Arnold Schwarzenegger long ago moved from guzzling Hummers to electric cars and environmentalism, but he's now taking his efforts undercover. To promote electric cars and their benefits, he partnered with the Electric For All Campaign and posed as a used car salesman to create a few comedic situations in the "Kicking Gas" series.
Schwarzenegger's alias, Howard Kleiner, encounters a handful of, so we're told, real used car shoppers looking at electric cars. At least one couple appears to immediately recognize Schwarzenegger, however.
While the goal is to promote EVs, the actor and former governor creates a series of paradoxical narratives for the shoppers. For instance, one shopper is intrigued with how quiet a Nissan Leaf is while it drives. The Kleiner character responds it's just an excuse to hear the family's conversations while driving. Oh, and emissions and pollution are a sort of global population control, as Kleiner revs up a Hummer H2. Schwarzenegger even tosses in a few humorous touches for the unsuspecting shoppers, telling one, "I'll be back"—of course, a nod to his famous line in "The Terminator."
In a statement, Schwarzenegger said he wanted to the campaign to be edgy and funny. Scare tactics, he thinks, are played out. Humor and comedy will get more people to listen and consider electric cars. The superstar actor has long helped promote green initiatives and even had his iconic Hummer H1 converted to an electric vehicle. The series kicks off a larger campaign that aims to educate local Californians about the benefits of EVs. Electric For All data showed around 50 percent of residents know nothing about electric cars.
Kleiner isn't going away any time soon. Electric For All and the "Kicking Gas" series is scheduled to release videos and content for at least six months this year. See the first installment above.