Lost in translation, Vol. 2.

An advertisement for the Chevrolet Volt's sister vehicle was banned in the UK for what an advertising watchdog group said was a misleading claim about the extended-range plug-in's driving range, UK's Daily Mail reports.

The ad for the Vauxhall Ampera showed endurance runners and claimed a 360 mile "range" with the implication that the propulsion source was all electricity, according to the charge. The spot noted an "additional power source" – i.e., the car's on-board gas-powered generator – in small print. Because the ad wasn't clear that the car only has about a 35-to-50-mile range on electric power, the Advertising Standards Authority banned it. You can see it below, though.

The Volt/Ampera's extended-range/plug-in issue has repeatedly crept up on both sides of the Atlantic, with many electric-drive observers calling for parent company General Motors to call the model a plug-in hybrid because of the gas-powered range. Meanwhile, General Motors' Opel division, which also sells a version of the Ampera in Europe said in June that the car was Europe's best-selling passenger electric vehicle. The Volt/Ampera won the 2012 European Car of the Year Award in March.



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  • 28 Comments
      Andrew Richard Rose
      • 2 Years Ago
      Not surprising really for country that lists " Top Gear " as one of its major exports , and where 50% of the nations retirement pot is held in hydrocarbon shares ! Stupid country , so pleased I left 25 years ago !
        Marcopolo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Andrew Richard Rose
        @ Andrew Richard Rose I wouldn't castigate the old country too much, nearly all the western world's retirement funds are rely on oil company profits to fund their payments. Traditionally, only the Oil industry could generate enough stable surplus wealth to fund such attract such huge long term investments. As Oil depletion begins to become a reality, and oil becomes more expensive and difficult to extract, these huge surplus profits will cease to exist. For the retirement funds, facing higher costs due to longevity, health care etc, this will be a real problem. Where will these surpluses come from ? No other industry has been as reliably profitable for such a long time. The implications of Oil depletion to economies and taxpayers, should be a planning priority for governments now, rather than wait until it becomes a crisis.
      JakeY
      • 2 Years Ago
      If you didn't read the small print (which comes way BEFORE the range claim, so it's deliberately easy to miss) you would have thought the 360 mile range (coupled with "driving electricity further") was all-electric, when it isn't.
        Ford Future
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JakeY
        Any buyer who thinks the Volt is all-electric, after scanning the GM web site, or just looking at the EPA sticker will be brought up to speed. I really doubt anyone buying an Ampere or Volt is going to be "fooled" by these commercials.
          JakeY
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ford Future
          They may not think the car is all-electric (after looking at other sources, which shouldn't be necessary if the ad wasn't misleading), but at the very least they will be confused about the "all-electric" range of the car from this ad (makes it seem like 360mile AER as opposed to ~40 miles). The people calling to complain to the Ad authority said the small print was confusing: "Comparison based on electric vehicles and extended-range electric vehicles driven electrically at all times, even when an additional power source is generating electricity". Particularly the part about "additional power source" doesn't make it clear it's a gasoline engine. The ad should clearly state it goes about ~40 miles (however many according to the UK cycle, I'm not sure) all-electric and has a total electric+gas range of up to 360 miles. The ad as it is makes people think the AER is greater than it really is.
          Marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ford Future
          @ Ford Future It's not often I agree with you, but what can I say? When you're right, you're right ! A motor vehicle is hardly something bought in an instant, where someone who is confused by the label wouldn't notice a large engine, or ask the dealer any questions !
