Toyota: EVs "Make Little Sense" Without Clean Grids
June 11, 2013 1:55 PM
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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.
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RE: Sounds like spin
6/11/2013 3:30:57 PM
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.
"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
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