Another sucker succumbed to the EV heat wave!

Another sucker succumbed to the EV heat wave!

Toyota announced that they would electrify it's entire fleet by 2025. Translation - they would have hybrids for most of their line up, with minimal attention to pure EV models. It sounds like the the once tiny upstart kicked another dinosaur in the groin.

Hmm, Tesla's entire fleet has been EV since day one.

VW, BMW, MB, and now Toyota all made similar claims. Who's up next on deck?

Mathew98 | January 9, 2019

Toyota begged/bribed politicians in CA to build 100 FC stations at a million bucks each. That's $100 MM of tax payers money down the toilet to fund Toyota's FC development.

For the same $1,000,000 to build a FC station with 2 chargers, Tesla could pay and build 4 Supercharging sites with 8 stalls each. That is 16x the amount of charging stalls for the same capital.

Tesla pays for all the SC network, unlike the crooks pushing fool cells.

PS, which start up would be able to fund a few billion dollars for a few thousand FC stations?

JustSaying | January 9, 2019

The same fleets that currently use CNG as a fuel source (Bus Fleets, local trucking) is were it will probably make sense to use Fuel cells( with an in yard liquid hydrogen facility).
BTW the liquid hydrogen facility in Laguna Niguel Ca is across the street from J Serra High School.

jordanrichard | January 9, 2019

I am not a chemist, but is liquid hydrogen the same as what FC cars use?

greg | January 9, 2019


What your Wiki article doesn't tell you (or if it does, you've not mentioned it).

Is that Betamax failed largely because Sony refused point blank to license the many patents they had on Betamax.
It was basically a proprietary format exclusive to Sony. As history has shown Sony has a long list of such proprietary tech that failed to catch on [remember Minidiscs, memory sticks? anyone?].

So there were only branded Sony Betamax devices to buy - VHS on the other hand freely licensed its patents to all and sundry. And guess which one prevailed.

Yes technical superiority will not always win. But quoting this 40 year old example is a little irrelevant today. Sony offered marginal improvements over VHS, not a totally radical improvement/experience.

Because while Sony could have "downsized" their expensive and profitable Commercial Video products to the consumer market - they didn't want to cannibalise that profitable market - so released gimped Betamax as a compromise to protect that market. (sound familiar to anyone around here who has looked at the EV offerings from most ICE makers?).

There was also an earlier competing format from Philips called V2000, anyone remember that these days? It was in many ways superior to both Betamax and VHS, but suffered the same fate as Sony.

But in the fight against Hydrogen in any form versus EVs Elon uses first principles and basic physics to know that making hydrogen on planet Earth right now is an extremely energy intensive process so using it for anything like fuelling vehicles is terribly inefficient. No matter how much Toyota or any other ICE maker would wish it to be so.

And unless we find a way to obtain limitless energy from matter (ala fusion) or suddenly find a way to store limitless electrical charge in a small space ala ultracapacitors we won't be running cars on Hydrogen yet.

I know the Australians have this grand plan to flood their outback with Solar panels that [inefficiently] make Ammonia from the "free sunlight" as a way to create, store and move those Hydrogen atoms around easier. But Ammonia is about as bad for living beings as its pretty toxic. So its really trading one problem for a truck load more. Not solving the underlying issues.

So I think Battery EVs as we know them will stick around for a bit.

Doesn't mean that a black swan event can't happen. And Tesla can still fall by the wayside.

This is a marathon after all and a lot of things good and bad can happen before they cross the finish line.

Mathew98 | January 9, 2019

My bad, it would cost CA $200 MM to build up to 100 FC stations on 10 years, starting in 2013. That's optimistic. The average cost of a FC station is $3 MM. So the Superchargers network is 48x cheaper to build and funded by Tesla.

So far 35 FC stations have been on line in CA to support a total of 4,500 Toyota Murai FC vehicles sold in the US since 2014.

Way to go Toyota, they sold less FC cars in 4 years than M3 sales in a single week.

Numbers don't lie, people do.

