Today TeslaMondo is reporting from the Epcot Center. Turns out there’s a renewable energy mini-exhibit, with a wall full of facts/figures about solar energy n’ stuff, and with a Chevy Volt serving as the token EV.
A few steps away sits a big amusement park ride called the Test Track. There’s a big bowtie symbol in front of it. It’s a combination roller coaster and “educational” look at the rigors of General Motors product testing.
A few minutes of Googling reveals GM sponsored a Disney flick called Tomorrowland and product-placed the Volt throughout the movie.
In fact, the two companies go all the way back to the 1964 World’s Fair.
Meanwhile, near the Epcot pedestrian entrance, Tesla has strategically planted a P85D below the monorail. It’s just kinda sitting there, plugged into a generic charger, attracting an occasional gawker.
This little scene — a Volt onstage and a Tesla kicked to the curb — begs an important question about not only the Epcot Center, but any large-scale exhibition that purports to expand our appreciation of the world around us: When do exhibitions cross the line and become straight-up, unadulterated, unfiltered, unabashed . . . advertisements? Granted, we can’t expect anything but whorish behavior from the likes of Disney. But for how much longer can Disney pretend Tesla doesn’t exist? Eventually it will have to cave in and replace the Volt — or perhaps the Bolt — with a Tesla as a valid representation of humanity’s EV frontier.
But this begs another question. Let’s say Disney decides to bite the bullet and make a serious attempt at an EV exhibit. How could it possibly keep the information fresh? No sooner would the paint dry on the exhibit than it would need updating, what with Silicon Valley’s innovative pace. So here’s the ONLY WAY to do it:
Step 1. Replace Chevy product with Tesla product.
Step 2. Install dry-erase whiteboard on the wall.
Step 3. Monitor Tesla’s website daily, and update whiteboard as necessary.
This will ensure accurate information about cost, performance, range, volume, solar integration and so on. But a whiteboard display would look pretty silly, wouldn’t it? No sillier than an adult wearing mouse ears, and Epcot has plenty of those walking around.