Volkswagen is sinking $US45 million ($62 million) into an unbranded ad campaign to promote the uptake of electric vehicles in the US.

The “JetStones” TV and radio campaign features theme songs from two popular Hanna-Barbera cartoons “The Jetsons” and “The Flintstones” (see video below).

But that’s only the start.

The new ad campaign camapaign is part of an astounding $US2 billion Volkswagen’s “Electrify America” division is investing in electric car infrastructure, education and awareness campaigns over the next decade.

That’s good news for ASX-listed battery metals stocks banking on a growing market for lithium, cobalt, graphite, copper, nickel and other materials needed for electric car batteries, parts and charging infrastructure.

A lack of effective marketing has been blamed for subdued uptake of electric cars in the past few years.

European lobby group Transport & Environment reported in September that “carmakers are making very little effort to market electric cars.

“While around 30 per cent of German, French and British consumers say they would consider buying an electric vehicle, on average across six major western European car markets just 2.1 per cent of car marketing spend was on zero emission vehicles and 1.6 per cent on plug-in hybrid models, the group said.

VW’s research backs that view:

“Although modern EVs [electric vehicles] have been on the road since late 2010, fewer than 50 per cent of all Americans have ever heard of a Zero Emissions Vehicle and even fewer (about 34 per cent) have ever researched one.

“This data helps support why ZEV [zero emission vehicle] market share is well below 1 per cent nationally simply because EVs are not being test driven or purchased.”

VW hopes to help change that with its new ads.

Playful campaign

VW describes the new campaign as a “playful take on the transition of personal transportation from the Stone Age to the reality of electric vehicles available today”.

“This is the first expression of a new movement to break down myths about electric vehicles,” said Guto Araki, creative director at Deutsch, the agency that created the campaign.

“We tapped into iconic theme songs from the fan-favourites ‘The Flintstones’ and ‘The Jetsons’ as a way to connect the past to the present, and to send the message that the future is electric.”

Electric car market growth

Only 3 million electric cars were on the road at the end of 2017.

But the International Energy Agency estimates the number will grow to at least 125 million – and perhaps as high as 220 million – by 2030.

But that assumes marketing picks up.

Auto makers need to focus on how much fun electric cars are to drive, Vincent Wijnen, Nissan’s Asia vice president of marketing and sales, was quoted as saying earlier this year.