TOYOTA: Electric Cars Not Ready For Prime Time

Discussion in 'Politics' started by pspr, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. pspr


    By Yoko Kubota
    (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp has scrapped plans for widespread sales of a new all-electric minicar, saying it had misread the market and the ability of still-emerging battery technology to meet consumer demands.

    Toyota, which had already taken a more conservative view of the market for battery-powered cars than rivals General Motors Co and Nissan Motor Co, said it would only sell about 100 battery-powered eQ vehicles in the United States and Japan in an extremely limited release.

    The automaker had announced plans to sell several thousand of the vehicles per year when it unveiled the eQ as an pure-electric variant of its iQ minicar in 2010.

    "Two years later, there are many difficulties," Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota's vice chairman and the engineer who oversees vehicle development, told reporters on Monday.

    By dropping plans for a second electric vehicle in its line-up, Toyota cast more doubt on an alternative to the combustion engine that has been both lauded for its oil-saving potential and criticized for its heavy reliance on government subsidies in key markets like the United States.
  2. pspr


    CBO report slams electric car subsidies as a waste of money.

    CBO estimates that federal policies to promote the manufacture and purchase of electric vehicles, some of which also support other types of fuel-efficient vehicles, will have a total budgetary cost of about $7.5 billion through 2019. Tax credits for buying electric vehicles—which account for about one-fourth of that cost—are likely to have the greatest impact on vehicle sales. The electric vehicles that are the focus of this study fall into two broad classes:

    Assuming that everything else is equal, the larger an electric vehicle’s battery capacity, the greater its cost disadvantage relative to conventional vehicles—and thus the larger the tax credit needed to make it cost-competitive.

    However, the tax credits have other, indirect effects: Increased sales of electric vehicles allow automakers to sell more low-fuel-economy vehicles and still comply with the federal standards that govern the average fuel economy of the vehicles they sell (known as CAFE standards).

    Consequently, the credits will result in little or no reduction in the total gasoline use and greenhouse gas emissions of the nation’s vehicle fleet over the next several years. As a result, the cost per gallon or per metric ton of any such reductions will be much greater than the cost calculated on the basis of the direct effects alone.
  3. 377OHMS


    Its a disappointment. I thought that by now I would have a pure electric vehicle for my daily commute and just keep an internal combustion car for fun and weekend trips. It just didn't work out that way.

    Its difficult to understand why the EV1 could be made to work with lead-acid battery technology but these modern electrics and electric/hybrids cannot achieve the same range with far more advanced battery and brushless DC motor technologies.
  4. My wife drives a Volt. It's a great bargain for us -- dirt cheap lease and close to zero gasoline costs here in California where regular goes for $4.20/gallon.

    Too bad the taxpayers got screwed. Many thanks to all of you who are subsidizing my wife's cool car.
  5. 377OHMS


    Some folks are perfectly happy to be carried by others and feel as though they are clever to have their lives subsidized by other people.

    I prefer to rely on my own resources and pay for the goods and services that I consume. I guess its just a matter of having a different world-view.

    Hope your wife is safe in the thing.
  6. Oh, come on... I hope you're kidding. You buy subsidized products every time you shop in a grocery store.

    And thanks for asking... it's a been a very safe and reliable car for her and the kids.
  7. 377OHMS


    I'm serious but what you are saying is true, quite a few things are subsidized, particularly food items and I'm not out there boycotting them. Its just a general life-rule for me to pay my way where possible.

    Anyway the thread is about electric vehicles which really has little to to with the GM Volt.

    Probably the next economy vehicle I buy will be a Toyota but it probably won't be a pure electric. The Prius seems like a very nice car and it has a really high reliability rating. Everytime I see a Prius they seem to be doing 80+ on the freeway lol.
  8. The Volt is not a pure electric vehicle, but it's pretty close. It burns less than a gallon of gas a month the way my wife drives it.
  9. 377OHMS


    The Prius isn't a pure electric either but it can get about 51 mpg, pretty good. There are some pure electrics available but the ones with the kind of range I need to commute all cost around six figures. I need about 56 miles range with perhaps a 10% safety margin so a car with about 62 miles electric range would work for me.

    At some point when I looked at the Volt at the LA Auto Show it had sufficient range but the design changed drastically before production and Fox reports the electric range to be 25 miles while the Huffington Post has reported the electric range to be 38 miles. Its hard to get a handle on the real performance because the car is so closely associated with left/right politics. Do you know what kind of electric range your wife is getting in her Volt?
  10. pspr


    I think that would depend upon whether she bought one with the optional Flintstone floorboard opening for added hill climbing assist. :D :eek: :D
    #10     Sep 24, 2012