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Toyota's Didier Stevens charging a plug-in Prius   (Source: plugincars.com)
Toyota Europe threatened to leave the electric vehicle market

Toyota Europe said it would abandon the electric vehicle (EV) market if electricity materials were not decarbonized for future cars. 

“We need to cooperate with the electricity providers so that what we present to the market, in its totality, is a clean solution, otherwise we’d prefer to step back,” said Didier Stevens, Toyota Europe’s head of government affairs and environmental issues.

“We always assess a vehicle from well to wheel. If the electricity is not sourced from renewables then it makes little sense.”

Stevens added that Toyota Europe is worried about energy policies and plans around Europe, criticizing the UK Parliament's lack of a decarbonisation target to its new energy bill and Germany's plan to put 1 million EVs on the road by 2020. 

If more and more of their electricity is going to come from coal, then this does not solve the problem. It just shifts the emissions to another area. This is not how it should be,” said Stevens. He also said that the effectiveness of electric vehicles successfully reducing emissions will depend on how much clean energy countries are using on their grids.

Stevens also mentioned that the UK wants a 50 percent reduction in emissions, but isn't in favor of a renewables target for the entire EU. 

“If renewable targets can help then why not,” said Stevens. “We don’t need to wait till its too late. We can do it now so why not. If the renewable targets are removed there will be serious question marks. Some pressure is always needed. Look at the progress made on CO2 emissions standards for cars, would that progress be made without targets? I doubt it.”

Toyota has mainly been working on hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, but Stevens said the automaker would release an electric vehicle in Europe by 2015.

Just last month, Toyota announced that it would increase its lithium-ion battery production, ending its reluctance to use the technology in its mainstream hybrids. The plan calls for Toyota and Panasonic's partnership to build a new production line for about 20 billion yen ($194 million USD) in an effort to increase lithium-ion battery production to 200,000 per year. 

The lithium-ion batteries will replace the nickel-metal hydride batteries that Toyota currently uses in its hybrid cars. Lithium-ion batteries are lighter, smaller and offer greater driving range. 

Source: RTCC



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Gee
By Motoman on 6/11/2013 2:03:22 PM , Rating: 3
Seems like this is what I've been saying all along. You want EVs? First you'd better build a bunch of nuke plants and a new smart grid. Not to mention figuring out recharge stations and fixing inherent problems with range and charge times. Otherwise it doesn't make sense to start with EVs in earnest.

Horse before the cart please.




RE: Gee
By Dorkyman on 6/11/2013 2:19:51 PM , Rating: 4
The mistake you make is in assuming this is a logical argument. To some people this is just another religion, and as such it is not subject to objective analysis.


RE: Gee
By Mint on 6/11/13, Rating: 0
RE: Gee
By Reclaimer77 on 6/11/2013 3:57:16 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
EVs and PHEVs have pollution advantages now.


There's not enough people who buy a car for this reason to support an entire market. That's the problem.

There are people who talk a good game. But when it comes to spending their own money, do the same as everyone else, get the most practical vehicle and most bang for their buck. Right now that's not EV's.


RE: Gee
By Mint on 6/11/2013 4:29:51 PM , Rating: 3
That's not the only reason, though. Tesla is selling the Model S because no other car can match all its attributes - acceleration, handling, ride quality, room, quietness, luxury/technology. It's also priced competitively to its gas rivals.

The Leaf and soon to be launched Spark are the best equipped, best performing vehicles you can own for ~$230/mo including fuel.

The market is growing, and in fact faster than the hybrid market did.


RE: Gee
By Samus on 6/11/2013 3:48:58 PM , Rating: 2
When you consider Toyota is the most profitable automotive manufacture in the world, I'm inclined to agree; they know what they're talking about.

I still think their vehicles are boring as hell though.


RE: Gee
By Omega215D on 6/11/2013 5:02:12 PM , Rating: 2
I kinda like the new redesigned Corolla but still awaiting reviews on their performance.


RE: Gee
By JKflipflop98 on 6/12/2013 4:06:02 PM , Rating: 2
I guess the real question is how much waste per mile are we getting between say a normal civic and the EV version, is it not? Wish there was some type of look-up matrix per region on a website or something.