Earl and Nagin ... | January 9, 2019

Propping up a Fool Sell industry, as the State of California has been trying for a couple of decades, would only be short lived since the technology is, by nature, very expensive, even if economies of scale are introduced. The greater the industry, the larger the amount of subsidy that would be required.
If hydrogen could be produce affordably, we would see folks using hydrogen in CNG cars. Likewise, rather than complex (hence expensive) fuel cells to use it, one could simply build a good CNG hybrid that would have about the same efficiency.
. . . and don't even think about them in cold country like Minnesota where the water byproduct in the fuel cell would freeze if it weren't plugged in all winter.

Watt fun | January 9, 2019

As far as replacing road tax based on volume of fuel, to something that adequately taxes ALL vehicles for use of public roads, no matter how they are powered, New Zealand has had a system in place for years now, called the Road Users Charge, or RUC.

So far, it is only on diesel vehicles, but since diesel power covers everything from heavy intercity buses and tandem transport trucks, all the way down to lightweight small cars, it is most effective. No-one drives gasoline transport trucks or gasoline 30 tonne buses. So, road fuel tax disappeared from diesel, and all 'diesel' (heating oil, off-road, on-road) is now all one simple product, same price, no dyes (or audited use/misuse) needed.

Damage to roads and bridges is largely a function of WEIGHT. So, the RUC has a series different weight classes, from diesel Smart cars/hatchback diesel VWs etc, up to huge equipment. Different coloured stickers in the window, at increasing cost per weight class. YOU buy a sticker almost anywhere, and write in beginning and ending mileage (in units of 10,000) but ONLY if you drive that vehicle/equipment on public roads. A bulldozer doesn't need a sticker if it is transported on a trailer float, but the transport pulling the trailer does and it pays an appropriate sticker fee for hauling a heavy load on public roads.

Light cars and small trucks and vans are no longer subsidizing the damage caused by big buses and transports.
Everyone pays according to the damage they cause, or don't cause, to the roads. This system would work for diesel, natural gas, hydrogen fuel cell, gasoline, battery, steam, propane, or even sail if highway vehicles had sails.
Agnostic as to power source completely, and completely fair to everyone.

Of you don't have a valid sticker within existing mileage range, there is a fine. You can buy them all over, day and night, and even buy one in advance

NKYTA | January 9, 2019

Greg, well reasoned.

Xerogas | January 9, 2019

@spazzman90: "All it would take is Toyota announcing a Fuel Cell Tacoma and Camry and a fuel company announcing its adding a couple thousand hydrogen stations, and that will spell disaster for the BEV movement.“
Um, no. Fuel cells are inherently way more difficult than regular gas delivery, way slower, way more expensive, and WAY more inconvenient. In a BEV world, it’s old-fashioned to think that you have to DRIVE somewhere away from your house to fill up. Unless Toyota announces it’s going to install a refueling station INSIDE MY GARAGE, and fill it using my solar panels on my roof for free, there is no advantage whatsoever for me to move away from BEV.

Haven’t been to a gas station in 6 years; why would I start now?

SO | January 9, 2019

I don’t care how many hydrogen stations there are. I like to fill up my EV at home and have a much simpler and safer drivetrain. HFC are fool cells.

JustSaying | January 9, 2019

In CA there is a $5K fuel cell rebate with no income restrictions vs $2.5K for an EV plugin with income restrictions.
Do I have this right?

NoMoPetrol | January 9, 2019

I totally agree with the Fool Cell bashing, but we must remember that we are in a VERY small minority of automobile owners. Toyota has a very large and loyal customer base. If they tell their clients that fuel cell technology is electric, the wave of the future, the be-all and end-all, and they have the political clout to sucker states like California into filling station installations, watch out.

That doesn't even include the oil industry getting on board to help out so they can transition their business model to fuel cell stations while maintaining cash flow. The potential for organized mayhem is astronomical. If we thought the FUD was bad in the last six years, hold onto your hats.

BTW, just imagine having gasoline AND liquid hydrogen stored on site at the same location at busy intersections all over the country.

carlk | January 9, 2019

CARB is giving Toyota a lot of sweetheart deals. Pretty much rewarding one that has put the least effort in helping the clean air. When I bought my Model S in 14' my brother in law bought a plug in Prius. We both got stickers, I got the white one and he got the green one, that allow us to use the HOV lane. The only difference is his Prius could only run on battery for 10 miles. All his freeway commuting miles were run on ICE. Toyota sold a lot of that car at high premium only because of the HOV priviledge. That is cheating no matter how you look at it.

