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Old 30th July 2021, 11:32   #1
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Default Toyota working against shift to EVs; wants hydrogen-fuelled vehicles to play bigger role

Toyota is reported to be working on slowing the global automotive industry's shift to electric vehicles. According to a media report, the company wants gas-electric hybrids & hydrogen-fuelled vehicles to play a bigger role instead.

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The report suggests that Chris Reynolds - a top executive in charge of Toyota's government affairs, recently travelled to Washington DC to oppose the aggressive approach taken towards the shift to EVs.

As mentioned earlier, Toyota has placed its bets on hydrogen vehicles and gas-electric hybrids. Hence, it is arguing that these technologies should play a bigger role in the industry's shift to 'greener cars'.

The company has invested in a technology (hydrogen fuel cells), which costs more and is far behind in development compared to electric batteries. Also, hydrogen, for use in passenger vehicles, is not readily available. The shift from IC-engined to battery electric vehicles can, hence, cost Toyota a lot of money and opportunities. It will also be very difficult for the brand to quickly adopt the newer technology.

Toyota has been opposing the implementation of stronger emission standards and the EV mandates not only in the USA but also in the UK, Europe, Australia and even India. Toyota is said to have stated that India's goal of 100% EV adoption by 2030 is impractical. Toyota has sued Mexico over its fuel-efficiency standards and even fought against carbon taxes in Japan (its home market).

Source: NYTimes

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Old 30th July 2021, 11:46   #2
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Default Re: Toyota working against shift to EVs; wants hydrogen-fuelled vehicles to play bigger role

Go Toyota ! Who would have thought Toyota doing this when even the brands with all that V12 heritage are moving to EVs shortly. The argument that EVs will drastically reduce emissions is proper bullshit. Long live the ICE engine .

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Old 30th July 2021, 11:59   #3
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Default Re: Toyota working against shift to EVs; wants hydrogen-fuelled vehicles to play bigger role

EVs make sense when the electricity is produced through renewable like solar or wind energy. Of course it isn't completely pollution free but then it is about the lesser of the two evils for the environment.
As for the automobile companies, like any business it is about profits. If Toyota had invested in EV technology then they would have been supporting the shift to electric.
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Old 30th July 2021, 12:10   #4
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Default Re: Toyota working against shift to EVs; wants hydrogen-fuelled vehicles to play bigger role

Mr. Reynolds/Toyota can lobby to their heart's content.
However, the writing is on the wall.

Consumers in advanced markets are now presented with numerous options for EVs.
Almost every major automaker has jumped full fledged into the EV Scene.
Lastly, there is good infrastructure for charging as well in developed markets & most importantly EV charging speeds are reducing with every generation.

Compared to this, Hydrogen is no-where.
Toyota must understand, and move on.
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Old 30th July 2021, 12:12   #5
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Default Re: Toyota working against shift to EVs; wants hydrogen-fuelled vehicles to play bigger role

Maybe Toyota has understood that EVs are a passing fancy and will go away once a more convenient cleaner tech comes. In my opinion, EV tech where it is now is not convenient to use because of limited charging infrastructure coupled with the longer time required to recharge compared to refilling a conventional ICE car. Even if we take into consideration that range issues may be addressed fully in future (range has already improved by leaps and bounds) the fact remains that one cannot go from 25-100% charge in less than 5 minutes, unlike in an ICE car.

Plus while EVs definitely don't emit greenhouse gases, the production processes for manufacturing the batteries and associated infra do, plus e-waste will be a huge impending problem once EVs become mainstream. So while the impact is invisible, it is still there. However, it is less than that of conventional ICEs. Hence I am still not convinced that the EV revolution is here to stay, and I guess Toyota is not convinced either. However, it takes guts to buck a trend, and while I do admire that about Toyota, sometimes it can also be a case of barking up the wrong tree.

Ideally Toyota should have hedged their bets and also invested in EVs since they already have a renowned hybrid in the Prius. After that if they come up with a better and cheaper alternative like hydrogen or whatever, they would simply be covering all bases and retaining their leadership position. Right now they have all their eggs in one basket and I really don't agree with lobbying to mitigate what is basically a fundamental flaw in strategy.
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Old 30th July 2021, 12:45   #6
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Default Re: Toyota working against shift to EVs; wants hydrogen-fuelled vehicles to play bigger role

EVs have gone past the era of environmental claims. There was a time when people used to buy EVs because they loved the environment.
Now EVs are becoming synonyms of performance and economic efficiency. See what Tesla has done with their Plaid model. Even back here in India, The Nexon EV, Kona and MG ZS are sub 10s 0-100 vehicles which will put a smile across your face every time you floor it. And these are just the first generation vehicles.