RE: Gee
By WoWCow on 6/11/2013 2:23:01 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure Toyota has the horse and the cart ready to go; they certainly have the capability to do so if its feasible for them.

quote:
“If renewable targets can help then why not,” said Stevens. “We don’t need to wait till its too late. We can do it now so why not. If the renewable targets are removed there will be serious question marks. Some pressure is always needed. Look at the progress made on CO2 emissions standards for cars, would that progress be made without targets? I doubt it.”


As the article stated, as the European laws and market is simply unfeasible.

Unlike most early pioneers, Toyota investigated and finds that the European region do not have the pasture (power grid) to feed their horses (cars) nor the market (people) to unload their carts to. ;)


RE: Gee
By Reclaimer77 on 6/11/2013 2:28:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm pretty sure Toyota has the horse and the cart ready to go; they certainly have the capability to do so if its feasible for them.


Capability? Yes. However Toyota isn't a Government funded research company. They have to make profits. If EV's aren't as profitable and the consumers don't want them, why SHOULD they have to produce them?


RE: Gee
By BRB29 on 6/11/2013 2:46:00 PM , Rating: 3
Their Hybrid R&D was funding by the Japanese Government. I believe NiCD battery was partially funded by the US government.


RE: Gee
By Reclaimer77 on 6/11/2013 2:56:46 PM , Rating: 1
Uhhh that isn't even on topic or rebukes anything I've said.

Regardless of who helped fund the technology, every car Toyota produces represents an investment in capital. If there's no market for something, they lose money.

If the Prius was a sales flop, a disaster, do you think Toyota would be like "oh well no big, some Government helped fund part of that car."??

I'm just letting logic be the guide here. If the public was screaming for EV's, if they were selling out everywhere, if there was profit; do you really see Toyota making this statement? Hell no.


RE: Gee
By Mint on 6/11/2013 4:06:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
if they were selling out everywhere, if there was profit; do you really see Toyota making this statement? Hell no.
Hell yes. They are spreading FUD to protect their Prius line from the coming threat of plugins which beat them at their own game of being green.

When the Spark EV comes out, you can buy it for about the same as a Prius-C, save more on gas every month, and go 0-60 in 7.6s instead of 11. The Leaf already quadruples the sales of Toyota's EVs.

Toyota's plugin options simply suck. The Prius Plug-in is way overpriced for what is basically a Prius with an extra 3.1 kWh of battery and a plug, and the RAV4 EV costs $50k.

My opinion is that Toyota thinks that if they had a good EV, then most of those sales would come from otherwise Prius owners. That's why the investment isn't worth it to them. Only when others grow the market will they jump in.


RE: Gee
By Spuke on 6/11/2013 7:18:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Hell yes. They are spreading FUD to protect their Prius line from the coming threat of plugins which beat them at their own game of being green.
What EV does Toyota make? I'm not familiar with it.

quote:
When the Spark EV comes out, you can buy it for about the same as a Prius-C, save more on gas every month, and go 0-60 in 7.6s instead of 11. The Leaf already quadruples the sales of Toyota's EVs.
The Pruis C has WAY more space than the Spark. Not the same category of car. Oh and it's a hybrid not an EV.

quote:
Toyota's plugin options simply suck. The Prius Plug-in is way overpriced for what is basically a Prius with an extra 3.1 kWh of battery and a plug, and the RAV4 EV costs $50k.
Toyota's plug-ins are hybrids and are in a different category than the Spark. No comparison can be made unless you're the type that compares Ferrari's to Fit's.


RE: Gee
By Mint on 6/12/2013 3:50:11 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
What EV does Toyota make? I'm not familiar with it.
I misspoke and meant "plugin", not EV, but they do have the RAV4 EV which has very low sales. They're hoping to bump those up to 2k this year.
quote:
The Pruis C has WAY more space than the Spark
Point taken, but it's 86 cu ft vs 87 in passenger volume, so it's mostly the cargo space.

