Featured Toyota Is Losing the Electric Car Race, So It Pretends Hybrids Are Better

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by schja01, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. schja01

    schja01 One of just a few in Chicagoland

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  2. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    I find it interesting how much "losing" spin is being published. It's the standard rhetoric that comes from early-adopters who don't want to look at the big picture or want to distract from it. The recent news of Toyota investing heavily in hybrid production in the United States is good reason for those desperate to undermine to step up their efforts.

    Reality is, the plan for Toyota to offer a wide variety of hybrid choices is a very effective means to not only bring traditional vehicle production to an end, it also sets the stage nicely for high-volume plug-in demand. Getting a hybrid owner to upgrade to a plug-in hybrid is far easier than convincing someone to go straight to a plug.

    Other automakers don't have a transition plan. Their attempts to introduce something with a plug have been chaotic and with an uncertain message of commitment.
     
    #2 john1701a, Mar 15, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    reminds me of sports writers writing negative articles about their teams, hoping to spur them on to greatness
     
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  4. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    Hmm... “chaotic” in what sense? Porsche, BMW, Nissan, Hyundai and others seem to be doing great in that regard.
     
  5. lextoy

    lextoy Member

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    my .02...
    i think toyota is banking on most consumers never really embracing the BEV. USA is very much the most vehicle centric economy/society. We have the most experience driving. Our taste and opinion on cars could reasonably be extrapolated to all other up and coming economies/societies. We are not really BEV lovers. Majority dont like them at all, and fear the limitations of a BEV. That will not change quickly, if ever. Other areas/economies, china for example, will probably grow up to be like us in their thought processes about BEVs. Driving an ice is total freedom, BEV has limitations. As much as we dont like it, nobody cares enough about the environment to absorb the extra inconvenience.
    Ok so a few of us do care, we are the tiny minority. Do you think the chinese care about the environment? They care about economic growth , wealth accumulation, global competition, display of achievement. It will be a long time before any majority, of any country, puts the environment before economic achievement and convenience.
    Toyota, i am sure, has done survey after survey, study after study, and has seen the market isnt there. Not here in the USA and not anywhere else, and it wont be for a long time. So they will sell what we want ICEs. And hybrids(as we see, a tiny fraction of sales). At least the hybrid is building a reputation for all the conveniences of ICE and all of the benefits of BEV. Eventually they will build their own reputation and customer base up to make their own market for a toyota BEV.
    Lets be honest, the tesla owners are the affluent. They arent buying them for the economy they are buying them for the cachet. I am sure many teslas have low miles as they are more of a status symbol than daily driver. Whats the total sales volume of BEV's , 2.1% of all vehicles sold, and half of those were only in CA. Widespread adoption is a pipe dream of the wealthy granola ;)
    What we believe, or want to believe, and what actually is, are two different things.
    I for one hope that hybrids/bev's never catch on with the masses. Then i will be able to buy them at steep discounts with govt incentives forever. is that selfish?? yes. do i care?? no. I am on this earth to enjoy my life, not sacrifice so others can see the light. Its harsh, but i see humanity as doomed. the smart ones are outnumbered by the hordes of barbarians, and sooner or later its all gonna come crashing down. Nothing we can do about it. Whats going to save the environment? Nothing done by me or you, or collectively by all of us. A pandemic will save the environment. Wiping out 75-95% of the global population will bring everything into balance. Toyota wont budge the needle by coming out with the most super awesome BEV ever.
    In the meantime i try to do what will make my life and my families life better. i dont drive a prius to save the planet, i drive it because its convenient and economical. a BEV is neither, and will likely never be.
     
    #5 lextoy, Mar 15, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
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  6. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Porsche has always been a niche. BMW is all over the place, no message of certainty from them yet. Nissan is stuck on Leaf, definitely no plan forward yet. Hyundai is rolling out in such low volume, we have to wait. Any particular reason you left out GM, who is undeniably a mess? Ford is a no show. VW does stir hope. Honda, don't know.

    Think about how each must advance beyond the low-hanging fruit. Spreading the tech to an array of choices that are profitable on their own, no government help and able to compete directly with traditional vehicles.

