Ford, Yahoo! Join in a Reality Effort to Promote New EV

ford, detroit, Leon Kaye, yahoo, silicon valley, electric vehicles, EVs, Focus Electric, ford focusReports of the death of electric vehicles (EVs) and Yahoo may be severely exaggerated. Ford and the Silicon Valley dot-com pioneer will partner on a new reality show program, Plugged In, that will promote the launch of the automaker’s new Focus Electric.

The attempt to target millennials, which is also Yahoo’s first attempt at broadcasting a reality series, could be a boost for the car and the global online media giant. Despite the fact that most of deny watching reality shows, the truth is that 99 percent of us love them, and the other one percent are liars. To that end, Yahoo and Ford are producing this show on the cheap: Magical Elves, which has given us shows like Bravo’s Top Chef, will produce the series.

The series will start in May and will be targeted to markets where the Focus Electric will be available. Naturally those metropolitan areas will be some usual suspects: the Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Seattle, Boston, Raleigh, Austin and even Atlanta. By the end of this year, the campaign will roll out to a total of 19 markets. Viewers will have the chance to watch two-person teams compete against each other in a sequence of challenges focused on the chance to win one of Ford’s new EVs. Viewers will be able to engage with the show’s 10 weekly episodes via social media by uploading pictures to Flickr. So far the series sounds like a combination of The Amazing Race and Survivor as teams scrape until the winning one wins the grand prize, which is of course, a Ford Focus Electric.

Each episode will be about 10 minutes in length and have “celebrity” hosts. No word yet whether judges can pull a save like the trio can on American Idol or if Tabatha Coffey will step in and take over any of the “cultural gems” that will be showcased in the show.

The price of the Electric Focus will be $40,000 before government incentives–not a shabby grand prize. The convergence of Detroit and Silicon Valley is a gamble, but one that will pay off if EVs continue to gain acceptance among America’s drivers.

Leon Kaye, based in California and who has recently returned from the Middle East, is a sustainability consultant and the editor of He also contributes to Guardian Sustainable Business. You can follow him on Twitter.

Photo courtesy of Ford.

Based in Fresno, California, Leon Kaye has written for TriplePundit since 2010. He has lived across the U.S., as well as in South Korea, Abu Dhabi and Uruguay. Some of Leon's work can also be found in The Guardian, Sustainable Brands and CleanTechnica. You can follow him on Twitter (@LeonKaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost).

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