Toyota Has a Curious Justification for Not Selling Any EVs

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, Mar 17, 2019.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    Toyota is one the biggest automakers, but it doesn’t sell a single fully electric vehicle in the United States. Why is that? According to vice president of research and development for Europe Gerald Killmann, it has all to do with battery production -- or the lack thereof. Toyota’s manageable supply can only allow for either 28,000 EVs or 1.5 million hybrid cars, and they’ve chosen the latter for being the more environmentally sound choice. Critics say the automaker is making excuses for terrible business decisions that have forced it to the back of the EV race.

    ...the calculation seems to assume that for every hybrid sold, a fully gasoline-powered car would be taken off the road. In reality, many Toyota hybrid buyers are replacing a Toyota hybrid. And, based on Toyota’s own revelation that they are losing Prius drivers to Tesla, it stands to reason that many Toyota hybrid drivers would jump at the opportunity to transition to an all-electric Toyota. Ultimately, Toyota's strategic decision to invest in gasoline-electric hybrids and bet on fuel cells in the long term is the reason that it isn't currently producing any electric cars.
     
  2. Lakados

    Lakados [H]ard|Gawd

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    1 have one L2 charging station in town, it always have somebody’s Nissan Leaf plugged in. Not the same one mind you there are a few dozen of them in town. I hate lines and the ability to not have to wait in one more than needed has me convinced that the Toyota Model is correct for much of Rural North America.
    Their “Critics” are just butt hurt that they don’t have a viable car to sell in China come 2021 but that is a race to the bottom.
     
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  3. viscountalpha

    viscountalpha 2[H]4U

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    If you had to choose between selling 28,000 vehicles or 1.5 million, which would you pick? This makes perfect sense. Electric motors still need to come much further and be much more efficient to even make sense.
     
  4. gamerk2

    gamerk2 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Hydro-fuel cells do have their advantages over electric, especially as you can re-use a lot of the existing gasoline refueling infrastructure rather then creating a new one from scratch. It also addresses refueling times and range, the two areas where electric is still lagging.

    If you talk to most auto manufactures, most have publicly admitted they think hydrogen fuel cells will win in the end, and that electric is just an intermediate stepping stone to get there,
     
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  5. Meeho

    Meeho [H]ardness Supreme

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    People underestimate how not ready we really are to produce batteries on a scale needed to begin replacing ICE cars in any meaningful number.
     
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  6. Skull_Angel

    Skull_Angel [H]ard|Gawd

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    That goes hand-in-hand with the problem of current battery cells as well. Their production isn't really "green" at all and there are still problems with safety should a Li-Ion cell fail (which isn't a hard thing to have happen or uncommon issue).
     
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  7. Eickst

    Eickst [H]ard|Gawd

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    Not just batteries, our electric infrastructure isn't ready for mass EV adoption.
     
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  8. THRESHIN

    THRESHIN 2[H]4U

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    It is not the motors that are the problem. Electric motors are extremely efficient, over 95% easily. Advancements there have been to make them smaller and lighter, the wheel hub motors.

    The problem has been getting a battery that has higher capacity and would therefore weigh the vehicle down less since you could put less in. Less mass takes less energy to move. This battery simply does not exist as of yet. Maybe a prototype on a lab test bench if we're lucky.
     
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  9. Cyraxx

    Cyraxx 2[H]4U

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    Not just making the batteries - but also having chargers available everywhere - and having chargers that are capable of charging fast enough.

    Honestly I find the EV craze so fucking silly... Instead of burning the gas directly at the engine you're just doing it at the refinery/electric grid. If you're looking to help the environment, EV cars in all honestly isn't going to put a dent in our carbon production.
     
  10. pcgeekesq

    pcgeekesq [H]ard|Gawd

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    I prefer my Prius hybrids: no worries if I decide to drive to Montana, they'll be plenty of gas stations along the way.
    The only thing making me even think about all-electric is Tesla's 0-to-60 times. ;)

    No worries about blackouts or power shortages, as recently happened in the US NW.
    Turns out, being reliant on wind, solar and hydro isn't good when freak winter storms plow through.
    Fortunately, they have nuke plant up there they haven't decommissioned yet.
     
