Toyota: EVs "Make Little Sense" Without Clean Grids
June 11, 2013 1:55 PM
Toyota's Didier Stevens charging a plug-in Prius
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.
"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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