Automakers Drop More Than $50 Million On EV Super Bowl Ads

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3 mins read
FILE PHOTO: A computer science professor's electric car is plugged in in her garage in Irvine, California

U.S. and global automakers spent an estimated $52-56 million promoting electric vehicles during the Super Bowl on Sunday.

At least seven car makers and one charging device company purchased advertisement slots from NBC, the network that broadcast the championship game. Super Bowl spots were sold for a record $6.5 million per 30 seconds with some ads garnering up to $7 million, an NBC executive said in the fall of 2021, NBC Los Angeles reported.

Major brands like Chevrolet, General Motors, Nissan and BMW were joined by smaller companies — like Polestar, an EV company owned by Volvo, and Wallbox, a Spanish firm that specializes in at-home EV charging stations — in purchasing Super Bowl ad time, according to Car and Driver. Polestar, a Swedish company founded in 1996, took aim at global EV market leader Tesla in its ad, promising to never “conquer Mars” in reference to Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s stated goal to land a man on Mars.

“The Super Bowl is an iconic event and I’m excited to bring Polestar’s message to such a wide audience,” Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath said in a statement. “We are a young and ambitious brand. We believe in ‘no compromises’, for our design language, our sustainability efforts, and the performance of our cars, and we wanted to share that philosophy with this ad.”

“This is the perfect place to further raise awareness of our brand in the US, and beyond,” Ingenlath said.

“There is no better time to release our first U.S. commercial than during one of the most watched sporting events of the year – the Super Bowl,” Wallbox Chief Marketing Officer Barbara Calixto said.

South Korean automakers Kia and Hyundai also purchased ad time during the game.

Companies have aggressively upped their electric vehicle plans and commitments over the last year as governments have pushed policies favoring a transition away from gas-powered cars.

President Joe Biden has vowed to ensure 50% of private car sales are electric by 2030 and that every addition to the federal governments’ massive vehicle fleet is an EV by 2035. The president has also visited a number of EV factories and hosted executives at companies pushing electrification of their fleets.


In 2021, the share of total light-duty vehicle sales that were electric, hybrid or plug-in hybrid grew to 11%, according to the Energy Information Administration. Global traditional vehicle stock is expected to peak in 2038.

Tesla, which has dominated the EV market share in the U.S. for years, was one of a few companies not to buy an ad during the Super Bowl. Tesla vehicles represented a whopping 79% of all EV sales in 2020, according to Experian data.

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