He’s the star of some of the biggest movies ever made, but veteran actor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s latest role is… well, a little unconvincing.
The cigar-chewing Austrian dons a terrible wig and short to play a shonky used car salesman, whose main aim is to dissuade car buyers from choosing anything that’s remotely good for the environment.
Kind of ironic, really, when Arnie is credited with single-handedly making the military-spec Hummer cool… but not surprising when you learn that he also commissioned the world’s first ever all-electric Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen back in 2016, which cost him a cool $1.6m to have built.
Arnie (centre) with the team from Kreisel, who converted his G-Wagen
So happy was he with the rework that one of his four Hummers is undergoing the same conversion.
Okay, so the ad is a bit of a shocker, but what’s more interesting is the fact that the former governor of California has joined with a cohort of companies and government bodies to try and convince Americans to give up their petrol-guzzling ways.
He’s no stranger to the environmental fight; as governor, he single-handedly took on the US’s biggest carmakers, pushing through a raft of laws that limited greenhouse gas emissions in 14 states.
Now, though, he joins Veloz, a multi-faceted body set up to encourage the take-up of EV usage in the US. GM, Honda, Nissan and Kia are amongst the members, along with power companies, government bodies like the California Department of Transportation, Uber, charging station manufacturer ChargePoint and many more.
“We chose humour—not fear or fury like some people—because negative emotions are burning people out,” said Schwarzenegger. “Humour, on the other hand, lights people up. Besides, we figure the world could use a little laughter just about now.”
‘Veloz is a nonprofit organisation made up of a high-powered, diverse board and members from key sector companies, agencies and nonprofits,’ reads a statement on its website. ‘With unparalleled stakeholder leadership, Veloz is uniquely able to accelerate the shift to electric cars through public-private collaboration, public engagement and policy education innovation.’
And, given Arnie’s cameo appearance, it’s got some real star-attracting power, as well. “I want to prove to the world that it is not the car that is [pollutive],” he told US TV talk show doyen and avid car nut Jay Leno. “It is the technology under the hood that is the polluter.”
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