When I used to drive my Chevy Cruze in city, I used to resist the urge to launch the vehicle because of the high fuel costs. With my Nexon EV, I no longer have to worry about it since I have a solar setup at home and all my fun as well as city travel comes free. Quite a large number of Nexon EV users in our whatsapp group bought it because it was economic to run and not because they cared about environment. This is a very big factor that Gas, Hybrid or even Hydrogen vehicles cant provide in near future. A lot of people can get attracted to this concept of free travel and free energy by spending some amount upfront.

Range anxiety is still a big factor here in India (not so much in developed countries), but once the average battery range of vehicles crosses 350-400KM, that will no longer be a concern for many.

Last edited by Holyghost : 30th July 2021 at 12:50.
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Old 30th July 2021, 13:06   #7
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Default Re: Toyota working against shift to EVs; wants hydrogen-fuelled vehicles to play bigger role

Toyota like so many other Japanese car manufacturers resist sudden change. That is why we still see Toyota world wide use dinosaur naturally aspirated engines, Suzuki still uses the same switch gear from the 12th century AD etc. If they suddenly change things like other countries / car companies, they also will become unreliable.

Toyota’s argument can be futile. I see like this: they are basically against US’ Tesla and complaint in the US. They will never succeed. Also, it is only the Toyota that is complaining while all other companies are rushing to build EVs. It is not just US, even in Europe they want to bring EVs asap. Like many said, they spent lot of money on Hybrid and Hydrogen vehicles. It will all go down the drain.

It is the Tesla that brought the EV revolution fuelled by the VW emission scandal. BTW, I am not a Tesla fanboy. I am very much happy with internal combustion vehicles.

Last edited by amvj : 30th July 2021 at 13:17.
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Old 30th July 2021, 13:24   #8
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Default Re: Toyota working against shift to EVs; wants hydrogen-fuelled vehicles to play bigger role

Well good for them, don't think they can pull it off easily.
If they keep at it, they will go the way of Kodak, Blackberry, Nokia and other big names.
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Old 30th July 2021, 13:35   #9
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Default Re: Toyota working against shift to EVs; wants hydrogen-fuelled vehicles to play bigger role

God bless Toyota!

I hoped more companies were focused on this than going all out to get neutered by EV adoption (especially the Big 3)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowflyer23 View Post
Go Toyota ! Who would have thought Toyota doing this when even the brands with all that V12 heritage are moving to EVs shortly. The argument that EVs will drastically reduce emissions is proper bullshit. Long live the ICE engine .
I am glad that such a major manufacturer is still thinking logically

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowflyer23 View Post
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Agreed but we can't stop them no matter how hard we try. Biggest issue is the governments around the world, they think like our (U)NGT, that cars with engines that go boom are the source of all evil in the society. Then there's this cancerous growth called Tesla. Let's see how EVs solve world hunger, racism and terrorism for them

The world situation feels like someone with deep pockets wants to further deepen their pockets and has bought all the governments just to push the EV agenda.
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Old 30th July 2021, 13:51   #10
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Default Re: Toyota working against shift to EVs; wants hydrogen-fuelled vehicles to play bigger role

The story is simple, Toyota has made huge investments in their Hydrogen & Hybrid technology which they want returns from. Without the support of the government, considering the initial phase of the technology Toyota can't expand further.

So Toyota wants the government to focus on their side of invested tech.


