Whence Toyota?!?

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woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,915
SE PA


I've been noting around here for several year the clear anti-EV bias from Toyota. Historically, they looked at lithium powered EVs in the mid-2000s and decided they were not a viable technology. They have been airing ads that BEVs are hard to charge... just get a Prius bc you don't have to plug it in! And now they are billing the Prius (HEV) as a 'self charging EV!' LOL.

Among the legacy automakers, Toyota is the least committed to EVs and has only recently launched their first BEV (except for joint venture concepts with others like Tesla). And it is being sold in tiny numbers at a high price. And I note that Japan is several years behind the US in EV adoption rate.

This video talks about investigative work into Toyota's global lobbying and disinformation. The report comes from Greenpeace, which is not my favorite source for such things... but I thought the video was eye-opening. It says that Toyota's global lobbying effort against EVs rivals that of the oil majors.

Wow.

And ofc Toyota is a champion for both Hydrogen vehicles and waiting for the fabled solid-state battery... kinda changes how I look at their commitment to such technology, and where it comes from. Kinda like the Oil Majors saying... we need to fund lots more Research into renewable energy (bc existing solar and wind tech are not good enough) rather than Development of existing solar and wind. And then getting 'futurist' Bill Gates to shill that story for them!
 

blades

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2008
3,805
WI, Leroy
only2problems hydrogen , very exposive , moleclues so small hard to contain pass through a steel tank. hydrogen is what toyota has been working with. Hindenberg comes to mind. course with what has been going on in the auto world whats another flaming auto destruc vehicle.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,483
Long Island NY
tanks with explosive contents have been standard as transportation energy supply...
In some countries in Europe even lpg, which is a gas (rather than a liquid) too. No problem at all.

Hydrogen is tougher to contain indeed.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
97,811
South Puget Sound, WA
Some background info, from a Japanese citizen.

Seems like Japanese car makers are painting themselves into a corner. They will lose sales in many countries unless they do an about-face on EVs.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,483
Long Island NY
They did not (don't) like it, but they'll be forced to adapt, or wither away. Unfortunately, because their quality is good.
 

woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,915
SE PA
They did not (don't) like it, but they'll be forced to adapt, or wither away. Unfortunately, because their quality is good.

I know lots of people love their Toyota's but we got two lemons in a row that needed tons of expensive repairs over the years.

That aside, who is 'king of the mountain' on industrial goods tends to cycle over decades of time. Whoever has the newest factory, tends to have the newest and cheapest product. Steel industries have shifted back and forth between countries over the last 150 years.

The Japanese car companies will hold their ground for a little while selling to their domestic market, but then have a hard time playing catch up. I personally think most larger legacy makers will survive electrification (just guessing really), but some might go away (or get bought up by rivals).

Right now the Chinese EV makers are global leaders (and Tesla is playing catch up in China) on cost and volume... but their products are mostly lower range vehicles that would not sell well in the US, even if there were not protectionist policies (China tariffs) in place. But they are selling well in the EU, a market that is also ahead of the US in EV adoption.

So, BYD could be selling easily be more vehicles globally than Toyota in 2030, since the projected EV/ICE 50:50 tipping point for China/EU is in 2025.

The Koreans are behind China in EV adoption, but way ahead of the Japanese (Korea being on a par with the US that way). The IRA is screwing them on rebates, but there are no tariffs in place, so they can probably play at the high end (and/or build assembly plants here). They have the best non-Tesla EVs on sale in the US these days, with >150 kW DCFC and nice features and styling. So if the US keeps the Chinese makers out of our markets, the Koreans could do quite well here, eventually displacing the Japanese brands for US buyers. But we won't hit 50:50 until closer to 2030.

