This Ruling forms part of a wider piece of work on electric vehicle mileage ranges, identified for investigation following complaints received. See also related rulings published on 20 December.

Ad description

A Video on Demand (VOD) ad for the Audi Q8 e-tron range, seen on ITVX on 19 April 2023. Voiceover in the ad stated, “Starting a new chapter can be the most thrilling thing in the world. There’s an abundance of reasons to get started.” On-screen text in the body of the ad stated, “Charge in approx. 31 minutes” as superimposed footnote text appeared “10-80%, 350kWh charger (limited in UK: motorways only, not available in NI, most of Sco/Wal). Test data for comparison – actual times vary (depending on e.g. spec, battery/charger condition & temp.). Longer in cold weather”.

On-screen body text then stated, “330 miles maximum range” while superimposed footnote text stated, “Max range up to 330 miles (Official WLTP range for the Q8 55 e-tron quattro). May not reflect real life driving results. Model shown is not UK specification and features optional equipment”. The car dashboard was seen, where the ‘Range’ was shown to be 330 miles. The ad ended with on-screen text, “The new, fully electric Audi Q8 e-tron models”.


The complainant challenged whether the ad, which included the claims “Charge in approx. 31 minutes” and “330 miles maximum range”, was misleading.


Volkswagen Group United Kingdom Ltd t/a Audi explained that they liaised with Clearcast to ensure that the TV version of the ad, which was materially the same as the VOD ad, was suitable for broadcast in line with BCAP Code requirements. They said Clearcast had approved the claims, substantiation provided and the qualifying language, in terms of both content and prominence. Information on charging times and official mileage range was important to enable consumers to make an informed decision when considering the purchase of an electric vehicle and, in particular, when comparing different electric vehicles.

In respect of the charging claim "Charge in approx. 31 minutes", Audi said the claim used conservative, rather than absolute, referencing "approx. 31 minutes". It was clearly caveated, with prominent footnote superimposed text (super) which explained the significant conditions and limitations of the claim. The super met the minimum height requirements, was held on screen for sufficient time, in line with Clearcast's 'duration of hold' calculator, and was present on screen in the same field of vision when the charging claim appeared. Audi were therefore very confident that the average consumer would understand the claim and its basis.Audi said the mileage range claim was determined by their factory testing which abided by Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) guidelines. They provided a document from a German motor authority, which stated that the highest maximum mileage in the Q8 e-tron range was for the Q8 55 e-tron and Q8 Sportback 55 e-tron at 390 miles, and the lowest maximum was for the Q8 50 e-tron and Q8 Sportback 50 e-tron at 326 miles. The lowest mileage for all six e-tron models was below 330 miles, and four out of the six models had a maximum above 330 miles. There were many variations of the Q8 e-tron, when you considered the different models and differing specifications, such as weight and tyres. Audi elected to be cautious and selected a maximum mileage range likely to cover a wider group of specifications.

Audi explained that their factory testing showed that the charge time for the Q8 55 e-tron was 31 minutes when charging from 10% to 80% using a 170 kW charging system. They said it was common practice to provide figures for charging from 10% to 80%, given that charging within these limits was most efficient and best practice to preserve the battery. The testing carried out by Audi was an internal test, but followed the test procedures set by the German standard. Audi provided further information which demonstrated that their testing followed the guidelines stipulated by the German standard and the result was that the charge time for the Q8 55 e-tron from 10% to 80% was 31 minutes.

They pointed out that space and time in the ad was limited and believed further explanatory wording in addition to existing requirements was unviable.

Audi did not believe viewers would understand the ad to mean that the 330-mile range would be achievable on a charge taking 31 minutes (i.e., a charge of 80%). They believed it was clear that the charge and the mileage range claims were two separate claims, advertising different aspects of the vehicle. There was a clear two-second gap between the charge claim being on-screen and the mileage range claim appearing. Each claim had its own, separate on-screen explanation and there was nothing which linked the two claims. Instead, they were presented, as is common practice in automotive advertising, as a list of (distinct) attributes of the model range.

The charge claim was clearly presented as relating to 10-80%. The "330 miles" range was clearly stated to be the maximum both in the claim itself (i.e., "330 miles maximum range") and in the on-screen text ("Max range up to 330 miles …").