No offence to anyone, but for those who are concerned about EVs making more pollution than ICE is literally baseless. There are plenty of studies and facts which shows Electric Vehicles (I'm not only saying Battery Electric Vehicles[BEV] alone, but all electrified powertrains) creates less emission, more efficiency and more performance than any ICE counterpart. This is entirely a different topic but what we should be more focused is on how to adoption can be
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Old 30th July 2021, 13:52   #11
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Default Re: Toyota working against shift to EVs; wants hydrogen-fuelled vehicles to play bigger role

I find it funny that many BHPians still propagating the same myths about EVs again and again. Here are some common examples:
  • EVs are as pollutant as ICE cars (Fact: Even when completely powered by coal, EVs are cleaner than ICEs. With the grid getting cleaner (solar and wind) every day, EVs become much cleaner over their lifetime.)
  • Hydrogen is the real clean fuel. (Fact: Hydrogen uses 3 to 4 times electricity to travel the same distance as an EV)
  • Hydrogen can be generated with renewable energy and is much cleaner than EVs. (Fact: Again, you can use the same electricity to directly charge batteries instead of producing hydrogen and it only requires 1/4th of that energy).
  • Manufacturing of batteries is dirty. (Fact:While it's true, producing petrol/diesel is not clean either. In the case of EVs, you only need to do it once).
  • EVs never catch up due to slow charging. (Fact: With current technology, you can get 200km of range in just 10 mins and 400km range in just 30 min. In the future, it gets even better. It won't be as fast as fuel but won't be a worry for the majority of customers.

If people are hoping for EVs to never catch up and ICE vehicles will live forever, then they need to wake up. It's like hoping for coal to be the main source of electricity forever. EV adoption is happening at a rapid pace in major markets like Europe and China. The same will be the case in the US in the next 2-3 years. Renewable energy and electric vehicles are where the investment dollars are going.

India also adding more renewable power than coal for the last 5 years. 90% of the coal plants that were in the planning stage 6-7 years ago are stopped. It's now cheaper to build a new solar or wind power plant than maintaining the existing coal power plant. The same will happen in the EV space. All it needs is a single EV model with a decent range (~250 km) at around Rs 10 lakh price. In 2 wheeler space, a model with 80 to 100 km range at less than Rs 1 lakh price.

By the way, the Toyota Mirai hydrogen car sold less than 10,000 worldwide in over 6 years even with free hydrogen for 3 years. You can get a 3-year old used ones for less than 1/4th price.

Last edited by sri_tesla : 30th July 2021 at 14:05.
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Old 30th July 2021, 13:56   #12
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Default Re: Toyota working against shift to EVs; wants hydrogen-fuelled vehicles to play bigger role

A shift from current Fossil-fuel powered transportation to a more sustainable propulsion system is essential.

Contrarian view, but the current solution of battery-heavy (mass) EVs with materials sourced in what is yet-to-be proved as environment friendly (lithium mining for battery, coal mining for energy, etc) is far from sustainable. The current crop of EVs (Tesla, Mercedes, VW, Audi) address range anxiety, performance associated fear much better than ICE vehicles, they're even cheaper on a lifecycle cost basis for vehicle owners. But, they are far from being an environment efficient method to transport the masses.

Shift to sustainable power generation (solar, wind, wave, hydroelectric (already installed dams, not new ones - environmental issues), maybe even nuclear if "waste" generated is managed well) is essential.
With a grid that loses 30% to transmission losses (theft & actual technical loses), maybe us Indians are better off converting energy produced sustainably at the point of production to an energy-rich but light to transport fuel. (Hydrogen could be the answer, maybe?)

Current govt incentives to switch to EV, cheap EVs, power to charge, etc (subsidies, tax rebates) are asymmetrical skews that wont last. We need one finance minister to come along when EV adoption is commonplace to tax everything like petrol/diesel is taxed today. Maybe even an arbitrary <1500kg including battery pack vehicle wet weight limit for taxation (a-la-sub 4m rule) will come someday.

From an engineering standpoint, hydrogen looks much better in terms of ease of use for an end customer. It's electric propulsion after all, without the hassle of having to lug a heavy, expensive and range limiting battery. I wonder what real tyre and brake life is on Tesla's today, with all that mass. Maybe we will have nimble handling as well, without all that weight! Yes, issues with storage of hydrogen are yet to be solved fully, but if we can build battery electric Tesla cars 10 years ago, some smart people can solve this as well.

Govts should provide outcome based subsidies, not method based ones. Cut CO2 emission by xx% (life cycle, including running, scrappage, etc) using MAGIC for all I care, just get it done. Instead lobbies want method based subsidies to justify return on investments made already (eg, big oil will delay electrification, big battery will delay hydrogen, big auto will delay EVs, etc). Waiting for your EV to charge for a significant duration of time while doing long distance trips could be something only early adopters will tolerate well. People want convenience, not pain while doing good things, for common stuff. It's good to assemble your IKEA furniture, once every few years; try making your own dosa-dough everyday!

