it is – that it’s difficult to know where to start. But perhaps the best response, as one social media poster pointed out, is this ad campaign from a decade ago when the first mass market EV, the Nissan Leaf, was launched.

Electrification, of course, is everywhere in our lives, and there are just a few more appliances to go – in transport and in the home. And the gas industry is fighting hard against that. Imagine if it wasn’t all electric: The dentist drill was the killer for me.

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