Every automaker has its own electrification strategy. Tesla, Nissan and BMW are pushing pure EVs. GM and Ford have each put most of their chips on plug-in hybrids, while hedging their bets with a low-volume EV.
Toyota, and its luxury division Lexus, firmly believe hybrids are the way to go. Lexus has five hybrid models in its stable, and we’re sure that all are high-quality, reasonably fuel-efficient vehicles.
However, in a current online ad, Lexus portrays a conventional hybrid as something that’s superior to a plug-in vehicle, a dubious premise that the company attempts to support with a couple of highly misleading statements.
In the ad, an image of a public charger is accompanied by the words “Reserved for someone with four hours to kill,” and a picture of a shiny Lexus hybrid is paired with the slogan “No charging means more driving.”
The charger in the ad looks almost exactly like an AeroVironment DC fast charger (pictured below) that takes about 30 minutes (not four hours) to fully charge any EV that it is compatible with. And, while it’s true that the Level 2 type of charger does take about four hours for a full charge, any EV owner would be bewildered at the idea that they would need to sit around waiting for that to happen.
Most EV owners seldom need to stop at a public charging station. At least two studies (from Recargo and the EV Project) have already made clear that most charging takes place while the car owner is sleeping or working, and public chargers are almost always used for a quick top-up, not a full charge from empty. So no EV driver ever needs to have “four hours to kill” for charging.
Furthermore, the disingenuous Lexus ad seems to be trying to whip up a rivalry where none exists. EVs and hybrids are different products that appeal to people with different needs. If you have a frequent short commute, an EV is for you. If you make a lot of long trips, you buy a hybrid. Once a potential buyer understands how the different types of electrified vehicles work, the choice is usually quite clear.
Automakers should be trying to give consumers more facts and accurate information, not muddying the waters with falsehoods and misleading innuendos. There’s plenty of that sort of thing out there already.
AeroVironment DCFC image courtesy of AeroVironment, Inc.