BMW: “Born Electric” - 60s
There must have been a time when the burgeoning technology of the petrol engine was in its infancy and there was virtually no supporting infrastructure. Petrol stations would have been scarce and early adopters must have been ridiculed by those convinced they would run out of fuel unless they managed their journeys with careful planning.
We don't need to try to hard to picture this scenario as it has been duplicated over the last few years since electric cars have edged cautiously on to our roads. Even with the benefit of the internet to help early adopters negotiate their charging needs, there has long been a sense that these cars aren't quite there yet. In truth, this hasn't been entirely down to the infrastructure issue, it's also been down to a sense that electric vehicles shouldn't be taken entirely seriously - that they are not quite 'proper' cars.
But a tipping point has been looming and this excellent commercial for BMW's latest electric model suggests it may have arrived.
We've all noticed a growing number of recharging points popping up on our city streets. Logically enough, they are often situated alongside urban parking bays to allow our cars to multi-task while we spend time in the city. Their visibility will be very reassuring to those whose main resistance is built on unease about the lack of infrastructure.
And with our minds more relaxed about the principle of electric cars, we're able to focus on more traditional automotive attributes. Into this breach steps a commercial that - at one level - makes very little of the vehicle's electricness. Instead, it folds into everyday life like any other car... and that's very much the point. While delivering a greener, more responsible outcome, this car doesn't look as though it forces us to compromise in any way. Director Lino Russell presents us with a dynamic exhibition of modern life which presses the car's environmental credentials by subconsciously comparing it to a bicycle... but which mainly just makes it look like a very nice family car perfect for modern city life.
Now, if we can just make sure all our electricity is being generated without burning fossil fuels, we might just about be able to save the human race.