I could have written almost the same thing about the Leaf vs. the Prius.
quote:
Toyota's plug-ins are hybrids and are in a different category than the Spark.
Yes and no. Sure, most people do need range. But for those that don't, if the Leaf and Spark EV didn't exist, what would those car buyers purchase instead? The Toyota Prius/Prius-C would be at the top of their short list, right?

That's the point I'm making. They are Toyota's competition in low TCO green cars (which is really the only reason to buy the Prius).

As for the Prius Plugin, it's overpriced compared to even a regular Prius (3.1kWh doesn't cost $5k+), and offers 1/3rd the electric range of the C-Max Energi and 1/6th of the Volt's. It just isn't competitive, which is why sales are dwindling.


RE: Gee
By BRB29 on 6/11/2013 11:50:54 PM , Rating: 2
You said
quote:
However Toyota isn't a Government funded research company

I said
quote:
Their Hybrid R&D was funding by the Japanese Government. I believe NiCD battery was partially funded by the US government.

now you're saying
quote:
Uhhh that isn't even on topic or rebukes anything I've said.


lmao are you retarded? Toyota is a government funded research company who sells cars to make profits.

You even confirmed it yourself by saying this
quote:
Regardless of who helped fund the technology, every car Toyota produces represents an investment in capital.


RE: Gee
By invidious on 6/11/2013 2:39:15 PM , Rating: 2
Analogy fail.

The EV is the cart and the grid is the horse.


RE: Gee
By MozeeToby on 6/11/2013 3:53:23 PM , Rating: 2
Except in this case you really can put the cart before the horse. There's nothing stopping me buying an EV this year and a vertical windmill and some deep cycle batteries the next. So the analogy kind of breaks down.


RE: Gee
By BRB29 on 6/12/2013 8:00:10 AM , Rating: 2
The analogy was bad to begin with. He didn't even need analogies to begin with. This not a complicated topic like particle physics lol

Most of the problems keeping EVs from going mainstream isn't power plants, it's battery technology, recharge time and infrastructure.


RE: Gee
By karimtemple on 6/11/2013 2:26:57 PM , Rating: 2
More like the chicken before the egg. Why would anyone build out an infrastructure for something that doesn't exist? We didn't have highways before cars or railroads before trains. We're not going to get a bunch of charging stations before we get EVs. In real life, the chicken does not come before the egg. If you have access to an outdoor power outlet you can charge your car at home. Maintenance costs are lower and fuel costs are lower; EVs work right now.


RE: Gee
By SublimeSimplicity on 6/11/2013 2:39:14 PM , Rating: 2
Keep in mind they're also heavily invested in Tesla along with MB. They don't see the need to invest in BEV. If Tesla paves the way, rolls out their supercharger network on schedule, and produces the 200mi $35k car in 3 years as promised, they'll just piggy back on that.

If it all falls through, they have the Prius.

His job is to promote the Prius route, while investing in a hedge, which is Tesla.


RE: Gee
By karimtemple on 6/11/2013 2:46:35 PM , Rating: 2
And everyone else's job should be to realize how much better EV is economically both macro and micro, and proselytize it. Having a smart grid is about a million times more important than people appear to realize. Not all the great tech is out of the lab though, so I'm cool with us not being there yet.


RE: Gee
By freedom4556 on 6/12/2013 5:45:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And everyone else's job should be to realize how much better EV is economically both macro and micro, and proselytize it.
No, our job is to buy what makes sense to us. We can run our own numbers, we know our own use cases, budgets, and so forth. The vast majority of new car buyers are not morons and are doing all these things, and overwhelmingly they are saying "No, thanks." to pure electric cars. You're not going to have to force-feed people these things; we will buy them once it makes economic sense to do so for us, the individual. "Proselytizing" people will only turn them off it longer. Opinions like this are part of the problem, not the solution.


RE: Gee
By Nutzo on 6/11/2013 6:41:50 PM , Rating: 1
Instead, out here in Southern California we are shutting down our Nuclear plant. Not because of any scientific reason, but because of a bunch of misguided environmentalist who hate nuclear power.
They cause so many delays in restarting the plant, that the utility company finally just gave up.

