Lexus’ Anti-EV Ad Lives On – Still Spreads Lies

3 years ago by Eric Loveday 47

Image Via Steve Jurvetson

Image Via Steve Jurvetson

Tesla board member and world’s first Tesla Model S owner Steve Jurvetson recently posted the image seen above and the following statement, reproduced in its entirety below:

“Wow. Toyota is the world’s largest car producer, and they are spending money on stoking fear of EV futures — better to stick with the “proven” path of burning fossil fuels in subscale engines with 25% efficiency . I wonder if their employees will look back at this with pride.”

“I saw this last night in the current issue of WIRED, the one with Snowden holding the American Flag to his heart on the cover.”

Remember way back when we aired that Lexus hybrid drive video in which the automaker took cheap shots at plug-in vehicles?  Well, the Lexus commercial was met with such criticism that Lexus pulled the video, but here are a few screen shots:

Image Via Charged EVs

Image Via Charged EVs

Lexus Hybrid Commercial

Lexus Hybrid Commercial

Soon after the release of the Lexus anti-EV video, electric vehicle advocacy group Plug In America released this statement:

“Hey, Toyota, the 1990s called. They want their outdated anti-EV attack ad back. Plug-in electric vehicles charge while you’re sleeping at home, far more convenient than making a trip to a gas station and coming away smelling like carcinogens. Driving on electricity costs about one fifth what it costs to drive the average gas car and about a third what it costs to drive the most efficient hybrid. An electric drive has smooth, instant acceleration which can’t be matched by any gasoline engine. If you don’t believe me, just ask anyone driving a Toyota RAV4 EV.”

Well, it seems that Lexus’ anti-EV ad has not died yet.  Perhaps Lexus is restricting it only to print to avoid the social media uproar that followed the online release of the immediately viral video?  Or maybe Lexus still has this ad out there in an attempt to counter the fact the the Japanese automaker is losing sales to Tesla?

Lexus Losing Sales To Tesla, Admits Lexus US Marketing VP

Lexus Hybrid Commercial Rips On Plug-In Vehicles

Lexus Hybrid Drive – The Proven Way “Foward”

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47 responses to "Lexus’ Anti-EV Ad Lives On – Still Spreads Lies"

  1. Big Solar says:

    Lexus’ new motto should be Lexus; good cars, bad people.

    1. anonymous says:

      To be honest, neither that good… nothing that you cannot have from Audi, BMW or Mercedes…

    2. EV says:

      Good cars? I cant name one appealing lexus. They all have odd designs and just arent worth the money.

      1. Big Solar says:

        I always liked my 97 es300. the person that bought it fom me still drives it and it has 200k miles on it….

      2. Rob says:

        In Britain, the old V8 engines are being used in specials and kitcars as they are very well put together, near bullet proof and powerful. Say what you like about Toyota cars, but they know how to over engineer their engines!

  2. SquirrelCage says:

    In about 5-8 years this TOYOPECA ad is going to look about as silly as a Chesterfield ad looks today.

    1. Steven says:

      Hey, my parents smoked Chesterfields! I remember those adds…

      1. Jay Cole says:

        You smoked your couch?

        /couldn’t suppress the Canadian in me

  3. GSP says:

    This BS FUD campaign really makes me mad. They say don’t get mad, get even.

    How about demonstrating outside Lexus dealers and calling for a boycott of Lexus cars until they pull this BS ad and also print an apology?

    GSP

    1. Brian says:

      Better yet, get a group of EV drivers to intercept people walking into a Lexus dealer. Have those people test drive a Tesla, i3, ELR, or even a Rav4 EV. Then get those people to demand to test drive the Lexus EV…oh wait…

      1. Jeff says:

        I level 2 charged my LEAF at capitol toyota!
        Got some funny looks, but I was there with my dad because they DON’T HAVE LOANER CARS!
        talk about a tee hee hee moment!

  4. RedLeafBlueLeaf says:

    1. On the one hand, good news. Tesla is clearly Lexus’ top competitor in the top end space, so this is Lexus’ response.

    2. For EV drivers Toyota has now fully destroyed all that great green credibility they build with the hybrid synergy system. First the FCV nonsense and the bullcrap with not supporting RAV4 EV outside of CA and now this. I for one will continue to drive my existing Toyota but not even consider another Toyota or Lexus in the future. And add Honda to that black list.

    1. alain says:

      Love my Toyota tacoma , but it will be my last , i have leaf and would never go back to ice .my next truck will be electric. I don’t care how long i wait.

    2. BravelilToaster says:

      If that’s the case, then this ad is literally coming from bizarro world. You don’t have to charge a Tesla nearly that often, and when you do, it’s about 10x faster than claimed.