  11. nutzo

    nutzo [H]ardness Supreme

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    This.
    Lack of charging stations, speed of charging, range....




    This too.
    If you could replace even 10% of ice cars with plugin electrics, we would have a complete meltdown of the electrical grid the first time everyone plugged them in at the same time to charge.



    I prefer something a little bigger and more traditional inside like the Camry Hybrid I drive.
    Thinking Rav4 Hybrid or possible the Honda CRV if they bring the Hybrid to the US soon.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
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  12. Lakados

    Lakados [H]ard|Gawd

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    While true the electrical grid and power plants are more efficient than any individual car is. So yes it moves the pollution a few hundred KM to the left but producing and delivering the electricity to 100,000 vehicles is still cleaner than the production and delivery of gasoline to those same vehicles.
     
  13. Cyraxx

    Cyraxx 2[H]4U

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    Yeah, I don't doubt that one bit - but I guess what I'm saying is that the bigger elephant in the room is replacing the need for oil/gas at the refinery level and instead replacing it with wind/solar/hydro/nuclear.
     
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  14. Lakados

    Lakados [H]ard|Gawd

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    This is where the law of large numbers kicks in, even small improvements on a huge scale make for large changes over time. Natural Gas may only be a little cleaner and cheaper than coal but replace them all and you will see some large improvements. Wind and solar are great but energy storage is the hard part. In Canada where we are seeing most of the wind and solar going in is around Hydro facilities where that energy pumps water back up to be used later. Batteries are expensive....
     
  15. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot 2[H]4U

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    I think Toyota made the correct call on production. Wonder when they plan to increase battery production? As others have said, long way to go before we have enough EV production to make a meaningful dent in ICE production.

    Be nice if the EV cars had the smarts to talk to a smart grid and between the pair, figure out the best time to dump excess wind and/or solar into the batteries.
     
  16. R_Type

    R_Type Limp Gawd

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    Maybe they're right?
     
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  17. DukenukemX

    DukenukemX [H]ardness Supreme

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    Toyota doesn't want to make EV's because they went with hydrogen fuel instead. A very stupid move.
     
  18. THRESHIN

    THRESHIN 2[H]4U

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    I don't think so. They're not interested in making a hydrogen burning engine. With the losses in an ICE it doesn't make sense.

    However, a hydrogen fuel cell is essentially a different type of battery. It generates electricity. Electrolysis of water into hydrogen is quite efficient, just slow. If they can advance this enough they could have something better than lithium ion cells.

    The lithium ion cells that we can't make enough of to switch all cars to electric, high cost, high weight, still not enough capacity, and safety issues should the lithium ignite.

    Or we can wait for something better to replace lithium cells. So which one is the stupid move? Pick your poison, neither is ready as far as I'm concerned.

    But do keep in mind that this is the beginning. All new tech sucks. Most of it moves slower than electronics. They have to start somewhere.
     
  19. toast0

    toast0 Gawd

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    Hydrogen is a great move for Toyota. When the tanks expire, it won't be economical to replace them, so it's a guaranteed replacement purchase, just like all the CNG cars that basically still work, but shouldn't be refueled.
     
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  20. Tsumi

    Tsumi [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I wouldn't call the typical 40-60% efficiency of fuel cells "very efficient." Sure, it's a lot better than ICEs, but you'll end up having to generate about twice as much power to power hydrogen fuel cell cars than you would battery-based cars. Hydrogen is not a fuel source just like batteries.

    I would rather see more research into biofuels.
     
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  21. viscountalpha

    viscountalpha 2[H]4U

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    Earth tech, efficient. I'm sorry. You're serious

     
  22. jpcahn1

    jpcahn1 [H]Lite

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    I have an Optima Plug in hybrid. 28 miles fully electric and after that it gets about 50 miles a gallon. I fill up at most once a month and it has a small tank. I also charge for free overnight with the plan my electric company has. A plug in that would go 75 miles before going to the gas engine would be the best option to me. I would probably fill up 3 or 4 times a year.
     
