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Captain Hybrid

Toyota Is Sticking With Hybrids

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Rob Spiegel
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What does Toyota know?
Rob Spiegel   10/3/2013 11:07:16 AM
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Interesting article Chuck. Looks like Toyota has concluded that EVs will not catch on any time soon. Perhaps Tesla has cornered a narrow niche and that's it. It says a lot that a company like Toyota doesn't envision a world of EVs. 

GTOlover
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Re: What does Toyota know?
GTOlover   10/3/2013 11:27:20 AM
Rob, this also seems to align to an earlier DN article about Japanese cars waiting on the newest tech until it is reliable and affordable. Maybe Toyota is just able to see the big picture of profitibility. I also do not recall Toyota accepting a government structured bailout.

naperlou
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Re: What does Toyota know?
naperlou   10/3/2013 12:11:09 PM
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GTOlover, this is generally the case with the Japanese companies.  Their approach is mass market.  Many car companies make marque cars to stimulate interest, but the real money in cars is the mass market vehicle. 

The comment about bail outs is interesting as well.  Don't forget, it is the union benefit kicker of $2K per vehicle that put American companies at risk.  Toyota, and many other foreign companies are doing very well in their US plants. 

Charles Murray
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Re: What does Toyota know?
Charles Murray   10/3/2013 5:46:36 PM
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Excellent point, GTOlover. On Monday, we'll have another article that reinforces your position.

NadineJ
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Re: What does Toyota know?
NadineJ   10/3/2013 6:01:30 PM
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Toyota built its reputation on long-lasting, reliable cars with low repair cost.  In 2010, Toyota claimed "80% of all Toyotas sold in the last 20 years are still on the road today." 

The more accurate truth is that about 45% of Toyotas sold between 1990 and 1998 are still on the road.  That's still impressive.  Toyota may be smart enough to wait and see what dominates the market and has longevity. 

Many of the EV vs Hybrid discussions take me back to the beta vs VHS debates. 

Mydesign
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Re: What does Toyota know?
Mydesign   10/4/2013 7:57:09 AM
"The more accurate truth is that about 45% of Toyotas sold between 1990 and 1998 are still on the road.  That's still impressive.  Toyota may be smart enough to wait and see what dominates the market and has longevity. "

NadineJ, there is no doubt for that vehicles from Toyota are good enough to sustain at any conditions of road or tearstain or even dessert.  Am using Toyota Land cruiser for more than 12 years, still its in good condition and maintenance cost is also very less

NadineJ
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Re: What does Toyota know?
NadineJ   10/4/2013 9:46:58 AM
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It's true, Toyotas are dependable.  We had a '72 Land Cruiser that purred like a kitten.  I called her bouncing Betty though.  The shocks always needed some work. 

I hope we turn the corner soon and find a path for EV batteries that's the best in the long run.   Once that happens, I suspect Toyota will excel at refining the technology.

And, as usual, other car companies (Ford, GM, etc) will benefit from that success.

Charles Murray
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Re: What does Toyota know?
Charles Murray   10/4/2013 6:33:52 PM
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I agree, Nadine, Toyotas are dependable. They have dominated the Consumer Reports reliability ratings for many years. In this year's ratings, none of the twenty cars on a list called, "These used cars spell trouble," none were Toyotas.

Debera Harward
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Re: What does Toyota know?
Debera Harward   10/4/2013 10:36:07 AM
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Charles, I guess EVs are quite expensive and is out of reach from common person . It has its own niche and target market . According to me Toyota is just sticking with its Prius because they are watching and analyzing how EV technology is growing  instead of making large investments and going under losses . I have read some where the other day that toyota is planning to bypass this EV technology and is interested in feul cell technology, where hydrogen ran through feul cell with water as its byproduct

Charles Murray
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Re: What does Toyota know?
Charles Murray   10/4/2013 6:27:08 PM
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Yes, Debera, Toyota has said that they want to put cars with hydrogen fuel cells in global markets by 2015. The company's Fuel Cell Hybrid demonstration vehicle has a single-tank driving range of 431 miles and an equivalent fuel efficiency of 68 mpg. Even with those vehicles, however, the fuel cell market will be virtually microscopic for many years to come. See link below.

http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1366&doc_id=263072&image_number=18

Rob Spiegel
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Re: What does Toyota know?
Rob Spiegel   10/3/2013 6:23:53 PM
Good points, GTOlover. Could be Toyota is just waiting to see if a real market emerges for EVs. If that market doesn't materialize, Toyota will be glad they didn't invest.

Charles Murray
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Re: What does Toyota know?
Charles Murray   10/3/2013 5:49:19 PM
No doubt, Tesla has a niche, Rob. But in the future, it plans to move beyond that niche by moving down to mainstream, lower-cost EV.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: What does Toyota know?
Rob Spiegel   10/3/2013 6:28:16 PM
Chuck, by introducing a lower cost EV, Tesla may expand its niche. That could make it even tougher for another car maker to find profitability in the niche. Toyota may end up looking wise here.

