Well I guess you can't blame them for trying. Desperate times call for desperate measures, they say. Lexus is at it again with their anti-EV advertising and this time they made a direct attack on the BMW i3. Still it's a little surprising that they seem so obsessed with pointing out why you don't want to buy an EV, instead of telling you why you would want to buy one of their hybrids. It seem to me that it's kind of like when a politician has nothing good to say about themselves, so they run their entire campaign on spreading FUD about their opponent. Let me recap what has led up to this latest attack.
Back in May Lexus put out some questionable information and videos on their consumer website that was highly criticized for having incorrect content regarding electric vehicles. In fact the information was so outdated and incorrect that it brought about a response from Plug In America:
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 They want their outdated anti-EV attack ad back.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. (disclosure: I am currently a board member of Plug In America)
2) Turn off A/C and radio to conserve power
3) Download app to locate charging stations
4) Get lost searching for charger
5) Experience surge in range anxiety
6) Finally find charger
7) Plug in and wait four hours
OK, so after it was clear this was a full-on mudslinging campaign, and certainly an indication Lexus was worried about the pressure they were getting from their electric competition. So now they put out this five minute long video, aimed at showing how miserable it would be to take a BMW i3 on a long drive. I'm not arguing the fact that the i3 isn't the perfect road trip vehicle, and using the BEV version would make a 300+ mile trip an adventure of sorts, especially today without the availability of DC quick charge stations. However it's kind of silly to think someone would head off into the desert on a 302 mile trip with an 81 mile EV without thinking about it first. That would be like taking a smart car on a fishing trip up a dirt-road mountain, knowing you have to cross a few streams and rocky passes along the way. Horses for courses, they say. In any event, yes we know the BEV i3 would take a long time to make this 302 mile trip, but how about if the i3 they used had the optional range extender?
While it still wouldn't be the perfect vehicle for this type of trip, the i3 REx could have done it much faster than the BEV i3. Yes, they would have had to stop five times to fill up the tiny gas tank, but since it's so small, it only takes about two minutes total (I've timed it!) for a gas station pit stop. So figure about 10 to 20 minutes added to the trip as compared to the Lexus hybrid. However as depicted in the video they took a BEV i3 by mistake, not knowing they'd have to stop to plug it in right? Maybe not. If you watch the video very closely, at the 4.23 mark for a brief moment you can see the top edge of the gas filler door just as one of the actors moves. So Lexus actually used an i3 REx for at least this scene and perhaps the entire video. Could they have used multiple i3's or did they photoshop out the gas filler door for most of the video, but missed it on this one brief scene. To me, that makes it so much more egregious. If the car they were driving in the video actually could have done that road trip without any issue, and Lexus lied about its capabilities, photoshopped out the evidence and presented it as incapable of making the trip in a reasonable time frame then they should be taken to task.
|In this picture you can also see the corner of the gas filler door. It is difficult to see here in this low-res picture but when enlarged the corner of the filler door is clear to see.|
One last comment. I've owned seven Toyotas in my life, and currently own a 1999 Tacoma which I use to plow my driveway and parking lot, and haul large items for my restaurant. However I'm done with them. I can't support a company that has such an anti electric vehicle stance as they do, going as far as lying about them and continuously reciting the rhetoric that nobody wants them. So I have this question for Toyota: If nobody wants them, why are they outselling your hybrids?
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.