  23. Brian_B

    Brian_B 2[H]4U

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    I tend to agree with the Toyota approach.

    All-electric vehicles have some compelling use cases.

    But lithium cell availability is huge -- keep in mind not only Auto manufacturers are using them, so are large power stations for grid support. And houses. And tech for phones/etc. (It's not all identical chemistry, but it all pulls on common resources and logistics down the chain)

    The big thing is time to charge. 20min to 50% charge is hard to swallow on a long trip... and even at that, you are surging/peaking on the grid for fast charge. If it's a daily commuter driver and you can just slow charge it every night, ok, but that doesn't replace something for those weekend trips, or those long business road trips.

    Having a hybrid bypasses all those problems, while still giving you a lot of the benefits of all-electric. Hydrogen does as well - I think fuel cells are nifty, but hydrogen infrastructure is poorer than EV charging right now. California has a grand total of 39 hydrogen stations. I don't think Hydrogen will supplant ICE unless we finally run out of oil/gas completely... but maybe if the Carbon economy forces it.

    Everything has it's place. All-Electric isn't a complete replacement for all vehicles.
     
  24. Tweak42

    Tweak42 Gawd

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    Meh. There's easily room in the auto industry for both electric and hybrid for probably the next 10 years.
    Toyota is aiming squarely at second mover advantage. Until the battery tech and infrastructure gets mature, they may as well bide their time on hybrids which they have aptly demonstrated work.
     
  25. Eickst

    Eickst [H]ard|Gawd

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    I think they have the brand recognition/loyalty to pull that off too. If they had a competitive offering they would gobble up a huge chunk of market share easily
     
  26. Chaos Machine

    Chaos Machine Gawd

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    You need to do some more research on the efficiency of electric motors, when your heater can affect your mileage up to 40% on a pure ev, yeah I'd say the motors are plenty efficient enough. Now when it comes to energy density in the battery pack, yeah there is plenty of room for improvement, but they are already starting to encroach an ice engine in terms of range anyway. How much range is enough to make you comfortable driving an ev? 300 miles? 500?
     
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  27. Aioeyu

    Aioeyu [H]Lite

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    As for Toyota losing Prius drivers to Tesla, as a Prius owner who wants a Tesla, my biggest gripe with my Prius is just how awful Entune is. I never touched it once my free trial ran out . It blows my mind that in 2019 Priuses aren't compatible with CarPlay or Android auto. I didn't end up buying a Tesla when I was told it would be 18-24 months to get the model 3 I wanted, especially when my Prius still runs like a champ.

    For most people an EV doesn't make the most since. After doing the math of a model 3 vs. a new Prius, it makes way more since to get a new Prius. In fact, I'm supposed to test drive one of the new AWD Priuses in a few hours.
     
  28. Master_shake_

    Master_shake_ [H]ardForum Junkie

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    The range on hybrids is exponentially better than that of an ev.

    Good on Toyota for actually making cars that can make a trip across let's say a state or province without having to sit and charge.
     
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  29. Vader1975

    Vader1975 Gawd

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    I still think that a hydrogen fuel cell hybrid will end up being the US's long term strategy as our country is abit to vast for electric to properly cover our road tripping nature. Remember batteries don't generate power and are thus not the primary source of pollution aka the coal electrical plants (around my area) are the actual source of that electricity. So every electric driver around here is "rolling coal." Hydrogen fuel cell is also an energy transfer medium with well over 90% efficiency way higher than a battery. It also is refuelable in momnets like gas. It will take time for the stations but eventually, it is the far more logical choice then hauling around a gazillion lbs of batteries everywhere.
     
  30. zkostik

    zkostik Gawd

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    So is the shitty range on EV and having to look for a charger station which takes a while to charge. It really cannot replace ICE or Hybrid unless you only drive in your local town and don't mind/can afford multiple cars.
     