    Evidence of preparing to take advantage of affordable batteries is difficult to avoid. So what if the current generation only focuses on significant reduction?
     
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  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sidewalk Supervisor

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    "pretends" is in the title, so that's allowed I guess. But hey, nothing wrong with a regular hybrid. There's pros and cons to both.

    One man's ceiling, another man's floor.
     
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  8. Washingtonian

    Washingtonian Active Member

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    I think lextoy's remark about the Chinese is wrong. I spend a lot of time in Asia (5 months in 2018) and have been following what is going on there. The Chinese government is encouraging BEV use much more than the U.S. and a lot of BEVs are being produced there now, including Teslas. I think it is just a matter of time before more people in this country begin to understand how practical a BEV can be to meet their daily driving needs. I have been interested in cars most of my life; enjoyed working on them and driving them, but was never interested in a hybrid. I liked small, efficient cars like the Honda CRX. When Honda came out with the CRZ hybrid, I thought that was a stupid design. Why not make the same car with an efficient small gas engine and get rid of the weight, cost and complexity of the batteries and electric motors? I mention this to show that even though I was very knowledgeable about cars, I was ignorant of the capabilities of hybrids and BEVs. Since I have owned a Prius for two years, I now can easily see it as a stepping stone to a BEV.
     
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  9. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Porsche should be VW group, since VW, Audi, and Skoda will have BEVs by 2022. They already have started construction on BEV only factory that will have a max output of 300k cars a year, with investments in others for plug ins. They are also offering their MEB platform to others.

    GM is still investing in plug ins for China. Most of the European brands have accepted that they have to beat Tesla at their own game instead of denying or belittling plug ins. In a few years, Volvos will be mild hybrids at the least; most of the models already have a PHEV option. I'm expecting the Escape PHEV to be unveiled next month, if not, there will be more details on the Explorer hybrid and Aviator PHEV. Then there are the Chinese companies wanting to export their BEVs.

    You over looked a couple of factors that favors plug ins in other countries? They pay more for fuel, and may have other fees against ICE cars, like congestion charges; ICEs are simply getting banned in some city sections of Europe. Then they tend to drive fewer miles annually than we do. Take Australia, they have a V6/V8 car culture, much like the US; the RWD Pontiac sports sedan got before the end, was designed by Holden. Their average annual distance is around 15k kilometers. They simply don't need the EV ranges that people want in the US. Then many regions have decent, long distance rail for trips to support travel, andgenerally better transit, than in the US.

    BEVs were the most desirable cars in the early days, and for reasons people like them now. ICE's only won out once a person no longer risked breaking an arm starting them. Todays BEVs, even the ones with flaws, are a major improvement over the originals, and they got there without all the decades of refinement the ICE drive train has gotten.
    Many in China are living with smog levels not seen in the US in over 40 years. The people do want cleaner air. They also want those other things, and see becoming leaders in renewable energy and EVs helping to achieve that. their EV initiatives are help with all of those.

    If Toyota was good at these studies, the Prime would have been better all around than it currently is, and they wouldn't be pushing hydrogen cars where they don't make sense.

    Their design philosophy is Japan-centric. Which isn't bad, but it can be a handicap when it comes to other markets. The flaws in the Prime stems from the fact that half of Japanese homes have low power electrical service that results in EV charge times twice as long as a car would see in a typical US home. A battery along the size of the PiPs would have been fine for there, and that is what was the car originally had. Toyota USA reminded them that what works for Japan may not sell elsewhere, which is why the car has a larger battery that appears to have been installed as an after thought.

    That 2% is more than what hybrids had accomplished at the same point in their history.
    Shouldn't that be, "one man's gasser, is another one's self-charging EV."
     
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  10. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Cynical yet sincere point of view that sums up the current state of our existence. Sad, but I kinda have to agree with you.
     
  11. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    There’s a lot to agree with in what you said here! I largely do agree, although I’m not nearly as cynical or fatalistic about it all.

