It’s no secret that Toyota is not a big fan of battery-electric vehicles as the Japanese automaker is heavily invested in hydrogen fuel cell technology and hybrid cars.
But now the company, though its Lexus brand, goes as far as trash talking all-electric vehicles in shameful hybrid vehicle advertising.
Toyota was early to the hybrid game with the Prius, but where most automakers moved to plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles, the Japanese automaker stuck to hybrids and instead bet on hydrogen for electric vehicles.
Fewer people in the industry believe in that strategy every year and now Toyota tries to justify their move in some arguably shameful advertising.
They are advertising their Lexus hybrids (HEVs without plugs) as “self-charging”, having “infinite range”, and trash talks all-electric vehicles in the process.
As most all-electric vehicle owners know, range anxiety is not really a thing a few weeks into ownership. Daily commute is not an issue at all and if you are going on a trip, it simply requires some planning.
Yet, some try to scare people into range anxiety and now Lexus is apparently among them.
The automaker goes as far as claiming that their hybrids are “self-charging” (via their Canadian site):
Their logic is that the gas engine is recharging the battery pack. They claim that is “self-charging without a plug”, which, of course, they present as something inconvenient, but they make no mention of having to go to the gas station to refuel every week.
Lexus uses even worse language on their Spanish website where they used clearer range anxiety scare tactics (thanks to Pepe):
“Unlike electric cars, their technology avoid anxiety range. Never a Lexus will stop due to lack of autonomy.”
They even promise “infinite range” with their hybrids (because gasoline is, of course, an unlimited resource?):
Earlier this year, Yoshihiro Sawa, Lexus CEO, said that ‘all-electric vehicles are not yet ready for primetime‘.
Despite this mentality and anti EV language, Toyota says that it is aiming to launch 10 new BEVs worldwide by “the early 2020s.”
This kind of stuff makes me mad. It contributes to some already prevalent misinformation from a bunch of different industry players.
Let’s be clear: hybrids, even those with small battery packs, are more efficient than purely gasoline cars, but they are still entirely powered by gasoline.
The advantage of a plug-in electric vehicle is you get to choose what powers your car. In most cases, your choices are limited, but you still have some.
If you don’t like where your local utility is getting its energy, you can look into residential solar and other alternatives.
That’s just not possible with gasoline hybrids and I think Lexus is poorly representing that.
Also, if you can charge at home overnight, all-electric vehicles are undoubtedly more convenient than hybrids, which is also being misrepresented in Lexus’ marketing.
The fact that they think they need to talk down all-electric vehicles to sell their hybrids says a lot.
I think Tesla is putting a lot of pressure on them in North America right now and this is how they are responding.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.