Toyota advertises the new Yaris Hybrid the wrong way

2017 Toyota Yaris Hybrid commercial


When will Toyota learn?


It’s not the first time and won’t be the last that Toyota tries to push people away from electric cars while advertising their hybrids.


Toyota has been reluctant to adopt electric cars, since the company has invested huge resources in their hybrid technology to make internal combustion engine (ICE) cars more efficient. That’s what in essence plug-less hybrids are, just more efficient ICE cars.

In its latest commercial, Toyota UK praises the ability of the Yaris Hybrid to run without requiring to be charged.



Yet, if you think that the commercial above by Toyota UK is bad, Toyota Portugal managed to do worse. In its Portuguese commercial, Toyota says that the Yaris Hybrid can run 50 % of the time in electric mode, all this without charging.

The truth is that Toyota plug-less hybrids have a electric range of roughly 2 km. They can only be used for 50 % of the time in electric mode in very especial occasions, such as been stranded in intense city traffic for 30 minutes in a 60 minutes journey.



However, this commercial wasn’t very well received in Facebook, where – unlike what happens with television advertising -, we can immediately see people’s reactions. In fact, the reactions were so bad that Toyota Portugal had to reply by saying that the company has 20 years of experience regarding hybrids and already sold more than 10 million units around the world.

When a company relies on past achievements to justify their views for the future is halfway to become obsolete.



Putting down electric cars is not new in Toyota and Lexus hybrids commercials, nevertheless it seems to be a bad strategy, especial now that a decent new Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid was recently released and is having great success in some regions, such as the USA and Japan.

When will Toyota stop trying to put fear into driving electric cars?

Pedro Lima

More than natural resources, are wasted human resources that bothers me the most. That's why I'm a strong advocate of a society based on cooperation, not competition, that helps every individual to reach his full potential so that he can contribute back to society. "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs".

9 Responses

  1. Rafael says:

    No entiendo muy bien tu critica Pedro Lima . Es totalmente cierto que es una tecnología que tiene su tiempo ¿Y que?. ¿Pasa algo por eso?. ¿Acaso no es verdad que contaminan menos que un ICE convencional?. Lo que si es achacable y patetico es que Toyota a día de hoy siga montando en sus hibridos esas baterías arcaicas y totalmente desfasadas de NI-MH por las modernas de litio que si montan por ejemplo Kia, Hyundai y las demas marcas. Por cierto Pedro Lima le recuerdo que no todo son maravillas en los eléctricos las baterías si o si hay que cambiarlas cada 8-10 años ¿Le digo cuanto miles de euros vale una nueva ?. Por cierto la de Toyota de 1,3kwh de capacidad “solo es usable el 40% es decir unos 520 watios” vale cambiarla por una nueva y mano de obra incluida ¡¡¡¡1.500 euros al menos aquí en España!!!!!. Lo se por que se lo pregunte a un jefe de taller de un concesionario Toyota. Pedro Lima he leido en foros coches electricos que Tesla esta ultimando una celda 21700 para 2018 que a los 1.200 ciclos y a una tasa de carga de 2,5C retiene el 96% de la capacidad inicial ¿Sabe algo más sobre el tema?. Perdon de antemano si se sintiera ofendido por mi comentario.

    • Pedro Lima says:

      Hola Rafael, your opinions are always welcomed.

      Yes, Toyota hybrids are better than most cars on the roads today, however they can advertise hybrids without attacking electric cars or making misleading claims.

      Regarding Tesla potential new battery cells, I hadn’t the time to see the video lecture yet. But I will, thanks for the reminder.

  2. Telmo Salgado says:

    Good afternoon.

    I would like to know in which facts or sources Pedro Lima supports this sentence:
    “They can only be used for 50 % of the time in electric mode in very especial occasions, such as been stranded in intense city traffic for 30 minutes in a 60 minutes journey.”

    Please be invited to read this document:

    Regarding Prius 2009 measurements, in the US FTP cycle (urban) data acquisition, it has engine-off operation for 63% of the time (or 66% if warm operation), see page 8 of the Argonne/USA DOE study linked.

    Toyota maybe stretching a bit towards hybrids, but in fact, and many studies (like the above) show, it can keep “electric buffering” for a long time during urban daily use.
    US FTP cycle is a good testing procedure, which EPA uses for certification purposes.
    Yaris is not much different from the 2009 Prius. And both stand out in urban MPG, daily basis, not in special occasions, don’t they?

    Thank you for your time.

    • Pedro Lima says:

      Hi Telmo.

      Thanks for sharing that document.

      It describes exactly the conditions I said that are needed to achieve Toyota’s claims. “This schedule is meant to replicate typical stop-and-go city driving.”

      By looking at the figures 1/2/3 we can see that during the test half of the time the car was stopped, while the other half was made with the car driven at speeds – almost always – below 30 km/h.

      C’mon Telmo you know that when Toyota says “50 % driven in electric mode” – like you can see in the image above -, is misleading advertising and it’s confusing even for the hybrid and EV crowd. We are used to see fuel consumption to be advertised in terms like 5 L/100 km, not 5 L/100 h… we care about the distance not the time.

      If you drive 10 minutes, but the last 5 minutes you were stopped waiting for an available parking spot you already fulfill the requirements for Toyota’s claims.

      To make the frustration worse is the fact that if Toyota managed to make complex machines such as hybrids so reliable, imagine what they could accomplish with much simpler machines such as EVs. I’m still waiting to see a Toyota Yaris EV before 2020.

      • Jonas Jovial says:

        Pedro, maybe you should read this test before saying that:


        • Pedro Lima says:

          Thanks for sharing that.

          That’s a well made test with rigorous procedures, the same can’t be said about the Toyota ad that opens space for a lot misinterpretation.

          As you know the most efficient way to drive is to anticipate actions and avoid braking as much as possible (even if it’s regenerative). Because even the regenerative braking has its efficiency losses.

          The hybrid system with the regenerative braking helps the most, people who do the opposite (a lot of braking). Either because they drive a lot in city environment and can’t avoid it in many occasions, or just because they don’t care or know how to drive efficiently.

          But remember that even the electricity that came from regenerative braking in a plug-less hybrid car came from fossil fuels. You’ll generate more electricity the more braking you do. This means that people who drive less efficiently can actually drive more distance in electric mode than people who drive more efficiently and avoid braking when it’s possible.

          My biggest problem with Toyota and their commercials is that they should focus their attacks in diesels – even more since Volkswagen is their biggest competitor -, not attacking the future. Attacking electric cars just make them look retrograde. How stupid are they to not take the opportunity to attack its most direct competitor (VW) diesel cars now? I think I’ll make an infografic on how to advertise hybrids the right way (against diesels)… Maybe then Toyota will hire me as a marketing director eheheh.

          My main point is that it is not easy to make reliable complex machines and they did it with the hybrids, imagine how great would much simpler Toyota BEVs be?! Unfortunately they are too busy fighting the future instead of embracing it.

          • Jonas Jovial says:

            Has for the way Toyota made the ad, yes i do agree with you. Also the community also agrees on that. It was the wrong way.

            Has for the claims of up to 50% in EV mode, they do are real. But they should be announced in another way, attacking the complexity and problems of modern diesel and not the pure EVs.

  3. EHE says:

    The source of the energy is 100% fossil for the Toyota hybrid. So the electric drive is based on recovered energy made from a fossil source. You can claim the same thing from a standard ICE car, if you drive half the time uphill and then just roll down again by the help of gravity. Then you can claim to have made a ICE car that use no energy 50% of the time.

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