      This one seems aimed at the Leaf.

  5. Aaron says:

    This ad may fool Wal-Mart shoppers, but Lexus shoppers? I’m not so sure. Lexus buyers tend to be well-off, well-schooled individuals. They should be able to see through the lies. This whole ad campaign is very un-Lexus-like.

    1. pete g says:

      Worlds largest store Walmart
      Worlds largest restaurant chain McDonalds
      Worlds largest car company Toyota

      1. Rick Danger says:

        {{{POW!!}}}

  6. Scott Franco says:

    This is probably the biggest complement Toyota has paid Tesla. They are clearly feeling the pain in Lexus sales.

  7. Back in May Lexus (Toyota) and its ad agency “Team One” apologized for lying in missleading adverts. Seems they weren’t really sorry for lying, or have developed a bad case of amnesia.

    Lexus Apologizes for Anti-EV Ad
    http://green.autoblog.com/2014/05/12/lexus-apologizes-for-anti-ev-ad-plug-in-america/

  8. ffbj says:

    My ’89 Toyota keeps rolling along, but it seems that I, like Toyota, am just living in the past. Former glories will not result in future victores. You’ve got to change with the times. You can’t rest on your laurels, and other such platitudes.

  9. GoBlue88 says:

    Cripes. I’ve been a Toyota/Lexus admirer for decades, and I currently own a Lexus IS 350. Stuff like this just makes me shake my head as to what is going on inside Toyota’s corporate HQ. So unlike them to totally refuse to embrace what everyone else can plainly see is the future. Taking it further by putting out garbage like this ensures that I will not likely ever buy another Lexus.

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      What is going on is obvious….

      Money talks.

      Toyota is so invested in its hybrid technology and still trying to get back its THS investment, it will stick with it until the end.

      Prius didn’t make money until 2007/2007 model year and that didn’t even include the initial R&D $$$. Toyota tries to spread out the cost by putting the synergy drive into as many Toyota models as possible…

    2. pete g says:

      At Toyota HQ everyone is busy getting ready for the big move to Texas.

  10. krona2k says:

    Those adverts are truly outrageous!

    Of course they’ll call hybrids the proven way forward up until the point they release an EV when that will suddenly become the proven way forward.

  11. EV says:

    the lexicon lexus is using is shady and bitter

    I cant name one good looking lexus. i’ve never wanted a lexus, i’ve always thought those cars are just a waste

  12. vdiv says:

    It’s a sign of desperation.

    My Toyota boycott has extended from never buying one (alas again) to never renting or riding in one and to actively talking others out of it.

    Life is too short to drive a crappy car.

  13. Kosh says:

    Here is my wife’s “driving electric” flowchart:

    1. Charge overnight (total cost: $30/month)
    2. Drive to work
    3. Drive home
    4. Plug vehicle in
    5. Repeat

  14. Juan says:

    They are so desperate, that are hiring aggressive advertisement agencies that sadly put bad informed people to create a discrediting campaign against ev. Too bad for Toyota, they don’t have a product to complete with Tesla/Nissan/BMW/Daimler/GM, so they have to go to the dark (dirty) side. As oil is.

  15. HVACman says:

    The ad would make more sense if GM ran it and dropped the ELR into the bottom half instead of a conventional plug-less hybrid.

    Motto 1: Luxury EV when you want it, Luxury hybrid when you need it.

    Motto 2: No “on-the-road” Charging Means More Driving.

  16. Spec9 says:

    I think Toyota just wants to enjoy their lead in hybrid vehicles for as long as possible before moving onto the less profitable plug-ins. GM, Nissan, and Tesla should take advantage of their head starts in EVs & PHEVs to cement their leadership positions while Toyota stalls. (pun intended)

  17. HVACman says:

    Of course, that is just a hypothetical. GM would not want to poke at all-electric BEV competitors, as they already have the Spark EV and it appears will have their own 200-mile BEV in the near future. GM have ineffectively promoted their BEV and EREV products to-date, but they at least haven’t violated advertising rule number 1 – don’t say something negative that can come back and bite you. This Lexus ad does exactly that and Toyota will likely regret it and their current anti-EV stance somewhere along the way.

  18. Jouni Valkonen says:

    I wonder, how long established car companies can act like there was no Tesla Motors in the existence? Tesla has smashed all the myths considering electric cars.

    But this is also a failure of politicians. EV incentives should have been directed into premium category of cars. E.g. if car costs more than $40 000 before taxes, then it should have all electric drivetrain. And if there is an ICE under the hood, then there is a severe car tax implemented according average tested consumption of fuel.

