Toyota & Hyundai Ads Pinged By UK Watchdog Over Dodgy Charging Claims

Toyota & Hyundai Ads Pinged By UK Watchdog Over Dodgy Charging Claims

Toyota and Hyundai have had adverts for their electric cars spiked by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over claims made about the charging speeds of two electric cars.

In an ad for the recently announced Toyota bZ4x, the company claimed that drivers would be able to charge their car to 80 per cent in “approximately 30 minutes*.”

The asterisk linked to text further down that said “Charging times subject to local circumstance. Rapid charging power ratings can vary by location.”

A complainant said that the claim was misleading as it only focused on the charging speed available with a 150 kW fast charging system, something not widely available on UK roads. Toyota, meanwhile, responded that while the market for fast charging is growing rapidly in the UK it understood that there were barriers to adoption.

In fact, Toyota said that at the time the ad appeared data from electric charging company Zap Map showed that there were 419 charging points at 134 locations in the UK. Of those, 30 points at seven locations were in Scotland and nine points at two locations were in Wales.

The ASA said that consumers would interpret Toyota’s claim in the ad to mean that the bZ4x would always achieve an 80 per cent charge in half an hour and that the “Charging times subject to local circumstance” caveat was unclear. What’s more, real-world factors including battery temperature, ambient temperature and the age and condition of the battery would also impact charging times and were not addressed.

Hyundai, on the other hand, had three adverts for its IONIQ 5 pinged by the ASA including a prominent digital billboard in London’s Picadilly Circus that stated: “10 per cent to 80 per cent charge in 18 minutes using 350kw charger.”

Further ads on YouTube and in a digital marketing brochure for the IONIQ 5 repeated the claim which were again challenged over being misleading.

Hyundai told the ASA that it considered the ability to promote charging speeds to be “essential” to help customers find the right vehicle. But, the ASA said that consumers would understand that the car could achieve the stated charging time when connected to a 350 kW fast charger regardless of any external factors with the vehicle.

The Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) and advert watchdog Ad Standards have been focusing more heavily on claims in adverts that pertain to the environment with a review of its environmental claims code.

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