Want an Electric-Car Emoji? VW's Electrify America Has Launched a Petition

Photo credit: Electrify America
Photo credit: Electrify America

From Car and Driver

  • After being turned down with its EV emoji proposal last year, Volkswagen's EV organization, Electrify America, is back with an improved icon that focuses on the charger, not the car.

  • The group has set up an online petition for supporters to chime in, and it currently stands at around 800 signatures.

  • If approved, we wouldn’t see the new icon until September 2022, thanks to COVID-19–related delays.

It's not real until there's an emoji for it. That's the world we live in, right? If so, then get ready for electric vehicles to make true progress once the Unicode Consortium agrees that what we really need right now is an EV emoji.


Electrify America, the organization formed to spend the $2 billion that Volkswagen was required to pay out to promote electric vehicles after Dieselgate, has proposed a new EV icon to the Consortium for possible inclusion in that group's upcoming emoji update. The icon is a simple EV charger, similar to the gas-pump emoji that already exists, but with a plug instead of a pump handle.

Photo credit: Electrify America
Photo credit: Electrify America

Last year, the Consortium denied EA's first suggestion for a new EV emoji, saying that smartphone users should instead just use the gas-pump emoji and a lightning bolt to signify an electric vehicle. EA says that this isn't exactly a good solution and that it believes "the Unicode solution of continuing to represent EV charging with a Gas Pump Emoji is not a forward-thinking approach." EA's new emoji proposal did take the Consortium's suggestion into account, though, and has added a lightning-bolt icon to the charger itself.

Photo credit: Electrify America
Photo credit: Electrify America

To drum up online support for the new icon, EA has created a petition. It explains that Electrify America wants to do more than just give Elon Musk a new thing to tweet. Alongside building an EV charging network, the group promotes EV education and awareness and, "with millions of text messages sent every day, we think an EV Charger emoji can help promote electric vehicle adoption." As of this writing, around 800 people have signed.

Earlier this year, the Consortium approved a new pickup-truck emoji, but it will be a while before any EV icon becomes available to send out. As with everything else, COVID-19 is delaying new emojis from hitting our screens. The next major emoji release (part of the Unicode Standard) will be version 14, which was supposed to come out in March 2021 but will now be released for companies to integrate in September of next year and will then be available on smart devices in 2022.

Thankfully for EA, that means that any new proposed emojis also have more time to be submitted. The Consortium's Emoji Subcommittee says it will accept new emoji character proposals until September 1, 2020.

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