Toyota cannot be expected to lead EV adoption, in the current form, it pays to make more hybrids, they do that like any business. Tesla will lobby for EVs with large battery packs over hydrogen fuel cells coz they know they've invested large in batteries. To expect better behavior from any for-profit company is just too much. But the beauty of innovation in the marketplace is that good solutions will win eventually. GM/Ford want to go all electric immediately coz their current offerings are from cutting edge on some points. In an SUV heavy world, EVs are great as the additional mass is not a problem!

Also, I see a lot of fan-boy syndrome everywhere. No-one technology solution is sacrosanct, we need tech to enable us to reach/exceed environmental goals, not limit our solutions.

Last edited by shreevishnu : 30th July 2021 at 14:13. Reason: typos
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Old 30th July 2021, 14:44   #13
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Default Re: Toyota working against shift to EVs; wants hydrogen-fuelled vehicles to play bigger role

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhishek46 View Post
Mr. Reynolds/Toyota can lobby to their heart's content.
However, the writing is on the wall.

Consumers in advanced markets are now presented with numerous options for EVs.
Almost every major automaker has jumped full fledged into the EV Scene.
Lastly, there is good infrastructure for charging as well in developed markets & most importantly EV charging speeds are reducing with every generation.

Compared to this, Hydrogen is no-where.
Toyota must understand, and move on.
Absolutely correct. The battle was never about who’s cleaner. It’s always about economics and how satisfied drivers are.

The very initial early adopter push for EVs was possible because people who
1. Had a suburban home with garage (US lingo)
2. Had budget to replace at least one car with EV
3. Realised that charging is far cheaper than fuel costs and servicing

The reason H2 FCEV didn’t take off on the piggy back of early adopters is exactly this :
1. You can’t refill overnight. And initial H2 infra (even today’s) is nowhere near charging stations. It’s cheaper to build chargers than H2 filling stations.
2. Mirai FCEV (2021) is actually costlier than the EVs like model 3 and model y. 400mi H2 range is moot when you can’t fill it. 300mi with US wide changing infra (except North West) is much better than 400mi and no filling station outside CA.
3. H2 is sold at ~$17 to the kg, and for full tank on mirai, you’re paying 5kgX17 = 85$/₹6300. Close to ₹10/km, for perspective, at US household Avg of 0.07$/kWh (₹5.25) a Model 3 LR goes 565km on ₹430 for 82kWh. <₹1/km.

It was never about who’s cleaner. Customers who were aware enough about these things, chose electric. Still do, will do. The clean credentials of an EV would be 3rd or 4th on the list of things a driver likes about their EV. Most go in this order

1. Running cost
2. Performance
3. Techy-Features (Tesla only for most part)
4. Cleaner than gas/diesel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sri_tesla View Post
I find it funny that many BHPians still propagating the same myths about EVs again and again. Here are some common examples:
  • EVs are as pollutant as ICE cars (Fact: Even when completely powered by coal, EVs are cleaner than ICEs. With the grid getting cleaner (solar and wind) every day, EVs become much cleaner over their lifetime.)
  • Hydrogen is the real clean fuel. (Fact: Hydrogen uses 3 to 4 times electricity to travel the same distance as an EV)
  • Hydrogen can be generated with renewable energy and is much cleaner than EVs. (Fact: Again, you can use the same electricity to directly charge batteries instead of producing hydrogen and it only requires 1/4th of that energy).
  • Manufacturing of batteries is dirty. (Fact:While it's true, producing petrol/diesel is not clean either. In the case of EVs, you only need to do it once).
  • EVs never catch up due to slow charging. (Fact: With current technology, you can get 200km of range in just 10 mins and 400km range in just 30 min. In the future, it gets even better. It won't be as fast as fuel but won't be a worry for the majority of customers.

If people are hoping for EVs to never catch up and ICE vehicles will live forever, then they need to wake up. It's like hoping for coal to be the main source of electricity forever. EV adoption is happening at a rapid pace in major markets like Europe and China. The same will be the case in the US in the next 2-3 years. Renewable energy and electric vehicles are where the investment dollars are going.