So maybe we see one of the Korean companies buying up Toyota's assets and badge 10 years from now.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
4,011
SE North Carolina
I think if Toyota gets their hybrid full size truck/large SUV (remember they had a v8 4Runner for a while) tech right and make them PHEV they will keep meaningful market share in the US for the next 10 years. I drove the hybrid Sienna and was in impressed coming from a a Tesla and an 10 year old Honda. 35 mpg on the interstate no AC. Ehhh

But if you have a 380+ HP and 400 torques hybrid system and the competition is all BEV there is a center demographic that will avoid the BEV for no other reason than where they are on the political spectrum.
 

GrumpyDad

Minister of Fire
Feb 23, 2022
690
Champion, PA
I read alot, and what I see is Toyota vs the world. Beta vs VHS. Maybe.
EV's arent a unicorn that get their energy storage and energy via thin air. It's a very destructive, pollution heavy process.
MOST electrical grids run primarily on fossil fuels. EV's need fossil fuels to fuel up.
For this, Toyota is actually correct in their wager to some regard. Comparing like sized Prius vs a liked sized EV.
Here's an article to check out, not very scientific but there are also studies you can dig into. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/02/climate/electric-vehicles-environment.html
 

NoGoodAtScreenNames

Feeling the Heat
Sep 16, 2015
479
Massachusetts
The last few cars that we’ve bought have all been Toyotas. I think saying that Toyota is as bad as big oil in terms of misinformation is a bit much, but at the same time their poor record is both disappointing and tbh surprising since they normalized the idea of (partially) electrified cars with the Prius long before other mfrs.

Their miscalculations have been due I think to believing that batteries will be a scarce resource and that drivers will have range anxiety. They over estimated the scarcity and under estimated peoples willingness to deal with range anxiety.

They have argued that the best approach is to get as many vehicles partially electrified to reduce the amount of fossil fuels used to power the car. However, putting a small battery in a hybrid car only allows you to capture energy from regen braking. So while selling hybrids reduces the use of fossil fuels it does not eliminate our dependence on them since that is the only power source.

PHEVs could have been their sweet spot to transition. In 2020 we got a Prius Prime we drive that as an EV for about 85% of our miles. But the range is only about 25 miles. But those 25 miles can include renewables, particularly our rooftop solar. Imagine a plug in Prius or a Prius / Camry that could get 75 miles. That would have been true to their strategy of spreading the scarce batteries around while reducing fossil fuel dependency.

I’m now driving the RAV4 Prime which is rated for 40 miles EV but have been getting around 55 through the summer. But the RAV4 would be expensive without the tax credits which were going to phase out soon anyway and are eliminated under the IRA I’m not sure how that model continues. In Toyotas ads they all but ignore their PHEVs while hyping the hybrids.

Their first true EV looks incredibly boring. That’s not necessarily a bad thing if it also wasn’t expensive. The Leaf, Bolt, Kona EV, Niro EV already are out there for those that want an EV at a lower price point than the luxury EVs that get more attention.

The RAV4 prime is my range anxiety car for the next decade or so. The next time we need to buy a car it will almost certainly be a full EV and unfortunately that may very well mean a non-Toyota.
 

woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,915
SE PA
Some background info, from a Japanese citizen.

Seems like Japanese car makers are painting themselves into a corner. They will lose sales in many countries unless they do an about-face on EVs.

Wow. That is an amazing article.

Its like a textbook case of how large incumbent industries get disrupted. Denial that the new technology can work or be competitive (based upon current performance, disregarding the fact that new tech gets cheaper and better over time).
 

woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,915
SE PA
I read alot, and what I see is Toyota vs the world. Beta vs VHS. Maybe.
EV's arent a unicorn that get their energy storage and energy via thin air. It's a very destructive, pollution heavy process.
MOST electrical grids run primarily on fossil fuels. EV's need fossil fuels to fuel up.
For this, Toyota is actually correct in their wager to some regard. Comparing like sized Prius vs a liked sized EV.
Here's an article to check out, not very scientific but there are also studies you can dig into. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/02/climate/electric-vehicles-environment.html

Huh. I read the article and it says that EVs emit much lower lifetime CO2 per mile than ICE cars. With numbers. Which is true.