  31. Snowdog

    Snowdog [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Outside of Toyota, not really. Toyota is still clinging to the hydrgogen dream because they can't see pasts the billions in sunk costs they have spent on hydrogen cars while it quickly becoming evident to nearly everyone that EVs are going to win the passenger car market.
     
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  32. Nukester

    Nukester [H]ard|Gawd

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    Lithium Ion and many other battery chemicals are toxic as hell. Rather burn fuel for now. Battery tech isn't there.
     
  33. Snowdog

    Snowdog [H]ardForum Junkie

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    You have that completely backwards.

    Well to Wheels efficiency of BEVs is about 3x-4x higher than HFCEVs. This is basic physics, and wont' really change.

    Hydrogen1.png


    It's one of the main reason HFCEVs really have no chance with consumers. At minimum it will always cost at least 3x as much to fuel them. It's why Toyota and everyone else has to give away free hydrogen to their handful of buyers (AKA beta testers), to keep them from freaking about the fuel cost.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
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  34. sharknice

    sharknice [H]ard|Gawd

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    That's actually a really common use case for people buying all electric. I'm seriously considering it when I have to replace my car. I can use an EV for my commute but if I go on a big trip I still have a ICE. And I wouldn't get an EV for efficiency and being green. I would get one because of safety and performance.
     
  35. Rebel44

    Rebel44 2[H]4U

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    1. As if buying more batteries from suppliers (just like everyone else) was impossible...

    2. Electric motors are already very efficient.
     
  36. Rebel44

    Rebel44 2[H]4U

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    Actually:

    1. None of the gasoline distribution and storage infrastructure is usable for hydrogen distribution and storage (hydrogen is either stored at super-low temperatures or under incredibly high pressure + it easily leaks from most storage containers and degrade many common materials)

    2. FCEV range is unlikely to get much higher than that of long-range EVs, since even high-pressure hydrogen tanks are very bulky, so normal vehicles can't store much of it without impacting vehicles passenger and storage space.

    3. Hydrogen cost per driven mile is a lot higher than if you drive ICE vehicle, let alone EV.
     
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  37. shad0w4life

    shad0w4life Gawd

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    Have they even come up with a way to recycle batteries from these?

    And the manufacturing is very toxic.

    Not to mention electricity has to come from somewhere, and every method except Nuclear produces a lot of harmful effects on the environment.

    EVs also suck donkey in cold weather.

    his whole green push seems either short sighted or just a new money grab.
     
  38. 1Nocturnal101

    1Nocturnal101 Gawd

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    Can we please just drop the non-sense that EV/Hybrids are better for the environment, until battery use life is infinite, a good eco diesel vehicle is still the best option to save the world right now.
     
  39. THRESHIN

    THRESHIN 2[H]4U

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    For now, sure. New tech sucks. We'll see what it tops out as. Or if we start making hydrogen by other means than the electrical grid, who cares?

    Biofuels are fun, but let's be honest. We're doing this for environmental reasons. Currently the issue with biofuels is that in the entire cycle of farming, refining and finally burning, it actually creates more emissions than oil. This applies to corn ethanol fuel. Brazil has it made. They use sugar cane. Making alcohol and refined sugar is about all sugar cane is good for.

    I find it all very interesting because there's no clear solution yet.
     
  40. 1Nocturnal101

    1Nocturnal101 Gawd

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    They mine the nickel in Canada(not very clean), or mine the Lithium in China/US(still not clean)---------->They send the raw materials to Taiwan/* where it is whipped into a Chemical foam(really not clean in fact quite toxic)----------------->Shipped to Battery/Capacitor facilities around the world New Mexico/Japan/Korea/Taiwan/*/*/*/*/* -------------- All for a battery that has a halflife of 5-7 years depending on weather/temperature - Use - charging habits.

    The only way Electric cars make sense is if people are forced to have solar/battery bank to charge the car, Wind is used, Nuclear(as you pointed out) but Coal based states for power in the next 20-30 years are going carbon free - personally Id rather Electric utility companies disappear in favor of complete solar and wind with backup nuclear capabilities with our nation through taxes footing the bill - we have more than enough scrap weapons grade materials with a shelf life that can die in a reactor.