Hyundai & Toyota ads misleading in the UK says ASA

The British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned two electric car campaigns by Toyota and Hyundai. The manufacturers had advertised their EV models with claims about fast-charging capability, but the ASA says the information given is misleading.

Toyota advertised that bZ4X can be charged to 80 per cent in about 30 minutes with a 150-kW fast charger and added the text “making electric easy”. The ad went on claiming drivers could “easily find rapid-charging points in a number of public locations”, especially in areas where “drivers were most likely to need them”, such as main travel points on motorways and large arterial roads. Hyundai claimed the Ioniq 5 could be charged from 10 per cent to 80 per cent in 18 minutes with a 350-kW charger.

This is what ASA mostly take issue with. While the fast-charging capability of the car may be true, according to the ASA, these claims about charging times are misleading, as they can only be achieved under optimal conditions and is only useful with an adequate number of fast chargers.

The watchdog added the manufacturers had given the impression that it was “relatively easy” to gain access to such fast-charging stations across the UK and Ireland. “We concluded that the claims were not substantive and were misleading because the advertisements omitted material information about the factors that could significantly affect the advertised charging time and limitations on availability,” ASA said.

One could debate whether this is Toyota’s or Hyundai’s fault if infrastructure hasn’t gotten up to speed.

In another case, the advertising authority recently banned the energy company Shell from placing certain advertisements of its charging activities because they were misleading with regard to Shell’s overall environmental impact. In Shell’s case, ASA said the adverts did not provide material information about the oil corporation’s involvement in more polluting fossil fuel-related activities.


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