Based on this, Audi was confident that the average consumer would be aware that the 31-minute charging time related to a charge of 10-80% and that 330 miles was the maximum range. They did not believe it likely that the average consumer would interpret the "maximum" mileage to be achievable on 80% charge.

Audi believed the average consumer would understand that there was a clear distinction between the mileage and vehicle range claims, since there was a significant time period between the two. The average consumer would read the mileage range claim in the context of the information on-screen at the time the claim was made, including the prominent footnote, and would therefore understand that it related to the car stated, i.e., the Q8 55 e-tron Quattro.

Regardless of the above, however, Audi explained that the text "330 miles maximum range", as further qualified by the superimposed text "Max. range up to 330 miles", was substantiated for the Q8 e-tron models. While two out of six e-tron models had a maximum mileage range of 326 miles, four miles below the 330 mile range, this was accommodated for by the "up to" in the on-screen footnote. Audi told us they were confident that a maximum range of "up to" 330 miles could be substantiated and was not misleading.

Clearcast believed the ‘31-minute charge’ and the ‘330-mile range’ claims were clearly distinct. They were not directly linked to each other to create a combined mileage range and charging time claim. Both claims had their own qualifying text, and from their positioning, viewers were unlikely to think that they were linked.

Clearcast further explained that the term “WLTP” had been used widely in broadcast advertising since 2017 and exclusively since 2020 for any range, CO2 emission, or fuel consumption claims. Even if a viewer was unfamiliar with the term, they would understand by the text “may not reflect real life driving results” that the WLTP figure was based on testing criteria conducted in a lab. That could reasonably have meant that the battery capacity at test was one variable, along with others, such as driving conditions or temperature.



The ad opened with a narrative about “starting a new chapter”. It stated, “There’s an abundance of reasons to get started”. It first showed the prominent claim “Charge in approx. 31 minutes”, followed by a second prominent claim “330 miles maximum range”, and then the third prominent claim “The new, fully electric Audi Q8 e-tron models”. We considered that the ad was targeted towards viewers who were considering entering the electric vehicle market and gave some key capabilities to help with that – charging time and mileage range.

While we acknowledged that there was a two-second gap between both the charge and mileage claims, and each was accompanied by a qualifying super, the more prominent claims appeared on the same space on screen successively. We considered that those prominent pointers gave the impression that the vehicle range could achieve a maximum mileage of 330 miles, and that this could be achieved following a charge taking 31 minutes. Qualifying text, therefore, would be expected to reinforce that message.

The test data provided by Audi showed that the Audi Q8 e-tron models could be charged from 10% to 80% in 31 minutes with the appropriate charger, as stated in the super. We understood that this percentage range was the advised minimum and maximum charge in order to preserve the health of the battery. However, the super supporting the mileage claim stated it was based on WLTP testing. WLTP procedure involved a testing process for measuring the fuel economy electric mileage range, and emissions of new cars. It began at a battery charged to 100% and was intended as a guide for comparison only. This information was not conveyed.

A significant number of viewers would not be aware of the term “WLTP” or what it represented. We acknowledged the use of “maximum” in the mileage claim. However, this was likely to be understood as the maximum mileage achievable by the vehicle as driven by consumers (“330 mi” was stated on the car dashboard in the ad) and on an advisable amount of charge.

We further understood that several Q8 e-tron models could not achieve the advertised 330 maximum mileage, according to WLTP testing. Superimposed text stated that the maximum range quoted referred to the Q8 55 e-tron quattro, and therefore referenced an individual model.

We acknowledged Audi’s comment that the charging and mileage range claims were distinct and likely to be understood in the context of the superimposed information on-screen at the time the relevant claim was made. However, the superimposed text did not support the message conveyed by the more prominent text; that the vehicle range could achieve a maximum mileage of 330 miles, and that this could be achieved following a charge taking 31 minutes. We considered that the overall message of the ad was rendered ambiguous and concluded, therefore, that it was likely to mislead.

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising), 3.9 (Qualification).


The ad must not appear again in the form complained about. We told Volkswagen Group United Kingdom Ltd t/a Audi to ensure that future ads for electric vehicles avoided ambiguity relating to charging time or mileage performance that was likely to mislead.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

3.1     3.3     3.9    

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