Toyota condemns the Electric Car

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Toyota Crown Electric Cars

Toyota condemns the Electric Car

October 6, 2009 By Cars UK

Electric cars — like the Reva NXG — are not a viable mass-market option.

Toyota believes that the electric car will never be a mass-market phenomenon, and that the future lies with petrol hybrids.

I suppose we shouldn t be too surprised that the company that has put all its might behind the hybrid car says that electric cars plug-ins are not a viable proposition, nor likely to be in the future. It concurrs with our opinion at Cars UK Towers, but it s interesting to see that Toyota has much the same mindset as we do although not on Hybrids.

Toyota s head of RD in Europe Masato Katsumata said in a speech that the electric vehicle won t be a mass-market phenomenon, and that the future at least in the coming decades will be petrol engine hybrids. We don t see any short-term breakthrough in battery technology he said.

Dirk Breuer a tech advisor for Toyota in Germany added that the energy density of current battery technology made the electric car a non-starter for anything other than city cars and commercial vehicles. He pointed out that to store as much energy as a 12 gallon petrol tank would take a battery bank of over 400 gallons in size. He also went on to say that heating and cooling were a major problem in electric cars, with heating taking up to 5kw and cooling 4kw even in a very small car.

He also sees the infrastructure as a major obstacle. Quick recharging points offering a top-up in 20 minutes or less cost around £30k each and 50% of the electrical energy is lost in the transfer to the battery. And home charging points are also a big problem in cities as the majority don t have access to off-road parking and up to 80% of drivers in cities don t know where they will park overnight from one day to the next.

The next bit we re not exactly in agreement with. Breuer says mild hybrids offer too little for too much cost (which is probably true in small cars, but it does work in cars like the Mercedes S400 hybrid and the BMW 7 Series Hybrid ) and he claims range-extenders suffer from too much loss within the powertrain (which may also be true, but we feel it is the most elegant solution).

He also went on to add that diesel engines are going to become less viable with the next raft of EU6 legislation. He says that in order to comply with NOx and particulate emmission requirements diesel engines will have to have an 11 stage chemical processing plant built in, making them very expensive to produce. And diesel engines already cost more to produce than petrol ones.

We re with Breuer on plug-in EVs. A very limited personal transport option. But we believe that the range extender as featured in the BMW Vision ED and the Jaguar XJ Limo Green are the future, at least for the next couple of decades.

Toyota Crown Electric Cars

As for diesels, they have become a very good option and they are now very drivable but we have always contended that the big issue is with particulate and NOx emissions. That can be addressed, but the cost of doing so may well sound the … knell for the diesel.

The debate rolls on.

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Electric Toyota RAV4 and Electric Lexus RX planned Tesla are building two electric prototypes for Toyota, which we believe are an electric RAV4 and an electric Lexus RX.

Toyota Crown Electric Cars
Toyota Crown Electric Cars
Toyota Crown Electric Cars
Toyota Crown Electric Cars
Toyota Crown Electric Cars
Toyota Crown Electric Cars
Toyota Crown Electric Cars

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