    One thing I largely don’t agree with, however: I know several Tesla owners, and they didn’t buy Tesla so they can be seen “wearing a Rolex,” so to speak. To a fair degree, they’re not even trying to save the environment. They instead say things like (direct, although maybe not exact, quotes):
    * When I get a rental gas car, it’s like switch from an iPhone back to a 1990s flip phone.
    * OK, yeah, the [Model 3] screen is weird, but dang it drives great!
    * After you drive a Tesla, why the hell would you ever want to drive anything else?!
    These people are mostly engineers, not lawyers nor executives, literally and figuratively.

    Are BEVs less convenient? As of right now there are really only two cases where they are, potentially/typically, less convenient than gas cars: If you take a lot of long road trips, or you don’t have a garage with charger at home or at work. If you have routine, easy access to a charger and you only occasionally take long road trips, then they are *more* convenient than gas cars, not less: Five seconds to plug it in overnight a couple times a week, and you never have to think about it.

    I largely agree that hybrids, plug-in hybrids and BEVs each have advantages. However, I do think it’s rapidly becoming clear that the only advantage pure-gas cars have is lower initial cost.
     
    #11 mr88cet, Mar 16, 2019 at 7:46 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2019 at 12:46 PM
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  12. telmo744

    telmo744 HSD fanatic

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    The title may raise another question.
    Are other manufacturers fighting for the Hybrid Car Race? [assuming every hybrid slashes 25% emissions/fuel consumption and it stands for something important]
    What happens to the rest of the fleet they keep producing? (all ICEs, no noticeable MPG improvement)

    For the time being, as per 2018, only 1.52% of the worldwide new car production where Battery Electric Vehicles.
    EV-Volumes - The Electric Vehicle World Sales Database
    Seems strange, to say the least, pointing the Electric Car Race more relevant than the Hybrid Car Race right now.
     
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  13. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    How about for pick-up and SUV everyone wants?
     
  14. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    Two replies: “yeah, working on it!” and “Model X/Y or Nero/Kona EV.”
     
    #14 mr88cet, Mar 16, 2019 at 8:48 AM
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 9:02 AM
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  15. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Science: "Good news everyone, EVs are back!"

    Industry: "Excellent, this is the shiny object we need to raise unit prices and crush our quarterlies!"

    Driving public: "A little weird maybe, but as long as it's cheaper than a 9 year old Kia I'll take it!"
     
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  16. El Dobro

    El Dobro A Member

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  17. farmecologist

    farmecologist Senior Member

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    Exactly! And range anxiety *is* real..at least around here. Nearly everyone I talk to about BEVs mentions it. Also, many won't even consider a gasoline hybrid until gasoline prices are much, much higher. Just looking at the parking lot at work tells the story....or any parking lot for that matter. I think the gasoline hybrid wall may be about to break somewhat though as more and more manufacturers turn to 'electrify' their popular models ( i.e. - Ford Explorer, etc... ). It will be interesting to see how they fare in the marketplace. Personally, I'm not sure a majority of people will want to pay a premium for them.

    In my opinion, and it echoes Toyota's thinking, is that hybrids and plugins are the best compromise out there right now for the average joe. With that being said, it sure seems like they could have went for BEVs in the luxury segment ( i.e. - Lexus ). If anything that is where any perceived 'loss' could be argued.

    BTW - I read another comment above that mentions fuel prices in Europe and the fact that average distance driven may be shorter than in the USA. This is a great observation in that hybrids and BEVs should be more popular there than they are in the USA. Do we have any data to support that? I wonder how electricity rates compare?
     
    #17 farmecologist, Mar 16, 2019 at 10:17 AM
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 10:24 AM
  18. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    I don’t think Toyota is loosing the BEV race; they’re not entering that race!
     
  19. mikefocke

    mikefocke Prius v Three 2012, Avalon 2011

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    But go try to buy one of those. So far the EV SUV is a promise out several years for most areas of the US. And none of those producers have battery capacity to produce such cars for the masses. Heck, as of now can even Tesla who is allocating their batteries between powerwalls and various high margin cars?
     
  20. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    you can buy an x today, albeit a bit pricey
     
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