Lexus Refuses To Pull Anti-EV Ad – Still Exists Both Online And In Print


Just a few days ago, InsideEVs posted the following:

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.”

Lexus Print Ad Via Steve Jurvetson

Lexus Print Ad Via Steve Jurvetson

Upon seeing Lexus’ anti-EV print ad, we stated this:

“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?”

Well, as it turns out, Lexus hasn’t pulled the anti-EV ad from the Internet.  In fact, it’s still on Lexus’ YouTube site.

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 promised to review the inaccurate material presented in the video and adjust as necessary.  As AutoblogGreen reported at the time:

“The videos were produced by Team One, Lexus’ ad agency. Exactly where the information came from and how it made it to the website is unclear, but Lexus spokesman Moe Durand said that Lexus apologizes for offending anyone and has taken the incorrect videos down. The company will review all the materials and alter and adjust the campaign as necessary, he said.”

We see no adjustments made to the video to remove the false claims against electric vehicles, so clearly Lexus is going against its word then.  Oh wait…we do notice one change.  Watch closely and at the end of the video you’ll see that Lexus fixed a typo that we pointed out quite sometime ago.  “Foward” is now “Forward.”

"Foward" Now Changed To "Forward"

Screen Cap From Old Video

Screen Cap From New Video

Screen Cap From New Video




What was it that Plug In America stated upon seeing Lexus’ anti-EV ad? Oh yeah…it went something like this:

“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.”

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”


Image Via ChargedEVs

Categories: Toyota, Videos


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19 Comments on "Lexus Refuses To Pull Anti-EV Ad – Still Exists Both Online And In Print"

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I love seeing the ad. What says the change is imminent more than this. The percentage of luxury sales lost to EVs, primarily Tesla, are far greater than the rest of the market. Elon has already reached parity in the luxury market. Just imagine where they go from here in the years right in front of us. If I were Lexus, I would be crapping in my pants too.

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

It seems we are somewhere in between the laugh and fight stages. In other words, getting close to winning.

It’s the undertones of Jurvetson’s brief tweet, that bear repeating. Toyota had the stones to put their ad in an issue of “Wired”, with a feature trying to define “American”. You don’t have to be a flag waver to let form follow function.

Hybrid, for people who don’t own an outlet.

I will probably be stoned for saying so, but I kinda embrace that. For the hard core ICE owner it is a real up hill battle. For the HEV hybrid owner, they spend years behind the wheel enjoying the extra MPG from a “battery”. They might support the add or the outlet comment to justify their purchase, but somewhere in the back of their grey matter they start looking to what is next. IMO, this is one of those times where even negative press is helping acknowledge the existence. Our community is still only a couple of percent at best.

Steve Jurvetson isn’t the only one to read Wired magazine, to be appalled by the Coyota slander, and to have mentioned it in the social media. Be as it may the ad makes it clear and is the last straw, I will never drive, promote, or patronize (if i can help it) another Coyota product again.

At least their ad maker used a spell checker this time.

What gives the Lexus anti-EV ads more ‘fuel’ is the backwards focus in EV marketing and early adopters. The strength of the current ‘commuter’ 100 mile EV is that ALL of your charging CAN be done at home, in your garage, no lines, no waiting, while you sleep for daily commuting, for about $3. And if your daily round trip commute is longer than your battery range, you bought the wrong size battery for your commute. If you want a long distance EV today, buy a Tesla or buy a plug-in hybrid. But trying to travel long distance in a 100 mile commuter EV and publishing the unnecessary difficulties, exaggerating the range/charging limitations, only hurts current EV adoption. What Toyota is capitalizing on is just that. The old gas station mentality of new commuter EV adopters thinking they NEED to charge away from home(even when they have enough range for their daily round trip commute, and constantly complaining/blogging about not having enough public charging stations. And what the general public hears is….. ‘there are not enough charging stations to support an EV for my daily commute, so don’t get one.” So I wouldn’t blame Toyota for just creating a marketing… Read more »

When something like this is mentioned the idea of the guy at the gas pump getting hit in the head with a tire iron by some other aggressive dude over getting gas comes to mind. Plugging someone or getting plugged by a tire iron is a main theme of the end of oil documentaries and movies.

They could set up a commercial around not being the guy who gets plugged with the tire iron at the gas station.

5 years ago Toyota was able to charge a premium price for its vehicles. Today toyotas sell at a discount.

Tesla is about to release the Model X. All indications are that this should be a high quality car with sales much higher than the Model S
if I was Toyota I’ll be scared too.

The worst part of driving a hybrid is getting home with the battery gauge nearly empty and knowing there’s nothing that can be done to prevent the gas engine from firing up as soon as the car is turned back on. Lexus’s aversion to plugging in makes no sense, as the simple addition of a low wattage charger and 110V plug could greatly increase their efficiency on short trips. Sure, it wouldn’t be as good as true plug-in hybrids, but it would take advantage of what’s otherwise wasted capacity. Every hybrid needs a plug.

Getting them to pull the ad would be as simple as getting politicians to stop lying about their merits or how despicable their opponent is in the next election cycle.

This type of ad has such a negative polarizing effect that there is no way I would ever consider (nor suggest to friends) buying a Lexus. As the owner of both an ancient Toyota wagon that refuses to die and a Gen1 Honda Insight, and a previous fan of both companies, I am saddened by this recent anti-BEV trend by both Toyota/Lexus and Honda, as we know that both companies are very capable of producing beautiful BEVs if they wanted to. From a practical standpoint, this ad is BS, as, for example, we are very happily using our Mitsubishi i-MiEV (EPA range = 62miles) for well over 90% of of family’s daily driving, having accumulated over 30,000miles on it to date. A ‘full tank’ at home every morning is priceless, and visiting a gas station I now find revolting.

I think Toyota made the mistake of both dismissing and underestimating Tesla, just as GM and Ford did years ago when Toyota became their main competition.
Toyota assumed that Tesla, like the other US car manufacturers, would make crap cars that no one wants. They were wrong and now their luxury brand is suffering as a result.

So much for Lexus’ “apology.” They must have been real insincere.


Someone with more skill than me should remake the ad, except point out the disadvantages of having to go to a stinky, messy, dirty gas station every week, walking away smelling like fuel, and getting old gum on your dress shoes.


Drive home, plug in, eat dinner.
Wake up, leave.

When you are competing against cars that run on fuel that cost the equivalent of $1 per gallon, fuel that you can make at home on your roof, you have to resort to ads like this.

There are only a few more years left before everyone who drives a car understands the fundamental advantages of EVs. Word about something this good gets around…

i’ll choose electric, which is the proven way forward

By showing this ad Lexus shows everyone how afraid it is of electric propulsion system since they don’t have one as advanced or as effective like, say Tesla. They say that their hybrid vehicles have helped save 300 million gallons of fuels but they couldn’t stop using them in these days of spiralling fuel prices.

Toyota does not have a lot of intellectual property in the lithium ion space. So they are at a big disadvantage. It’s better business to create confusion over what is “green” and “easy to live with” than to do nothing and loose sales.