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Lexus Hybrids Muddying Electric Vehicle Waters

Electric Vehicles Have Enough Opponents, Lexus!
Electric Vehicles Have Enough Opponents, Lexus!

Look anywhere, at politicians, journalists, ignorantes, even in some of the comments here on The Green Optimistic, and you’ll find electric vehicle opponents.

One place I wouldn’t expect have expected to see an opponent, however, comes from a recent ad campaign touting Lexus’ and, by extension, Toyota’s hybrid electric vehicles. Toyota Synergy Drive and Lexus Hybrid Drive are, indeed, the most advanced on the planet, but the ad campaign doesn’t focus on those facts. Instead, Lexus focuses on some classic electric vehicle opponent hype. It’s bad enough that this hype is already out there, “Electric vehicles are environmental abominations” (they’re not), and “Electric vehicles take ‘forever’ to recharge” (they don’t).

I’m not sure who came up with this ad campaign, but I believe that Lexus dropped the ball when they approved this trash

Statements inferring that “electric vehicles need four hours to recharge” and “no charging means more driving” just don’t belong on the market. Studies have shown that most charging takes place when drivers are asleep or at work, and there’s no driving going on at those times, so an LII EV charging station doesn’t impact the owner in the least. Public-access fast-charging stations, typically located at rest stops and near convenience stores and restaurants, charge in about half-an-hour, meaning electric vehicle drivers are hardly “waiting around” for their cars to charge. Lexus says Lexus Hybrid Drive is the “proven way forward,” and I agree that hybrid electric vehicles are a good interim step, but are they the future? I believe Lexus dropped the ball on this one.

Image © Lexus

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  1. LoneWolffe jpwhitehome  Adding a plug to a FCEV would do half of what you propose. Adding a Fuel Cell to a PHEV would do it all.

    I agree with you that the two technologies will co-exist, it doesn’t have to be a battle to the death like VHS/Betamax.

  2. jpwhitehome  That’s what I’ve been noticing. Of course Toyota doesn’t want to see all its HFC R&D money go to waste, but ignoring a large portion of the market isn’t going to work out. I believe there is a place for both technologies, HFC and EV, but perhaps different segments. EV infrastructure is practically everywhere, and most people charge at home anyway. HFC infrastructure, at least until it gets cheaper to implement, will most likely be limited to fleet operations.
    perhaps the best way forward is a combination of all three technologies, Plug-In Multi-Fuel Hybrid Electric Vehicle that can run on gasoline, hydrogen, or battery. The best of all worlds, but how much would it cost?

  3. Toyota are not keen on battery electrics. They are committed to Hydrogen vehicles and are happy to try and harpoon the battery electrics until they can introduce hydrogen vehicles. They want to be sure battery electrics don’t get a hold in the marketplace so their hydrogen cars have a better chance of success. Even though hydrogen cars share the same basic electric drivetrain, they will underplay that fact and tout hydrogen as having the same characteristics as gas with regard to rapid refueling, but just cleaner.

  4. awesomeepicguy123  If I was high… nahhh. Yes, Lexus and Toyota hybrid system is the most-advanced in the world, coupled with great conventional vehicle technology, and I’m not putting them down for that, not in the least! Hybrid electric vehicles offer the best available and most viable at the moment, but it won’t last forever.
    On the other hand, they really shouldn’t be shooting themselves in the foot by putting down the supposed “limitations” of electric vehicles. The future of transportation is going to require zero emissions technology, and hybrid electric vehicles are not ZEVs.
    I believe I mentioned these points in my article.

  5. Since there are: 1) Full-time EV, plug-ins (Tesla); 2) Full-time
    EV, Plug-ins w/gasoline on-board engine generators (Caddy ELR); and 3) Typical
    Hybrids alternating EV/Gas engines, Lexus/Toyota is guilty of typical deceptive
    advertising.  Sour Grapes on the deception, but the obvious deception is
    probably not apparent to the casual or prospective EV vs Hybrid consumer.
    Moreover, this simply takes a swipe at all “plug-ins”
    and, since they mentioned “luxury” and “SUV”, in particular
    Tesla (with it’s upcoming SUV) and Cadillac ELR/Volt.  Notice that the ad
    first mentions “luxury”, which to me targets the $85-100k market
    (which is exorbitant, but the going price for any luxury plug-in).  With
    the overall quality of Lexus/Toyota, in general, they make a strong point,
    especially since you can get the same sexy “technology packages” in
    the Lexus as available in the $85-$100k plug-ins.
    What’s funny to me is, I own a 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, which is
    a true “luxury” Hybrid that’s priced at less than half (MSRP $35k) of
    the Tesla/Caddy duo – but certainly, because it’s a typical non plug-in Hybrid,
    it escapes the ridicule of the Lexus ad.  What’s even funnier is, that the
    joke’s really on me, because under the skin it’s all licensed Toyota technology
     –  I supported Ford because compared to G.M. and Chrysler, they are
    light years ahead in the domestic green car arena.

  6. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this ad, from what I see. You as
    the author are misunderstanding the whole ad. It was an EXAMPLE that it
    took 4 hours to charge an EV. Lexus DID emphasize how good their
    technology is and how it dominates the market. Were you high on
    something when you wrote this article? I have a feeling you were.


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