It then says, in one section, without numbers, that an unspecified BEV might do slightly worse than a Prius, if charged on a 'coal heavy grid in the midwest'.

So what is the takeaway from the above? That EVs don't reduce emissions and won't in the future? Of course not. Its just 'both sides' journalism at its finest.

As you say, there are a zillion scientific studies, from reliable places like the NAS, over the last ten years, analyzing this stuff. And they say that BEVs emit about a third of the lifetime CO2 of a comparable ICE vehicle on a current US average grid, and 50% less than a HEV like a Prius.

How? Bc the EV drivetrain is 80% efficient, versus the ICE drivetrain being 25% efficient. And while the current US grid IS majority fossil, it is 40% emission free (20% wind+hydro+solar and 20% nukes), 40% gas and 20% coal. In PA BTW, the grid is 50% gas and 40% nukes, and slightly lower carbon than the US grid average.

Talking about HEVs like the Prius here is IMO a distraction. They are NOT a commercial success in the US. Prius sales in the US are flat to downward for the last decade. I have driven them, and thought the driving dynamics simply sucked. That was by design... forcing you to hypermile.

I'd rather get a long range BEV for less money (after rebates) and get a sporty, fun to drive car, with lower maintenance and lower emissions. Along with most US car buyers making the same comparison (shopping for green cars). That is, BEV sales passed strong hybrid sedan sales years ago. Strong HEV sedans like the Prius are DONE in the US.

And ofc the US grid is getting greener all the time. Since cars are going to be in use for 15-20 years, the calculation should be based upon what the grid looks like not now, but in 10 years. But that is a whole other projection.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
7,221
Downeast Maine
Wow. That is an amazing article.

Its like a textbook case of how large incumbent industries get disrupted. Denial that the new technology can work or be competitive (based upon current performance, disregarding the fact that new tech gets cheaper and better over time).
The whole situation reminds me a lot of GM balking when the CAA was introduced forcing them to use emissions equipment. They claimed it couldn't be done, and in comes Honda and Toyota to steal their lunch.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
97,811
South Puget Sound, WA
Wow. That is an amazing article.

Its like a textbook case of how large incumbent industries get disrupted. Denial that the new technology can work or be competitive (based upon current performance, disregarding the fact that new tech gets cheaper and better over time).
Yes, I thought it was an informative perspective I hadn't considered. It sounds like they are deeply entrenched in their supply chain and admirably want to keep jobs, but disruption is inevitable, they need to get rolling.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
97,811
South Puget Sound, WA
The whole situation reminds me a lot of GM balking when the CAA was introduced forcing them to use emissions equipment. They claimed it couldn't be done, and in comes Honda and Toyota to steal their lunch.
I remember that well. Our first new car was a 1981 Honda Accord. It was a great car and outlasted my mom's two bombs, 1 Ford (Mercury) and 1 GM (Olds). The only issue we had with it was the brakes needed replacement every 30,000 miles.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
4,011
SE North Carolina
The whole supply chain is showing cracks in management. Like Ford not having enough blue ovals. Surly they just aren’t parking another wise sellable car just because it doesn’t have a badge?

I have heard one interpretation. Toyota is just sandbagging and is developing BEVs but in secret. I don’t know.

My experience in a rented hybrid Toyota Sienna was blah. It’s like we have a screen but you know let’s make everything a button. I couldn’t even count the number of buttons on the steering wheel while driving as my eyes would have been off the road too long.

