Lexus bashes electric cars (again) in new ad campaign

It’s no secret that Toyota prefers hybrids and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles to battery-electric cars, but if you didn’t know, just take a look at the latest ad for luxury brand Lexus.

Despite previous attack ads that ultimately warranted an apology from officials, Lexus is back at it, according to the International Business Times.

Running in print publications like Wired, the ads emphasize “range anxiety,” describing locating a charging station as a stressful hassle, and claiming the radio and air conditioning use will appreciably shorten a car’s range.

You don’t have to worry about any of that with a Lexus hybrid, the ads claim. Of course, that’s because the hybrid relies heavily on a gasoline engine, which is exactly what most electric car buyers want to avoid.


The new campaign follows one from this past spring that enraged electric car supporters. Lexus was forced to retract a video that claimed it takes an average of four hours to charge an electric car, and underestimated the capability of the current charging infrastructure, after fans and advocacy groups made noise.

Yet Lexus makes the same four-hour charging time claim in these print ads. While average charging times are still fairly slow – around three hours for many electric cars from a 240-volt Level 2 source – they aren’t quite that slow. With the proliferation of DC fast-charging stations, they’ll only get quicker.

Lexus says it’s just emphasizing the convenience of its hybrids. A spokesman told Autoblog Green that the ads are meant to show that driving a hybrid is exactly like driving a standard gasoline car.

It’s not surprising that a car brand that sells more luxury hybrids than anyone else would want to attack another type of green car. What is surprising is that Lexus is being so brazen, even after kicking the hornet’s nest of electric car advocacy once, and getting stung.

Posted by Stephen Edelstein

Stephen's obsession with cars is almost too hard to quantify. From the latest electric car to the classics, he's interested in anything with four wheels. When he's not writing, he can be found searching the Internet for a car he hasn't seen before, or reading a good book. He has a Master's Degree in History from Clark University. He currently lives in Connecticut.

  1. Just because it’s a Lexus doesn’t make it any less a gas burner. Toyota is just a Japanese version of GM. They are fossil fuel all the way. There are thousands of parts in an ICE age vehicle. Not so with electric vehicles. Less parts less profitability. Oh not to mention the stakes in Big Oil they have. Electric vehicles and alternative energy related to them would not be backed by some of the billionaires of the world if it wasn’t the future. 4 years there’s been massed produced electric cars. In 4 more it will be amazing the selection and range of cars. The infrastructure to charge them will have grown tremendously. Look what Tesla has done in barley two around the world no less.


    1. Oil and billionaire haters, like EV Adv, would drop drilling cold and spend taxpayer’s money on unproven technologies without a shred of concern about destroying the economy. As I see it, Lexus produces reliable cars with a proven market share, while developing hybrids to improve performance utilizing non-carbon based technologies. Technology is developing fast; just consider the latest news about road testing Quant, the German fuel-cell battery supercar. Hence, Tesla might just in the process of investing a ton of money (private and public) into an already outdated battery technology, while Lexus, viable company making money, would be in the position to keep implementing new strategies.


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