So now we will be producing much more CO2 from Natural gas and other dirt power plants. Plus everyone’s electric bill will be going up, only question is by how much.

So much for an affordable electric car, as it’s going to end up costing almost as much to charge, as paying $4.00 gallon for gas.


RE: Gee
By Spuke on 6/11/2013 7:20:23 PM , Rating: 3
I thought they shut the plant down cause they couldn't fix the problems with it???


RE: Gee
By ritualm on 6/11/2013 11:07:06 PM , Rating: 2
The nuke plant's problems are fixable. What isn't fixable is the NIMBY lobby's fixation that nuke plants are bad just because "Fukushima Daiichi!!!!1".

Meanwhile, so-called "green" power generation creates more NIMBY issues than ever before and doesn't provide the stable power that most people need...


RE: Gee
By kattanna on 6/12/2013 10:19:27 AM , Rating: 2
well bummers... the bewbies are going to stay closed..


RE: Gee
By marvdmartian on 6/12/2013 7:35:50 AM , Rating: 2
This is especially ironic, as Toyota is based out of Japan, who just last year announced that they would be shutting down all their nuke plants, making them MORE dependent on carbon based fuels to generate electricity.


RE: Gee
By JoanTheSpark on 6/13/2013 5:20:39 AM , Rating: 2
http://www.pv-tech.org/news/report_japan_to_be_201...

quote:
...
BNEF’s revision comes after the Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association announced that Japan’s domestic shipments of solar modules rose 73% in the first three months of the year compared to the previous quarter. Solar PV is currently the most popular renewable energy in the country, having increased by 1,329MW betweem 1 April 2012 and 31 January 2013.
...
""


What about places that do have a clean grid?
By Guspaz on 6/11/2013 5:49:28 PM , Rating: 3
In Quebec, we have our own interconnect (an standalone power network that has some conversion interfaces to other states/provinces for export/import purposes). 97% of our power comes from renewable sources (hydro). The whole province has a clean grid. We also have some of the lowest power rates in the world. We can't really get all that much more green than that. Unfortunately, electric cars sell rather poorly here.




By ritualm on 6/11/2013 8:36:49 PM , Rating: 2
EVs are nice if the operating climate is neither hot nor cold. Quebec can be very cold at times. While conventional and hybrid cars still work, EVs lose a substantial amount of power in cold weather because the batteries need to be kept warm, and thus lose considerable range while doing essentially nothing.


RE: What about places that do have a clean grid?
By TSS on 6/12/2013 6:11:03 AM , Rating: 2
Because the technology isn't ready for commercial applications yet. Not while Oil makes too much sense.

I'm not against developing EV tech i'm just against trying to force it making sense. It'll make sense in time. Probably when we've found a way to actually store electricity instead of having to generate it on the spot each time though chemical interaction.

I think it's sad not more effort's put into Hydrogen research. Sure it's the underdog now but there's far more possibilities for better hydrogen storage and generation then there is for electricity generation through batteries.


By JoanTheSpark on 6/13/2013 5:46:31 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I think it's sad not more effort's put into Hydrogen research. Sure it's the underdog now but there's far more possibilities for better hydrogen storage and generation then there is for electricity generation through batteries.


You don't "generate electricity through batteries".. o_O

Also weight/range/efficiency of fuel cell cars is worse than that of electric cars already.
Would the funding that the fuel cell dead-end had received(*) over those years been put into battery research we'd have 600 miles cars and a smart grid by now.

*) probably partly due to given natural monopoly of hydrogen creation/distribution vs. electricity generation on your own roof (if you got one)


Sounds like spin
By foxalopex on 6/11/2013 2:15:50 PM , Rating: 2
So what Toyota is saying is:

1. I think instantaneous torque which is what an electric offers is useless.
2. I prefer gas engine exhaust directly in my home and neighbourhood versus a coal / nuclear / hydro / wind / solar plant that's nowhere in sight.
3. I like a loud engine that requires more of my hard earned money for maintenance.
4. Oil is somehow cleaner than coal despite numerous massive disasters BP Oil spill anyone? Nor the military and political effort required to secure it which in turn requires more oil?

