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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Unlikely Skeptic: Japan Inc. expresses doubts about the all-electric future

Skeptics of the autonomous, battery-electric, carbon-free future heavily hawked by the auto industry have found an unlikely ally in the nation of Japan. Or, at least, in Akio Toyoda, the president of Toyota Motor Corp.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/magazine-features/unlikely-skeptic-japan-inc-expresses-doubts-about-th...
165 REPLIES 165
milo2021
Intermediate Driver

The ability to have the power to charge those vehicles is being diminished by closing down coal and nuclear plants with no reliable replacement of electricity. Cost of batteries increases will happen when mining for needed metals soars. The infrastructure for gas powered cars was built over many decades so pushing car production of electrics before charging stations are as numerous as gas stations is putting the horse before the cart. I don't see the need at this point for battery cars to be endorsed as a 100% replacement over gas powered . Perhaps there is a better option like Toyota has indicated.
limoguy
Detailer

Add to that The Left is pushing to eliminate natural gas as a power source for electricity generation, along with coal. No nukes. I want to know the source of this electricity.

Electric vehicles are a niche. They will be a niche for the foreseeable future.
hyperv6
Racer

What is hilarious on this is NY is eliminating gas from homes but CA is going to power more power plants with gas? 

BMD4800
Gearhead

No nukes, no fuel oil, no coal, the only option is natural gas.   Or, buying power from neighboring states. 

What is hilarious is paying a premium for power to charge your Tesla during peak demand times or the 1 hour delay driving to the mountains.    We stop and use the restroom in Payson.   Hopefully there is no line for the charger.   I can go from PHx to the ranch, no refueling.  The Tesla people, they have to catch up.  Every single time.   I quit trying to share the reality.   I haul their toys too.   Just can’t make it towing the RZR.   But they feel good about themselves.  

VolvoSleeper
Intermediate Driver

Cars or trucks that steer themselves make little sense to me. I wonder why it wouldn’t be safer or smarter to research ways that the highway system could imbed technology into each lane the vehicles could connect with.
Thecarguy4all
New Driver

He’s not alone in the outward skepticism. Tavares at Stellantis has also been bearish for similar reasons.

And it’s not the wrong take. Rushing to EVs only brings about a few problems, not the least of which is consumer adoption. Never mind the lack of infrastructure. In an area heavy with charging stations, there are only 6 350kw chargers in my state. How are we going to fast-charge these new supposedly eco-friendly mega trucks quickly, when you’ve got 6 chargers versus several thousand fuel stations with multiple pumps?

At least with PHEVs and HEVs you can increase power, decrease consumption, and bridge the gap while everyone installs chargers.
MATTMERICA
Technician

What annoys me the most about the EV push is that people do not grasp the concept that the USA is a tiny tiny player in the world. So what if every vehicle in the USA was EV? What then? It doesn't end or stop global warming. What about India? What about Mexico/SA and Africa? Never mind those folks, they are in many cases decades behind even poor rural parts of the USA when it comes to power generation and income. Is the guy with 5 kids who farms a two acre piece of dirt in Chile going to spend $28,000 USD on an EV??? The EV future is pure BS, unless you talk to the people who really will benefit from it - mainly the tech folks and the chinese. If anybody was actually not full of BS, they would address the elephant in the room - china. They only produce more greenhouse gas than the rest of the world combined.
avanti5010
Intermediate Driver

Where is the "Thumbs Down" button?
dtniners
Pit Crew

We wouldn't want to offend anyone now would we? wink wink
Rider79
Technician

Why would you want it? I believe he speaks largely the truth.
hyperv6
Racer

Actually China and Europe are way ahead of us already and China is the 700 pound gorilla in the room. Just what is made for their market will pay most of the development cost. 

Expect India, Many  i ties in South America and even Australia to follow. 

Even the Middle East is making the move. 

TrustyRusty
Detailer

Get serious! Have you seen the power grid in India? You must be joking...
BMD4800
Gearhead

No.  He’s clearly never been to India.  

Or China.  

We’re gonna need your intellectual property.    

The 700 lbs gorilla … that can’t supply their own food supply.  

BMD4800
Gearhead

You’re funny.   

India, their best and brightest, a national repower program for planes, actually wanted to add pulleys for auxiliary systems.  

A precision gas turbine, you don’t just add pulleys.    That’s India.    

China, worse yet.   

Russia - can we get more electrical generating capacity?   

That 700 lbs gorilla is fat and stupid.   FACT.  

Thecarguy4all
New Driver

Not sure if you think you're agreeing with me, but you aren't. 

