Meridian Energy eyes up Norway in electric vehicle uptake

Meridian Energy has launched its latest campaign via Barnes, Catmur & Friends Dentsu fueling Kiwis to take on Norway in the uptake of electric vehicles.

The fresh-faced Meridian poster boy Jeremy Wells goes head to head with a Norwegian reindeer in a bid to encourage Kiwis to lift their electric vehicle use.

In the ad named ‘Let’s take on Norway’, Wells is suited up in patriotic fashion donning the New Zealand flag on his chest – he states while we are the best little country on the planet, Norway is way ahead in electric vehicles.

In a second spot, ‘Norway, we’re coming!’, Wells reiterates that if the ‘Norwayweigans’ can do it, so can we. The integrated campaign will feature on TV, online and outdoor executions.

According to The Guardian, Norway is the “undisputer world leader” in the adoption of electric vehicles, with nearly a third of all cars sold in the country are either fully-electric or hybrid.

Meridian chief executive, Neal Barclay says Meridian is encouraging New Zealanders to start thinking about driving electric vehicles too.

“The recent uptake we’ve seen in New Zealand is pretty impressive, but we know that there is more we can do to reduce emissions. Our campaign is encouraging New Zealanders to get involved in moving New Zealand forward to an electric car future.”

Last month, Meridian launched a new, nationwide Electric Car Plan, offering customers low night rates from 9pm to 7am, and until 31 August this year, it will also cover the cost of charging electric vehicles for a whole year.

“We’re walking the talk when it comes to electric vehicles. We’re on track to meet our commitment of 50 percent conversion of our passenger fleet to fully-battery electric by the middle of this year”, says Barclay.

Meridian has also partnered with electric car sharing companies and has installed free electric car charging stations at Kiwi Property shopping malls around the country.

Melanie Lynn from Meridian says Meridian generates 100 percent renewable energy so it makes sense for it to support the switch to electric vehicles which are better for the environment.

“The Norway ‘If they can, we can’ campaign is just the latest example of our long-running support.”

And it’s not the only energy company playing the in the electric vehicle space as Mercury unveiled its electric vehicle campaign last month. 

Featuring a 57 Ford Fairlane converted into an electric vehicle and dubbed ‘Evie’, it’s the latest iteration of Mercury’s ‘Energy Made Wonderful’ campaign, that promotes the power of New Zealand’s renewable energy.

Already, the ‘Energy Made Wonderful’ has promoted e-bikes with an offer for Mercury customers to save $500 off the purchase of one. 

It must be said while increasing New Zealand’s electric vehicle fleet is a useful alternative to petrol fueled cars, not everyone is sold that it will cure air pollution. The Guardian argues that electric vehicles will not tackle transport pollution, fewer cars on the road will. 

However, Meridian has done more than promote electric vehicles as it’s been a long-standing proponent of harnessing environmental alternatives of energy usage. Last year, Meridian teamed up with Whittaker’s to release a limited edition ‘Brooklyn Block’ campaign (named after Meridian’s Brooklyn Turbine).

Again, the campaign featured Wells, who has become a stalwart for Meridian, baring all back in 2015 during an ironing campaign and more recently promoting the Meridian and Nest partnership, which campaigns on sustainability and home security. 

Despite the merit behind harnessing renewable energy, Wells can be a difficult man to take seriously. His rather avant-garde stance on environmental matters dates back to 2014 when he offered this slab of investigative journalism exposing the mound of trash sitting at the Waitākere recycle station.

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