The ASA reject Ecotricity’s Complaint about Tesla

Published Date: 21st Jul 2016

The green energy supplier and electric super highway builder Ecotricity has its Tesla complaint rejected by the ASA.

The Advertising Standards Agency received a complaint from Ecotricity regarding an advert on Tesla’s website seen on the 6th of October 2015 claiming “supercharger” and to have “the world’s fastest charging station”. It also links through to “Order your Model S” and then claims the price to be £48,500 after the government grant incentive (£5000 at the time) and tax and £6,500 petrol savings over five years.

This was an estimate and clearly linked under “learn more” to small print explaining the estimate given at the bottom of the page. It goes on to say that the average person drives around 12,000 miles per year spending an average of £1,600 on petrol per year, this is based on a comparable powered car with around 39.2 mpg and prices of petrol being £1.17 a litre(an average price taken from the previous five months).

The world’s fastest charger and a saving of £6500 in petrol were the two main points that Ecotricity Group Ltd put forward to the ASA to investigate as they could be found misleading to the general public.


How The ASA Rejected the complaint

The ASA did not uphold any of the complaints and rejected them. On the point of the “world’s fastest charger” Tesla proved that its own Model S could receive up to 120 kW of power via a DC connection and therefore charge faster than any other EV on the market in the world through its Supercharger network. The best any other Electric Vehicle or EV could do was half that at 60kW.

ASA accepted that “in the context of advertising about the Tesla Model S, consumers would understand the claim “the World’s Fastest Charging Station” to mean that Tesla Superchargers were the fastest at charging currently available compatible EVs”.   

They also found the fuel savings was clearly explained in the small print and based the average fuel consumption on a BMW 535i, a car Tesla considered has much better fuel consumption and a lower price tag to its main rivals. They believe the figures are actually conservative and the saving would be much higher has they used figures from the BMW 7 series and Mercedes-Benz S-class