As person that picks up new tech quickly. Nothing felt intuitive. I’ve never felt that way in car newer than what I regularly drive. Maybe I’m becoming Tesla minimalist. My 2012 RAV4 and 2011 odyssey both have better functionality. Some of the. It tons were even to far to reach without changing my seating position.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
7,221
Downeast Maine
I remember that well. Our first new car was a 1981 Honda Accord. It was a great car and outlasted my mom's two bombs, 1 Ford (Mercury) and 1 GM (Olds). The only issue we had with it was the brakes needed replacement every 30,000 miles.
It looks like GM and Ford are getting them back and brought competent BEVs to market before Honda and Toyota. I just hope Mazda can stay relevant.
 

sloeffle

Minister of Fire
Mar 1, 2012
1,139
Central Ohio
I know lots of people love their Toyota's but we got two lemons in a row that needed tons of expensive repairs over the years.
I have a 2016 Toyota Avalon that is having some weird transmission issue going on right now. I've never had a car have transmission issues with 90k miles on it where regular maintenance has been done. It will definitely be my last one.

I have a friend who likes to poke his Tesla fanboi friends on Facebook. Him and I were talking about Tesla and he sent me over some very informative information from BoA.

1664118132419.png


Like others I'm surprised that Toyota has put all of their eggs into the hybrid basket vs the electric basket. I wasn't expecting GM to have such a high percentage of electric vehicle either. Hopefully Mary and company can pull it off, I'd like to see Elon get knocked off his pedestal. ;)

Like @SpaceBus said, I hope Mazda comes up some kind of strategy to compete. A friend of mine has a CX-9 and says it's the best vehicle he's ever owned. They will be on my radar for my next vehicle for sure. They just released some new diesel vehicles to the U.S., that seems to be about 10 - 15 years too late.

Link to the full PDF from BoA: https://s3-prod.autonews.com/2021-06/BofA Global Research Car Wars.pdf
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
7,221
Downeast Maine
I have a 2016 Toyota Avalon that is having some weird transmission issue going on right now. I've never had a car have transmission issues with 90k miles on it where regular maintenance has been done. It will definitely be my last one.

I have a friend who likes to poke his Tesla fanboi friends on Facebook. Him and I were talking about Tesla and he sent me over some very informative information from BoA.

View attachment 299404

Like others I'm surprised that Toyota has put all of their eggs into the hybrid basket vs the electric basket. I wasn't expecting GM to have such a high percentage of electric vehicle either. Hopefully Mary and company can pull it off, I'd like to see Elon get knocked off his pedestal. ;)

Like @SpaceBus said, I hope Mazda comes up some kind of strategy to compete. A friend of mine has a CX-9 and says it's the best vehicle he's ever owned. They will be on my radar for my next vehicle for sure. They just released some new diesel vehicles to the U.S., that seems to be about 10 - 15 years too late.

Link to the full PDF from BoA: https://s3-prod.autonews.com/2021-06/BofA Global Research Car Wars.pdf
The Mazda diesels, in the US, were too little too late. For many years the Mazda diesel engineering team could not figure out how VW and others were able to sell diesel engines in the US without some kind of cheating, turns out they were right. Once VW and the rest had to re-tune their engines to advertised specs, the Mazda diesels were competitive. The really high compression "Skyactiv" gas engines were cool, and for a time Mazda was working on a compression ignition gas engine, but I think they have quietly started focusing on BEVs. The MX-30 looks like a great car, but the advertised range is not that competitive with other BEVs, especially those from GM. Hopefully in typical Mazda fashion the engineers have provided worst case numbers and real world range is higher.
 
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BrownT10

Member
Jun 1, 2021
182
Massachusetts
Change the oil, burn the tires up and suck the fuel. Rinse and repeat, I love it. Looks like I still have plenty of my life to be able to do that. Will have to change eventually I suppose.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
7,221
Downeast Maine
Change the oil, burn the tires up and suck the fuel. Rinse and repeat, I love it. Looks like I still have plenty of my life to be able to do that. Will have to change eventually I suppose.
While I do also love fast cars, fire breathing engines, and tire smoke, I have to recognize how bad for our planet that stuff is. I'm no longer a member of the fast car club, but I'm OK with it. Basically if I were to have continued in my ways it would be the same as saying my whims are more important than clean air for other people. I can't in good conscience continue with destructive behaviors because they give me a few endorphins at the expense of those I care about, and those I don't even know.
 
