Vauxhall electric car ad banned for telling porkies

24 August 2012

vauxhallElectric cars! They're going to save the world aren't they? Yeah. Course they are. Anyway, some people want in on the electric car revolution in their bid to feel a little better about being a lazy sloven with increasingly weak knees.

With that, the car industry is going mad to show you their electric wares. However, in the case of Vauxhall, when they tell you about their electric car that has a 360-mile range, it all seems a bit to good to be true.

That's because it was. You see, the electric batteries in the Vauxhall Ampera actually only do 50 miles and if you want to do more, you'll have to stick some petrol in it. Rather misleading to say that in an advert, right? Well, that's precisely why the ASA have charged them £30,000 and banned the commercial that says that.

The Advertising Standards Authority said the car firm should have been more upfront about the use of the petrol engine which kicks in after your piddling battery has died, but Vauxhall claimed that the Ampera is a truly electric car because the petrol engine only acts as an on-board generator for the electric motor. BUT IT STILL USES PETROL.

The watchdog said: "We considered that throughout the ad the emphasis was on the fact that the car was being driven electrically, and that most viewers would not understand that the car was in some circumstances being powered by electricity generated with a petrol engine. Because it did not clearly explain how the vehicle worked in extended range mode, we concluded that the ad was misleading."

TOPICS:   Motoring   Advertising


  • Alex
    Well the quoted range is about three times that of any PEV. The Ampera falls into the class of EV (electric vehicle) know as a PHEV (Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicle). Pure electric cars like the Nissan LEAF are PEV (Plug in Electric Vehicles). The final subset of EV for the complete set are HEV (hybrid electric vehicles) like the Civic hybrid or some of the Prius.
  • Idi A.
    Thanks Alex. What about my Sinclair C5?
  • Alex
    That's an LPV (Leg Powered Vehicle) nowadays isn't it? Be astonished if any are still working :D
  • Mr M.
    How does a generator that charges the batteries ever work out more efficient than a combustion engine?
  • Chewbacca
    @Alex Ever considered getting one of those AAL's (an actual life)?
  • ChewbaccaIsAKnob
    @Chewbacca All you do in all your comments is act like a complete twat. Maybe its you who should get a life!
  • Electric N.
    [...] Bitterwallet [...]
  • Electric r.
    [...] Bitterwallet [...]
  • Chewbacca
    @ChewbaccalsAKnob (wow, only one typo, well done you - did mummy help?) I'm glad to hear you're a fan of my comments, indeed they're aimed at people of your esteem. So thanks, and thanks for the fish!

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