RogueMoon
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Toyota seems to know better
RogueMoon   10/4/2013 9:40:29 AM
Apparently, Toyota knows enough to stay back from EV's until the battery technology makes the next quantum leap in energy density.  It's a very apt description of why EV's aren't taking off with the public.  Toyota seems to put it more elegantly.

Nobody is forgetting about EV's, but the technical issues remain to thwart widespread adoption despite the exuberence of their fans.  

 

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Toyota seems to know better
Rob Spiegel   10/4/2013 5:44:04 PM
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Yes, I agree that Toyota seems to be wisely cautious. You certainly can't make somebody buy something they don't want -- even if you give them money to do it. And  while widespread sales of hybrids and EVs would go a long way to reaching CAFE standards, I don't think that market of EV and hybrid buyers is going to grow fast enough to be much help.

Charles Murray
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Re: Toyota seems to know better
Charles Murray   10/4/2013 6:35:40 PM
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You're right, Rob. You can't make people buy cars they don't want. It will be interesting to see how Toyota handles the California Air Resources Board Zero-Emission Vehicle mandate.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Toyota seems to know better
Rob Spiegel   10/5/2013 3:37:24 PM
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Good point, Chuck. Can they do it with hybrids? They certainly can't write off California. Southern California alone is the fifth largest auto market in the world.

Charles Murray
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Re: Toyota seems to know better
Charles Murray   10/7/2013 8:10:47 PM
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Unfortunately, hybrids won't meet the CARB requirement, Rob. It's a zero-emission vehicle mandate.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Toyota seems to know better
Rob Spiegel   10/8/2013 8:29:50 AM
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What does the mandate involve, Chuck? Is it asking for car makers to sell a certain percentage of cars that are zero-emission vehicles?

Charles Murray
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Re: Toyota seems to know better
Charles Murray   10/8/2013 6:53:03 PM
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The mandate calls for 1.5 million ZEVs on California's roadways by 2025, Rob. Carmakers that don't hit prescribed sales goals will have to buy ZEV credits, which will be costly.

http://opr.ca.gov/docs/Governor's_Office_ZEV_Action_Plan_(02-13).pdf

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Toyota seems to know better
Rob Spiegel   10/8/2013 7:38:53 PM
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Wow. Problem is, you can't make drivers buy a car they don't want. This could be quite a challenge.

Mydesign
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Platinum
EV in US and EU Market
Mydesign   10/4/2013 7:51:31 AM
"The reason why Toyota doesn't introduce any major (all-electric product) is because we do not believe there is a market to accept it," "

Charles, I think it's a wrong statement from Toyota. When we look to EU and US automobile market, EVs have large demand and hence companies can have sell their vehicles very easily. Since Toyota is basically a Japanese company, there may not be much scope at Japan and neighborhood countries.

ChriSharek
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Gold
No Guts, no Glory . . .
ChriSharek   10/4/2013 8:43:35 AM
GREAT NEWS!  This presents the opportunity for GM, Ford, and now Tesla to get America back on top as the Global Automotive Superpower it once was with EVs and PHEVs!

They clearly haven't reviewed the adoption of EVs (and PHEVs) in comparison to hybrids.  Hybrid adoption was essentially linear during their first 3 years while EVs have been exponential!

This is typical of the conservacism from Toyota (just like the boring design of the best selling automobile in the US - the Camry) They have no guts and will reap no glory.  They will sit back and let the risk-taking Americans lead the world into our rEVolution of the automobile.  I can't wait for them to fail . . .

shrimper53
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Re: No Guts, no Glory . . .
shrimper53   2/19/2014 9:40:33 AM
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 Don't hold your breathe my friend....Toyota's statement is probably the most intellegent , practical assessment of the viability of the EV market on a mass scale.

At present, the ONLY way EV's have any prayer of "competing" is through massive government subsidies, and other "incentives" ;  otherwise, only the richest among us can even afford to buy one.

My personall experience with a Prius as a semi-long-term rental convinced me of the hybrid practicality, economy, and the genius of the concept.  The increase in mileage was huge (compared to a conventional powertrain), the operational requirements were seamless; no worry of finding somehwere to "plug-in"... just the hassle of that is enough for me....performance was on par with any other similar conventioanl vehicle. 

I now have a Ford hybrid (a bit older, but working great...).  EV in my book has a long way to go...

 

ChriSharek
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Re: No Guts, no Glory . . .
ChriSharek   2/19/2014 12:33:02 PM
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Why do you think I have a Volt rathr than an all electric!? But, I'm getting 4 times the mileage of your prius. 241 now at 42k miles on it....

AnandY
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RE: Toyota seems to know better
AnandY   10/8/2013 8:07:42 AM
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Whichever way you look at it, a good company should be able to analyze and understand the market demand and convenience. For me Toyota seems to be doing just that. By holding back the EV and sticking to the Prius, they are simply trying to give the market what they think is most convenient for it. Anyway, the EVs are aqually really a fascinating feature in the car market.

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