Corp | January 10, 2019

Re: VHS vs Beta

The story I heard, which I doubt you’ll find on Wikipedia, is that porn was the real reason VHS won. The porn studios liked the cheaper cartridges and longer length (ha!) so put out their content on VHS and that made all the difference.

Some claim that every major format “war”, including video formats on the net, has been decided by porn. Not sure if it’s true, but I wouldn’t bet against it. :-)

Re: charging at home

Keep in mind that there are millions of people in cities who don’t have a driveway, let alone a garage, but do have cars; charging them via an extension cord hanging out a window isn’t optimal. They will need charging stations, be they electrons or hydrogen or gasoline.

Mathew98 | January 10, 2019

@Corp - Thanks for your load of explanation. I'm not sure what to say about the tech world moving at the speed of porn. But it's as good of an explanation as any.

Urban superchargers are the solution to City dwelling Tesla owners.
Not sure if the big ICE brands would ever come up with any answers WRT high speed charging soluton

OCModel3 | January 10, 2019

I think we should all be grateful to Toyota for what they were able to accomplish with hybrids. None of the other companies could convince buyers that hybrids could be reliable, long-lasting more environmentally friendly vehicles.

Maybe it is just my belief, but I am not sure we have Tesla today, and especially the Model 3, were it not for the success of Prius. So while Toyota may be late to the EV game, at least they helped move us all toward much cleaner air and a different mindset. | January 10, 2019

Wasn't 3 months ago when all the Hydrogen fueling stations were out of fuel for an extended time? Basically made all those FC cars dead to the world. Worse, before it became known, FC owners would drive 30 miles to another station only to find it was down too and get stranded. Of course even if they had Hydrogen, you can't drive out of state due to the states around us not being suckered into this Hydrogen boondoggle.

Now if my home power connection has a problem (which it never has in 5+ years), I have so many solutions - Supercharging, L2 charging, connecting to any outlet nearby, solar powering at home, etc.

What about an electrical power outage? Well, you're not going to get any gas either, as they all run on electricity to pump the gas. Except, my car is always at 80-90% fueled when I leave my house. I doubt many gas cars go to the gas station every night when it gets below 90% full. So they may have a lot less range than I do when some calamity occurs.

NKYTA | January 11, 2019

How much energy does it take to -create- for these mythical hydrogen cars.

Just one Oil Company.

Are they drivable.


Mathew98 | January 11, 2019

@OCModel3 - Toyota? No.

Wr should be grateful to GM for rebooting the EV program. It was a shame that they gave into the pressure of big oil and crushed their entire fleet of EV1 despite protests from leasees. Otherwise, there would have been a different leader in EV today.

Silver2K | January 11, 2019

Mathew +1

There is not chance Toyota inspired the Model 3. Toyota ended their partnership with Tesla over nonsense and did not create their own long range BEV afterwards. They created hydrogen vehicles instead which clearly meant they felt longer range BEVs would not gain traction and we're looking for a way out of their partnership with Tesla.

Mathew98 | January 11, 2019

Speaking of the devil, Mary Barra just announced that GM will showcase EVs with the Cadillac division to compete with Tesla. No date or timeline given, just some poor excuse to abandon their highly touted but abymal sales number, mass maket EV. The Bolt sold as many units in a year as the M3 did in a month. Let that sink in for a minute.

They already tried to compete with Tesla with Caddy by putting on a new sheepskin over the Volt and call it the ELR. They sold less than 3,000 units in their 4 years production run.

What competion will GM imagine next?

jjs | January 11, 2019

As I understand it, the EV1 came first. It scared the heck out of the Japanese auto makers and that was the impetus for the Prius. It was the EV1 that inspired both the Prius and ultimately the Model 3.

Silver2K | January 11, 2019

Prius inspiration was high gas prices.

kevin_rf | January 12, 2019


A little more convoluted than that. In the early 1990's the Bush (Sr.) Adminstration started and Clinton Administration continued the super car initiative. A government partnership with Detroit to develop what we now call hybrid vehicles. The goal was develop the technologies that would let cars achieve 50mpg. Toyota and Honda asked to join and where told no, it was only for US auto makers.