Or the more likely story:

1. Umm we prefer to keep selling our hybrid tech we've invested in so we can make more money. If we can convince everyone not to go EV, we don't need to invest more money in new technology.

Granted a third reason which would have been a better excuse would have been that battery technology isn't quite up to par yet for the average user. This would have been a better argument.




RE: Sounds like spin
By Reclaimer77 on 6/11/2013 2:25:52 PM , Rating: 2
Of course it's spin. However what's wrong here is you presenting it like it's immoral. Toyota's a business, the goal is to make money. And a lot of car companies are coming out lately and saying, in one way or another, that this Government-forced EV push is ill-advised and bad for business. It's bad for consumers too, and tax payers.

quote:
1. Umm we prefer to keep selling our hybrid tech we've invested in so we can make more money. If we can convince everyone not to go EV, we don't need to invest more money in new technology.


Again, is something wrong with this?

Hybrid technology was a pretty forward-thinking notion when it was first brought to market. But they did it on THEIR timetable. When they had the R&D invested and when the market was ready. When they could project profits to justify the product.

EV's are simply not justifiable for every car maker to produce, no matter how much you or Obama may wish it to be so. That's basically what Toyota is saying here, in a very diplomatic and circuitous manner.

They're a car maker after all. They don't care what the state of the grid is or our renewables. If there was a large consumer-driven market for these vehicles with consumer demand, you're damn right they would make them.


RE: Sounds like spin
By foxalopex on 6/11/2013 3:30:57 PM , Rating: 2
Hybrid technology also got Billions in support from the Japanese government and from the US government at the same time unless folks forgot the incentives for the Prius when it first came out. If they hadn't gotten support I highly doubt the technology would exist now.

The government is making a push for EVs because although they are expensive, they seem to promise a better future. Switching to EVs above all would reduce the air pollution in our cities. Now some folks argue that power generation plants pollute but put it this way. Would you prefer powering your house with gas generators in the garage or hooking into the main power lines? Reducing air pollution alone would likely save hundreds of lives in time. It would reduce our dependence on oil and allow cars to easily convert into whatever power source in the long run.

Another way to look at it, do you think car makers would bother with seatbelts, air bags, catalytic converters or switch to unleaded gas without government initiatives? I don't think so.


Easier
By btc909 on 6/11/2013 8:33:53 PM , Rating: 2
What is easier? Relying on Smog shops to say you're vehicle is polluting within acceptable limits or several dozen coal burning power plants?




Still need better batteries
By conq on 6/12/2013 9:11:47 AM , Rating: 2
The limitations of the batteries on current EVs make them too impractical still. I was excited to see the significant price drop on the leaf, thinking I'd *finally* buy an EV after waiting several years. Our city also receives a portion of hydroelectric power too, to boot.

Then doing some research and reading some studies before considering a serious purchase later this year and finding out that the advertised range numbers are best-case, first year only. So yeah, not only does battery capacity drop 5% every year (duh, should have been obvious). But the battery capacity during my winter climate is nearly cut in half. Yeah, that means I could drive to work but not even make the journey back. Yikes.

Oh well, maybe in another 5 years...




By unimatrix725 on 6/12/2013 12:55:17 PM , Rating: 2
My opinion is of old "if you can't take the heat get out of the kitchen". Seriously Toyota has balls to demand anything from the EU. Perhaps they should scale down on EVs or redirect to an alternative. I would lobby like hell in the U.S. for hydrogen or other gas based vehicles. Open a chain nationwide of these alternative energy stations. Need gas(oil), natural gas or even electricity? Then demand would go up depending on cost to "power' whatever vehicle.




Amount of power to make gas
By toffty on 6/12/2013 4:45:22 PM , Rating: 2
Oh ignorant Toyota...

Toyota didn't even factor in how much electricity it takes to refine a gallon of gas. It takes 4-6 kWatts to refine a gallon of gas. My Nissan Leaf can drive 20 miles with that much electricity!

http://www.plugincars.com/refining-oil-requires-mo...




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