Lexus Attacks the BMW i3, but was it the Range Extender model?

BMW i | November 11th, 2014 by 5
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Lexus is at it again with their anti-EV advertising and this time they made a direct attack on the BMW i3. The latest video ad …

Lexus is at it again with their anti-EV advertising and this time they made a direct attack on the BMW i3. The latest video ad aims to once again point out the advantages of hybrid cars over electric vehicles.

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 In fact the information was so outdated and incorrect that it brought about a response from Plug In America: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 They want their outdated anti-EV attack ad back.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)

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Lexus got the message and a company spokesman pulled the incorrect information from their website and issued an apology. However about four months later they ran an ad that showed a lonely EV charging station, alone in a dark parking lot with the 8 steps to driving electric:

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1) Closely monitor charge status
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
8) Repeat

OK, so after that is 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 the using 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 was had the optional range extender?

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It’s very hard to see n this screen shot, but the outline of the top of the gas filler door is right behind the guy on the right, about waist high. If you watch the video and pause it at the 4.23 mark, you can see it better.

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While it still wouldn’t be the perfect vehicle for this type of trip, it could have done it without any issue. 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 seems to have actually used an i3 REx for at least this scene and perhaps the entire video. Could they have used multiple i3s or did they Photoshop out the gas filler door for most of the video, but missed it on this one brief scene?

You can see in this grab that the horizontal lines do not match up.

You be the judge!

[Source: bmwi3blogspot]

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