So what happened, Toyota and Honda saw if the program lived up to the hype they would never sell another car in the US. So they both invested roughly $1 billion each to bring the hybrid to market. Meanwhile the US automakers politely divided up the $2 billion and produced a few concept cars. So Detroit was caught flat footed then Honda and Toyota both introduced Hybrids in Japanese market in 2001 and then brought them to the US in 2002.

This is why all the early Hybrids came from Japan. The US automakers had no intention of making Hybrids, much less EV's.

jordanrichard | January 12, 2019

Matthew98 +1,000. GM just took a huge step backwards and are starting from scratch and making thier EVs a niche product. I love it when the press/peopl saying Tesla has some serious competition coming this year. Well, it certainly won’t be coming from GM and this recent news only verifies that.

Earl and Nagin ... | January 12, 2019

The EV1 did kick it all off. Remember, however, that in the early 1990's, the only really viable battery was Pb-A (lead acid). Lead, being somewhat heavy (sarcasm), is not well suited to a moving vehicle. Therefore, following the great example of the EV1 of what could be done, it was assumed by many knowledgeable, well-intention-ed people, that a hybrid was the only viable means of carrying enough stored energy for a car other than a very aerodynamic and mass-efficient commuter like the EV1. Stanford Ovshinsky invented the NiMH battery later, making the true BEV viable. In the mean time, however, as @kevin_rf points out, the smart industry focused on the hybrid but Toyota and Honda actually carried through and found they had struck hybrid gold. I suspect the GM visionaries realistically saw that the hybrid roadmap had the ICE fade to a BEV if allowed to follow its natural course so they stalled the hybrid.
Also, remember that all major auto manufacturers made viable EVs in the 1990's including the Toyota RAV4EV, the Honda EVplus, the Nissan Altra and Hypermini, the Chrysler EPIC minivan, the Ford RangerEV and TH!nk, and the GM EV1 and S10EV. Ford and Toyota dodged the wrath of public opinion by stopping the crushing, the Honda wasn't worth fighting for, and Nissan and Chrysler never let their cars fall into public hands. GM destroyed the best vehicle (great engineers, techs, production team, etc) and they were the most heinous to their customers (bad management), hence they got the biggest whooping from the public.

greg | January 12, 2019

@Corp "Re: VHS vs Beta

Yeah, it is a nice sounding story, but like all such stories, its an Urban Myth.

But it persists because it sounds a lot better and more plausible than the actual reality of technical, marketing and product failures.

A little like how the naysayers and such explain away Tesla's success and dominance. The made up stories there too sound a heck of a lot better than the actual reality.

Fact is it was available in equal quantities on all platforms (VHS and Beta) - the distributors were agnostic about that. As long as it sold they'd keep making more titles available for whatever platforms there were.

Corp | January 14, 2019

@greg: “Fact is it was available in equal quantities on all platforms (VHS and Beta) - the distributors were agnostic about that.”

I’ll take your word for that. :-)

Seriously, I don’t doubt it isn’t the whole story and it does play into the “the *real* story is more interesting than the public story” belief that a lot of people hold. And yes, I do remember Sony MiniDiscs!

Roger1 | January 15, 2019

I am surprised by the negative response of people on this forum to news about automobile makers plans for electric vehicles. The time has come for electric power from both a technology and public interest perspective. Tesla owners should be happy because competition will drive innovation and reduce prices. More high power chargers will make travel easier. I can drive a gas vehicle almost anywhere in North America and get fuel. Electric vehicles require careful planning if you venture off major routes - reminds me of movies of early gas car owners travelling from place to place along muddy roads. I want to see high power chargers in every significant community just like gas stations are today.

Batteries and fuel cells will both have a role to play like gasoline and diesel. Some of the new big electric trucks have fuel cells. Hydrogen takes less time to refuel and requires simpler infrastructure. Recharging the batteries for a fleet of big trucks will require rows of super high power chargers. Hydrogen will be in the market as a vehicle fuel. Propane and compressed natural gas have been used as automobile fuel but we didn't hear daily stories about explosions and fires with those fuels. Hydrogen should be safer because it is lighter than air and goes up when released which is better than a pool of gasoline or diesel sitting under a damaged vehicle.