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BrownT10

Member
Jun 1, 2021
182
Massachusetts
While I do also love fast cars, fire breathing engines, and tire smoke, I have to recognize how bad for our planet that stuff is. I'm no longer a member of the fast car club, but I'm OK with it. Basically if I were to have continued in my ways it would be the same as saying my whims are more important than clean air for other people. I can't in good conscience continue with destructive behaviors because they give me a few endorphins at the expense of those I care about, and those I don't even know.
Ok, suit yourself. There has to be some kind of balance with a combination of energy sources. The ideas that EV will solve global issues is ignorant in my opinion. It seems everything nowadays has to be extreme one way or the other. Unfortunately we are lead by inept fools that are only concerned for themselves and their agendas. EV vehicles will be a positive step someday, but we will find out in the future they aren't effective and as clean as we thought. There are many questions that need to be answered before we arrive at the conclusion it is the answer.
 
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
4,011
SE North Carolina
Ok, suit yourself. There has to be some kind of balance with a combination of energy sources. The ideas that EV will solve global issues is ignorant in my opinion. It seems everything nowadays has to be extreme one way or the other. Unfortunately we are lead by inept fools that are only concerned for themselves and their agendas. EV vehicles will be a positive step someday, but we will find out in the future they aren't effective and as clean as we thought. There are many questions that need to be answered before we arrive at the conclusion it is the answer.
California will ban new ICE sales. This is not extreme. Some have followed many more will. I have not read anywhere BEVs are the single solution. Looks EVs are a positive step 5 years ago and now the steps are getting bigger and faster. They are part of a very complex energy consumption landscape that right now is entering a period of rapid change.

Right now incentives for solar power, battery storage, efficient heatpumps, and EV purchases are what is offered direct to the consumer. Home heating, personal transport and home electricity use account for a very larger share of our total energy use and carbon emissions.
Vehicles are low hanging fruit because they are replaced frequently by consumers. We focus on them because culturally Americans really value thier vehicles. It’s 5% of gdp. https://www.chicagofed.org/publications/chicago-fed-letter/1994/march-79

Residential house has a similar share but it’s a much more permanent investment. https://www.nahb.org/news-and-econo...usings-contribution-to-gross-domestic-product

I find the sentiment that cleaner technology being incentivized today is not a good investment (both money wise and health wise) without presenting a grounded alternative path forward as dangerous. (And chose that word carefully)
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
7,221
Downeast Maine
Ok, suit yourself. There has to be some kind of balance with a combination of energy sources. The ideas that EV will solve global issues is ignorant in my opinion. It seems everything nowadays has to be extreme one way or the other. Unfortunately we are lead by inept fools that are only concerned for themselves and their agendas. EV vehicles will be a positive step someday, but we will find out in the future they aren't effective and as clean as we thought. There are many questions that need to be answered before we arrive at the conclusion it is the answer.
I didn't say EVs are the only answer, just that daily driving a car with a high strung engine and burning tires all the time is irresponsible. It's not just about the environment either, air pollution is also important. There can only be a a "balance" of energy sources if the net energy used is carbon neutral, or ideally negative as it is pretty easy to put carbon into the atmosphere. To do otherwise is shortsighted and fiscally irresponsible.
 

BrownT10

Member
Jun 1, 2021
182
Massachusetts
First off, I never said I had a high strung engine. By burn the tires up, I mean replace them when needed, change the oil and that's it for my truck. Simply stating that I like my ICE just fine. What happens when everyone is driving and EV? Do you think all the trucks, planes, boats and construction equipment necessary will magically run on batteries? What about the politicians flying all over the place using jet fuel? Think they give a crap about your environment? I am with you that we need to be conscious of the environment and air quality, but nobody knows what the answer is exactly. My point is that i believe alot of this EV push will turn out to be a drop in the bucket when we look back at it many years from now. A balance with energy independence would be a good thing.