      Rick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Swines the first decent car we get from GM in the UK in donkeys years and the press trash it, shame on you. 97% Brits journeys are within a 40 mile return journey daily commute, most would never need to fill up with anything other than electrons. On problem with Chevy Volt its its very expensive way out of the budget of Average Joe Brits car buying income bracket thats getting squeezed to death by austerity taxes, and cutbacks nobody can afford it hence 21 Chevy Volt sales in the UK so far this year, those that can afford to pay for it see status symbol BMW 3 Series /BMW 5 Series 80/72 MPG 145 MPH Efficient Dynamic Diesels with sky high residual values selling for a lot less bucks buy them instead & walk away with $10,000 bucks in their back pockets taboot with a Beamer. Hapless GM cocked up with the Chevy/vauxhall Volt/Ampere in the UK, we should have got a qualiy RWD Caddy Volt that comes with the status of the E-REV buyers income bracket. Chevy brand name in the UK carries the stigma attached of being linked Korean made low quality Chevy junk we get shipped in from South Korea even though its imported from the US. Vauxhall Ampere should do better, but not lot better.
      bluepongo1
      • 2 Years Ago
      Battery electric = green Hybrid = green wash
      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sounds like the Brits need the "I love my Ampera!" commercials too. It's a confusing car to the general populace. This commercial is misleading (aren't they all?) and could be corrected by adding the words "and petrol." It's a bit like the first feel-good ad in the US for the Volt. I hope they don't do a confused alien ad like they did for the super bowl here...
        krona2k
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Grendal
        Definately agree, though not sure how many they have actually sold yet to get the user feedback. Anyway I live in Britain, saw the adverts and didn't find them very good. They did not emphasise the driving experience, the running costs or the fact that most people will be able to do most of their driving on electricity. There's still an obsession with range in this country, too much so for such a small and densely populated place. I think our mindset will change but it will take some time, the price of the 2013 LEAF produced in Sunderland could make people think a lot harder about total cost of ownership of cars.
      PR
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sadly, I completely understand why Chevy did this. Unfortunately they have to fight those people in the UK who are being intellectually dishonest and are going around saying you can only go 35 miles in the Volt, as if the gas range doesn't exist. I don't think breaking out the EV range and the gas range is the most honest response. But now the whole time the same Volt haters bitch about the 360 mile range number including gas+electric range, they can't be repeating the lie that the Volt can only go 35 miles as if the gas range doesn't exist. This ad will cause a huge rage-fest of anti-green car furry, where they all repeat this 360 mile range number over and over and say how bogus it is because it includes gas range, and not just electric. That is still way better than the same folks continuing to repeat the 35 mile range number, without ever mentioning the 360 mile range number. Once their rage-on is over, at least everyone will know that the Volt's total range isn't just the 35 mile electric range, but the 360 mile combined range. And they will never be able to go back to spreading FUD where they lie and make it sound like the Volt will die on the side of the road at mile 36 and leave you stranded. It is a good move for fighting the anti-Volt propaganda, even though a clearer breakdown of gas range and electric range would be much clearer for potential buyers.
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Years Ago
      The range they said ,360 miles, is true.
      Ziv
      • 2 Years Ago
      How does the UK measure the 2013 Ampera's gain in AER? Here in the US I think it went from 35 miles of AER to 38 miles of AER for the 2013, (as per the EPA info on the window sticker) and the kWh's used for 100 miles dropped from 36 to 35, indicating not just a longer range but a slightly more efficient car overall. The efficiency gain also shows up (or does it?) in the MPGe which went from 94 MPGe to 98 MPGe. So in the US the Volt AER increased 8.5%, from 35 miles to 38 miles. Did it increase by the same amount using the UK testing protocol?
      Rotation
      • 2 Years Ago
      That commercial does seem a bit misleading to me. Basically, it seems like they're trying to play it as an EV instead of an EREV. Stylish ad though.
      paulwesterberg
      • 2 Years Ago
      European countries have actual truth in advertising enforcement. It will be interesting to see if they also force GM to fix the volt's misleading computerized mileage display.
      Ford Future
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Volt/Ampere is a car that will save you around 600 gallons of gas a year. Is it a smart investment? Lease for three years saves you 1,800 gallons of gas. Drive for 10 years and save 6000 US gallons of gas. At $4 a gallon in the US, that's $24,000.
      mapoftazifosho
      • 2 Years Ago
      Love the Volt...hate GM.
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