Be happy about electric vehicle announcements, enjoy your status as a trendsetter, and look forward to the day when our cities and our environment are free of noxious tail pipe emissions.

Mathew98 | January 15, 2019

@Roger1 - Perhaps brushing up a bit on FC is necessary? Specifically on the high cost of FC filling station, the inefficiency in tank to wheel ratio, high cost of fuel, high cost of FC vehicles (2x to 3x ICE equivalence suck as Mirai/Corolla), and lack of fueling infrastructure.

As far as other brands going into EV production, it would be great if that were true, but introducing a single EV model along with 40 hybrid models in 5 - 10 years is a classic sign of dragging their feet.

I'll believe them when I see the dedicated EV models on the road. Don't even mention the "mass market" Bolt. It has been nothing more than marketing materials for over 4 years and then GM disclosd their actual sales figures...

finman100 | January 15, 2019

"Hydrogen is so simple"...and there must be a hydrogen reformer in every garage by now, right?

Go EV if you're smart. Go hydrogen if someone else is paying.

Such a huge waste. good grief we are a 'special' species.

greg | January 15, 2019


Actually I have no idea having not consumed either Beta or VHS versions of porn. I am just going by what else I've read and also from some personal knowledge.

As I did have a good friend, who had a friend who worked for a company that duplicated VHS and Beta tapes for the rental [and buy to own] markets from the master tapes supplied by the distributors. He was up with the play as that what format was winning by the relative numbers of copies of each format he would duplicate. They had racks of VHS and Beta recorders that they would "record" in parallel to make the tapes. Kind of lo tech bu effective.

He naturally had a large library of personal copies of all these tapes of movies of various types from run of the mill block buster releases, direct to video releases and no doubt some Porn. He had a copy of the original Mad Max movie on VHS which was banned at the time for its levels of violence.

I do recall him saying that they tended to do a lot more VHS copies than Beta copies but I recall he suspected that in part that was because the VHS (rental tapes) got more easily damaged as some of the VHS devices in peoples homes were pretty prone to munching the old VHS tapes.

jordanrichard | January 16, 2019

Roger1, read between the lines of the negative comments. No one is being negative about more EVs. The negative comments are about the hyperbole and disingenuous efforts by the other companies. Most people agree that the Jaguar I-Pace is a very nice looking vehicle and that it is indeed an EV.

The negative comment are not about the vehicle but the lack of support for long distance travel, the slick way Jaguar tried to make people think it was faster than a Model X and cheaper when in reality, the I-Pace is smaller and lighter than the X. So of course it will cost less and beat it in a race. Just read any review of I-Pace by those that tried taking it on a long trip.

Read ANY review of ANY other EV that was used to travel a long distance and you find that finding a place to charge fast was a nightmare or at the very least nowhere near as fast/convenient as a Tesla .

Again, look at all the "negative" comments and you will notice it is about the companies efforts/lack of, not the product it's self. Ok, BMW i3 is universally known to be butt ugly...

andy.connor.e | January 16, 2019

Dont know why Toyota would bother investing in hybrid. When the electric infrastructure starts taking roots, EV will be even more convenient than ICE. Who wants to get oil changed, or have a dead battery and my engine wont start. Leaving my garage with a full tank? Dont understand why companies dont like change. Car companies have guaranteed business because cars get totaled, and have a finite life span.

ODWms | January 16, 2019

It will take many billions of dollars to retool, reorganize and otherwise prepare their facilities to start building EVs on any real scale. And by then they’d have shot themselves in the foot. Those car companies have to contend with cannibalization of the billions and billions of their own dollars in their own existing ICE vehicles and attendant infrastructure.

It is actually a daunting, precarious situation most car companies are in. They have to stay relevant, but also are beholden to their stockholders expectation of continued profits.

Tesla is in an excellent position because they’re all electric from the beginning. They also have their amazing charging infrastructure already in place, the likes of which it would take another company — even the big boys — years to even begin to catch up

Troelshin | January 18, 2019

These guys just started a new venture in my neighborhood. the rumor goes with son big chinese backing.