India also adding more renewable power than coal for the last 5 years. 90% of the coal plants that were in the planning stage 6-7 years ago are stopped. It's now cheaper to build a new solar or wind power plant than maintaining the existing coal power plant. The same will happen in the EV space. All it needs is a single EV model with a decent range (~250 km) at around Rs 10 lakh price. In 2 wheeler space, a model with 80 to 100 km range at less than Rs 1 lakh price.
Absolutely.

Might I add a few more points about FCEVs :

1. H2 fuel cells use Platinum and Palladium which also by the way, need to be mined. No one wants to talk about these metals, apparently.

2. Mirai FCEV has a 1.2kWh lithium ion battery. I don’t think majority of people realise that FCEVs use lithium batteries and not lead acids.

3. FCEVs might win on weight (Specific Energy ie kWh/kg of H2 > lithium battery) but on volume (Energy density ie kWh/m^3 H2 < lithium ion) The mirai has a combined tank volume of 141L. That’s not the amount of H2, that’s the dimensions of tanks. So you get this in the rear seat :
Toyota working against shift to EVs; wants hydrogen-fuelled vehicles to play bigger role-54cdc58322464ddab97060f10959f579.jpeg

You can optimise for heavier weight of batteries. But what about H2 tanks being 3x size of petrol tanks to give same range?

Small FCEVs will have same problem as small EVs : not enough range due to space/weight constraints respectively for FCEVs and BEVs.

————————————————————————

As for green credentials of EVs themselves, we’re lucky that ICCT released a study on LCA of EVs in EU, USA, China and India. Mind you, LCA study includes

EVs : battery production and electricity production

ICE : Oil production and refining (media never talks about this) and the tailpipe emissions.

Study results : EVs cleaner by 19% in India TODAY. 34% cleaner by 2030.

Toyota working against shift to EVs; wants hydrogen-fuelled vehicles to play bigger role-03a39d6baca142a7a145605c2141fbd1.png

While the major push in sales comes from reasons other than clean credentials, it’s not false that EVs are clean today, even after including battery production and coal electricity.

Side note : I did a spaghetti math analysis on purely the grid side of things (ignoring the battery production and fuel production) some time ago, which yielded a 28% lower emissions in EVs. Of course, I assume, if I had added fuel and battery production into the mix, the value could’ve been closer to the actual official study.

It’s not the most accurate of things, but if you want, you can see it here on Tesla Club India’s blog.

Last edited by Shresth_EV : 30th July 2021 at 14:58. Reason: added links to articles
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Old 30th July 2021, 15:07   #14
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Default Re: Toyota working against shift to EVs; wants hydrogen-fuelled vehicles to play bigger role

Toyota can lobby as much as they want, but all they can do is delay the shift.

On another note, the whole point of EVs is to establish a system where power generation happens in a limited number of places as opposed to billions of cars. Not only EVs, but it is also the whole point of using electricity for anything. You establish a system where power generation need not be done at the point of consumption. The advantage of doing this is that when newer mechanisms of renewable power generation get invented, it is easy to switch to those methods. And it is easier done by governments and private entities with deep pockets. Not by billions of car owners. That is why the shift to EV is so important for a green future. Move to EVs establishes a system where power generation happens only at a limited number of points.

Last edited by padmrajravi : 30th July 2021 at 15:10.
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Old 30th July 2021, 15:33   #15
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Default Re: Toyota working against shift to EVs; wants hydrogen-fuelled vehicles to play bigger role

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Originally Posted by speedmiester View Post
Well good for them, don't think they can pull it off easily.
If they keep at it, they will go the way of Kodak, Blackberry, Nokia and other big names.
Except for Nissan the Jap giants have completely lost the plot in the EV race.

I think Toyota has just realised how behind the curve they really are after seeing EV adoption gather pace. They are desperate to delay proceedings so that they can play catch up. Make no mistake Toyota have massively invested in EV tech, but they are still a few years behind.

Atleast Toyota are course correcting now, their real pain is conceding the fact the American, European and even Korean rivals have moved ahead in the race. Closer to home Nissan's EV programme is beginning to bear fruit, and their sister entity Mitsubishi have strong EV experience as well.

Toyota is still better than the other Japanese bretheren Honda, Mazda etc.

The sad fact is if Toyota is so far behind, imagine Suzuki's fate?! They are relying on big brother for EV gyan! Suzuki India is atleast half a decade away from having a viable EV ready for the Indian market.

India's largest car manufacturer.....sad! On the other hand Toyota have announced a $2 billion EV investment into Indonesia.
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