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EV users want a charger emoji since ‘gas pump + lightning bolt’ doesn’t cut it



Most Tesla, Chevy Bolt, or Nissan Leaf drivers probably don’t care that Friday is World Emoji Day, but this year the electric vehicle community is fighting for better representation within the selection of digital icons available on keyboards. 

Charging network Electrify America (EA) is leading the charge with a new design idea for an EV charger emoji. It’ll be submitted to the Unicode Consortium, the group that determines which emoji are officially available on keyboards to use while texting, messaging, tweeting, and generally using the internet. Last year EA submitted an emoji design for a car plugged into a charging station, but it was rejected.

Get this onto keyboards, ASAP.

Get this onto keyboards, ASAP.

This year EA is back with a new design to counter the internal-combustion engine vehicle’s gas pump emoji that’s long existed within the thousands of pictograms. The consortium said in last year’s rejection that the combination of the gas pump and lightning bolt emoji can effectively convey what electric charging is all about. 

As anyone with an EV can attest, charging is nothing like pumping gas. How many ICE drivers can re-fuel in their garage? But also, there are about 150,000 gas stations throughout the U.S., while public EV charging infrastructure is only starting to take off and support wider EV adoption.

As more drivers go electric —there were 450,000 EV car sales in 2015 which then jumped to 2.1 million sales in 2019 — they’re hoping to see their lifestyle choice reflected in the emoji world. 

EA launched a campaign Tuesday to promote its submission, which takes into account the consortium’s feedback to focus more on the charger itself than the scene of a vehicle plugged into a charger for the emoji design.

There’s also a hashtag to spread the word on social media (#EVmoji) and a petition to persuade the Unicode Consortium to get charging.

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