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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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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.


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