Friday 2 March 2012

Reporter’s Blog

Reporter’s Blog

Why Justin Bieber could save the electric car

I never thought I'd find myself writing about nauseatingly perma-grinned 'tween' heartthrob Justin Bieber. But the online pop sensation (his YouTube videos have got more than one billion hits) has done something to flash up on my energy radar rather like an unwelcome nuclear submarine.

For his eighteenth birthday, he got - drumroll please! - an ELECTRIC car. Not a gas-guzzling 4 by 4 or high-rev sports number, but the (admittedly eye-wateringly expensive) Fisker Karma.

This doesn't seem like such big news, you may say - and I wouldn't blame you.

Maybe not on the surface. But the simple fact is, celebrity endorsement sells.

Why else have George Clooney as the face of Nespresso, Roger Federer star in Nike adverts, Cheryl Cole tell us "You're worth it"?

The recent brouhaha over Kate Middleton's dress from a high street brand, which completely sold out within a day of her being photographed in it, tells you all you need to know about the power of celebrity.

While around two million hybrid and electric cars have been sold in the US over the last decade, according to the US Department of Energy, that's nothing compared with the 14 million cars and light trucks bought in the States each year. There's clearly room for improvement.

Perhaps we're set to see a huge rise in electric car purchases from wannabe Justin Biebers and his devoted fans.

Who knows what Christmas will bring Mr Bieber - a diamond-encrusted smart meter? - but I'm willing to bet 2012 will launch a ghastly new range of EVs catering for Hollywood's spoilt brat brigade. In tasteful bubblegum pink or, perhaps more appropriately, luminous green.

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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