    But of course people do not see it morally right if the rich 1 % is forced to pay more taxes in order to push new and better technology forward. They think that it is better to let the middle class to pay extra taxes, because middle class is doing most of the new wealth generating work. Therefore perhaps EV incentives are directed as such that they favor short ranged subcompact cars.

  19. Regulus Black says:

    I have not been a GM fan but I applaud their efforts with the Volt and the Spark.

    The bean counters obviously rule at Toyota but they are short sighted. Nissan and Tesla will have economies of scale when Toyota finally enters the EV market.

    GM should sell the Spark EV in more states.

    1. pete g says:

      I have always been a fan of GM. Even when the quality wasn’t so high, the cars have always been inexpensive and cheap to fix. Also good quality ratings are hard to come by when you cater to young drivers.

  20. John Weber says:

    I am guessing Toyota and Honda will both be out of business in 10 years. They are so far behind in batteries and electric drive trains. Fuels cells are a waste of time and money.

  21. arne-nl says:

    Think about the ad that Tesla would post in response.

    But Tesla doesn’t advertise. They don’t have to.

    Go figure…

  22. pete g says:

    The worst thing you can do to Toyota is next time you get a survey be honest. Don’t just give them all top marks cause you don’t want them pestering you on the phone.

  23. Phatcat73 says:

    Lex-Luther

  24. Jakey says:

    Like many here I’ve been a Toyota driver and owner for a while. But stuff like this makes me seriously reconsider ever buying another Toyota again.

  25. Bill Howland says:

    I also don’t get Toyota. Not all areas of the world have such a severe shortage of electricity as does Japan currently, seeing as they have to make due without 52 Nuclear Power plants (Yes, 2 are restarting soon).

    But just because your country is currently short on juice shouldn’t make you bash the concept of EV’s worldwide.

    In the US and Canada, its not a problem due to widespread (some would say ‘forced’) adoption of CFL’s and LED’s, which more than save any additional amounts EV’s have. Besides, EV’s are typically the most grid-friendly load possible, as most charging is still done overnight when there is too much baseload power anyway, so EV’s to date actually help solve a ‘grid annoyance’ and should encourage lower electric rates for all. Should.

    LEXUS products this year kinda leave me cold, with that ugly front grille, and the lofty prices, certainly a poorer value than GM’s luxury offering, the ELR.

    So, I keep asking: What is going to be the UNSUBSIDIZED price of hydrogen at the pump? If it is still $8 Per gasoline gallon equivalent, they might sell some cars in Europe, but otherwise, I don’t see any huge clamoring for H2 cars here in North America.

    Now, supposedly some group has finally perfected artificial photosynthesis that can make hydrogen directly from sunshine. If true that would change the viability of H2 vehicles. But currently, I don’t see anyone buying a high priced car, and THEN having to spend twice as much for fuel. Unless of course ‘energy industry lobbyists’ get laws passed to FORCE people to use what they themselves naturally do not want.

  26. OppChg says:

    They never pulled the video as they claimed/promised to – still there on their hybrid page. Lying liars.

  27. bb says:

    Time to short Toyota stock!

  28. Thomas J. Thias says:

    What Toyota Chairman Uchiyamada said, summer, 2012 –

    “The current capabilities of electric vehicles do not meet society’s needs, whether it may be the distance the cars can run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge.”

    What Toyota Chairman Uchiyamada really meant…

    ‘The current capabilities of >OUR< electric vehicles do not meet society's needs, whether it may be the distance the cars can run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge.'

    So, it comes down to the haves and the have nots.
    Either you have the in house IP Tech to mass produce a compelling Electric Fueled Vehicle or you must as a OEM outsource the hardware at great cost.

    Heh, go ask Elon!
    ….again! lol

    Best-

    Thomas J. Thias

    517-749-0532

    Twitter.com/AmazingChevVolt

  29. Arthur says:

    Lexus – one very ugly looking front grill. I guess Toyota knows “what our society needs”: a hybrid (as long as it is Prius). Shame on Toyota.

  30. Rob says:

    I know everybody here is biased towards electric vehicles, but they do have a point!
    If you ask any person on the street why they wouldn’t buy an electric car, I bet 99.9% of them would say it is down to the range.
    Yes I know you could say that most will manage to drive to and from work in one without running out of power, but the fear of coasting to a stand still miles away from their destination is real!
    Toyota are just using this fear to sell their cars. There is NOTHING wrong with that.
    It is called good marketing!
    Suggestions of banning their imports and protesting outside their dealerships is just plain stupid!
    If you want to fight them, do it by increasing the battery range…

    1. qwertzy says:

      Do it by not buying their cars, and trading in your Lexus for a Tesla