 

The USA is the traditional leader in greenhouse gas emissions. China is new to the trophy. We (the US) also pioneered Tetraethylead which is still killing people worldwide in use; and generally speaking there are more of us that have been doing this whole car thing, and for a longer period of time. We started this fire with a possible co-conspirator in Germany. 

China and India have mass-transit, they are not as car centric as we are, and it's not part of their economies at large as of yet. But should we take a backseat because they should lead the charge? I think not. I'd rather be at the helm than be in the trunk, personally.  Especially when the other nations involved DWARF us in number of people.

As to the notion this only benefits the Chinese, you really need to get out more. If you haven't driven an electrified or full-electric vehicle, I will simply say you need to. There are major benefits to the tech outside of the endless talking points of 0-60 and we've just begun to scratch the surface of what this kind of modularity unlocks, and what potentials have yet to be realized.

Yes, it's going to take a lot of people a lot of work to get us to where we need to be in terms of infrastructure, and consumer acceptance. 

But, as to whether or not we should if others don't; this is America.

We are supposed to be leaders by example, not whinging isolationists stuck in the past. Hell, even Ronny Raygun talked of the US as needing to be a beacon to the other countries of the world. This is a similar moment. If we want more power, cleaner air, better acceleration, and whatever comes next we have to meet the challenge. And that doesn't mean you have to give up your V8 classic either. 

This isn't a conspiracy, this isn't a political agenda, this is progress. And as the saying goes for corporations both big and small: Adapt or die. 

petersalt
Advanced Driver

Actually, it may BE a conspiracy. For one thing, the UN IPCC and University of East Anglia/many other government-funded climate research organizations are quasi-religious in the dedication to the CO2 - human caused global warming theory. One slight flaw in the religion is that the computer codes which model the earth/atmosphere & everything else don't quite work; input with decades of environmental and temperature data, the codes DON'T accurately predict the CURRENT temperatures. If predicting TODAY is a problem, then 2050 and 2080 predictions may be somewhat suspect. Additionally, there are many creditable scientists/geophysicists who agree with the skeptics who say that the sun cycles are driving our weather .. and that blaming 'global warming' for every major storm or destructive tornado is ludicrous.
spark123
Advanced Driver

Mr Toyoda is absolutely correct!
The only reason for the EV push by American manufacturing is that there is a much higher profit margin in EVs than ICE as manufacturing an EV requires much less labor and materials.
Being an electrical engineer I did the math behind EVs. Currently most electricity is made by burning natural gas and a lot more by coal to fill in the shortfall of alternative energy. So, if you do the calculations of burning fossil fuel to create steam, to spin a turbine, to run a generator, to deliver the electricity hundreds of miles, to convert the electricity to something the EVs batteries can accept, to store the energy in the EVs batteries, to convert the chemical energy in the EVs batteries to electricity, to regulate the electricity to be able to modulate the EVs motors. There needs to be 50 times more fossil fuel burned to move that EV one mile down the road than a comparable ICE vehicle. How does this make the EVs carbon free??
PRScott
Instructor

You did the math? Check the battery in your calculator !
Oldroad1
Gearhead

Did you do the math W A?
SJ
Technician

I predict that both EV & ICE vehicles will be obsolete in the near future. You cannot compete with the Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactor.
OldFordMan
Advanced Driver

I have been talking small fusion for years!
BMD4800
Gearhead

Carl’s Jr. cares about your children. 

hitdave
New Driver

Predicting the future is risky business. Toyoda might be right or Barra and others might be right. Toyoda makes an obvious point in saying that the focus should be on reducing or eliminating CO2 production and not on any particular technology. If manufacturers are required to reduce or eliminate CO2 and markets function as they should we'll see one or more winners in the not too distant future. If Toyoda rolls the dice and wins then good for him. Otherwise, his business could be in deep doo-doo.
limoguy
Detailer

If the government mandates the solution, as they are...and they are wrong, we are ALL in deep doo doo.
bblhed
Instructor

Getting EV's on teh roads affordably would be a lot easier if they weren't all trying to be faster than a Dodge Hellcat. There is nothing wrong with driving something like a Nisan Leaf to and from work. Well, as long as it is as reliable as a Toyota in that regard it can be nothing like a Nisan Leaf, or any other modern Nisan product.
avanti5010
Intermediate Driver

The Nissan Leaf is more reliable than any Toy - Ota. By the way, it's Nissan, not Nisan, and I'll put my GT-R or LEAF up against anything TOY Ota makes.
bblhed
Instructor

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You were saying?

Oldroad1
Gearhead

You'd lose.
Sutton12
Intermediate Driver

The battery is the issue and I hope Mr. Toyoda can convince governments and industry to hold back. The environmental damage that battery production and disposal (or recycle) will create is a definite show stopper. I can't believe auto makers are not considering this.
hyperv6
Racer

With Billions spent with most of the MFGS already the path is set and why Toyota has already caved to go EV now. 

