Electrify America, the organization formed as part of Volkswagen’s $2-billion penance to promote the spread of electric vehicles after the Dieselgate scandal, is touting a new EV-related icon it believes will be in service of its broader aspirations.
The company has launched an obligatory Change.org petition to get the Unicode Consortium to adopt an charging station emoji of its own design. Electrifiy America noted that the governing body rejected last year’s proposal, saying something needed to be put into place to that “represents the EV industry and the future of transportation.”
It also said it realized “the Unicode Consortium has a tough job to avoid overpopulating smartphone keyboards with endless emojis. However, we believe the Unicode solution of continuing to represent EV charging with a Gas Pump Emoji is not a forward-thinking approach.”
Emojis have taken on a bizarre level of importance within the automotive industry. Last October, Jeep complained about how the symbol used for its name on iOS devices didn’t accurately represent the brand — and it was only a few months earlier that Ford was busy teasing the pickup emoji it had pending with the Unicode Consortium. There’s marketing potential here, and everyone wants to see it work to their benefit.
While Jeep convinced Apple to disassociate the Jeep name from the generic crossover emoji, Ford’s progress has been harder to measure. The automaker’s product communications lead, Mike Levine, tweeted the symbol’s arrival late last week, but it didn’t much resemble the emoji Ford submitted. People noticed. Instead of a simplified F-Series in blue, the Unicode Consortium opted for a red truck straight out of a children’s book.
It also didn’t escape the notice of General Motors, which quickly decided to use the opportunity to kick Ford while it was down.
Ford was teasing a new pickup truck on Tuesday. No, it’s not the Bronco-based one we mentioned earlier in the day. This one is small, really small.
According to Ford’s product communications manager, Mike Levine, more details on this in-development vehicle will emerge later this week. But we already know what it is — an emoji.
Horns, middle fingers and withering glares have worked well for generations of motorists, and we don’t see a reason to change.
Well, a startup company is now threatening this tradition, and they’re doing it with one of the world’s biggest scourges — emojis. MotorMood wants to insert smiley and winky face emojis into volatile vehicular traffic situations with their new product, the imaginatively named Carmoji.
Your neighbours, or maybe even a friend or relative, helped MotorMood crowdfund $117,000 for this product, which operates via a sun visor-mounted button.