 

Like I stated above large recycling programs are already being set up as the value of the battery material will make them of value to the future battery MFG.  Kind of like Cell Phones and computers while the gold content is small they are in high demand for recycling. If money can be made they will recycle. That is why no one wants plastic bottles. 

MATTMERICA
Technician

Please, just cut to the chase. Not to be a broken record, but Toyoda is right - it technically ISN'T the ICE, it IS carbon. But if you drill down just a little bit, you are left with this startling fact:
China produces more greenhouse gas than the rest of the world combined. You want to "fix" the planet in 5 years? Then figure out how to cut china back to only being 1/4 of the entire world's greenhouse gas emitter, and then you can stay the F away from my ICE vehicles. Until then, the idiots who don't understand just how precarious our power grid is in the USA and just how impractical an "all EV" future is can keep clamoring on and blathering about topics they have literally zero real insight on and those same people can continue to be the consumer whores who have helped fuel the largest greenhouse gas emitter the world has ever known.....
limoguy
Detailer

Exactly so.
KlausKneip7263
Pit Crew

A major component of what we are being told about our EV future is "gaslighting" -- drive an EV and all our atmospheric carbon dioxide worries will vanish... unlikely.
Air_and_Water
Instructor

Yeah, literally nobody is saying that.
Oldroad1
Gearhead

The Collective Congressional Communist Party(cccp) says that everyday, Yes the (cccp) is the left side of the congressional aisle. If (cccp) looks like an insignia you've seen before you'd be right. It was the party insignia of the Soviet Union for the Supreme Soviet Socialist Party, Well fitting irony.
elldorado2000
Advanced Driver

When GM sells 25 Ev's in the 4th quarter, most people would realize that there was some serious puckering going on in the GM board room. They may say they are going 100% electric (with a number of other manufacturers) but my guess that is more virtue signaling than reality. They do have to stay in business after all.
hyperv6
Racer

On the contrary they know the adoptions is a long term process. kind of like boiling frogs. GM will introduce a number of EV products. 30 in the next two years globally. But they have yet to say when the last ICE vehicle will be sold. I expect they may offer some ICE up to 2050. Now that is 30 years and much will take place over that time. 

 

If these models are Affordable. Have a decent range, recharge fast and are safe people will buy them like a microwave. Most buyers are not longer car enthusiast. It used to be someone was a Packard man now does anyone claim to be a Hyundai man? 

limoguy
Detailer

You cannot pay for the scale of development being undertaken by the margin on the number of electric vehicles which will be sold in the next 10 years. The financials do not work.
hyperv6
Racer

You very well can when you continue to sell ICE SUV and Trucks. GM and VW are not Tesla reliant on Stock money and presale money for new vehicles. 

GM is not removing ICE trucks anytime soon. 

Oldroad1
Gearhead

EVs safe? Has any of these American EV manufacturers performed crash tests with a fully operational EV with battery included? If so I'd like to see the data. EV batteries are combustible on impact.
Tinkerah
Engineer

NTSB does crash test EVs, fully equipped. I understand they test quite well. HOWEVER - they don't test for a high-speed high-centering which is how the batteries get breached on open roads (by drivers leaving the road).

Oldroad1
Gearhead

Where is the data? Cause I'm not buying. If they are testing they sure aren't advertising the results on any media I read or look at. If they are testing and not reporting they must not like the results, if so EV manufacturers are exposing the public to danger of sudden impact detonation.
BMD4800
Gearhead

Typical government crash tests are not realistic to real-world vehicle to vehicle collisions, and certainly not vehicle to object collisions.  

This, the tin-foil hat brigade will claim, is to obfuscate the wide disparity in crash protection between small cars, lightweight EVs (with heavy batteries), and large SUVs & Trucks.   

Utopia1
Detailer

Mr. Toyoda isn't wrong. Who cares how we reach a carbon-neutral future as long as we do.
The head of Stellantis just made an interesting statement a few days ago as well "what is clear is that electrification is the technology chosen by politicians, not by industry".
I couldn't agree more.
avanti5010
Intermediate Driver

So is Elon Musk a politician??
limoguy
Detailer

Tesla is a niche marketer.
avanti5010
Intermediate Driver

Tesla is a niche marketer? And what "niche" is that?
Rider79
Technician

Currently, Tesla's niche is upper-mid-price and above electric vehicles. That market is - currently at least - a niche market.
hyperv6
Racer

Almost as bad. He is a pot head billionaire. 

Oldroad1
Gearhead

Yes he is. Just like any other political squirrel, most every dollar in his pockets were picked from the pockets of tax payers.