• Image Credit: AOL, Toyota
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  • Image Credit: AOL, Toyota
  • Image Credit: AOL, Toyota
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  • Image Credit: AOL, Toyota
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  • Image Credit: AOL, Toyota
  • Image Credit: AOL, Toyota
  • Image Credit: AOL, Toyota
  • Image Credit: AOL, Toyota
  • Image Credit: AOL, Toyota
  • Image Credit: AOL, Toyota
  • Image Credit: AOL, Toyota
  • Image Credit: AOL, Toyota
  • Image Credit: AOL, Toyota
  • Image Credit: AOL, Toyota
  • Image Credit: AOL, Toyota
  • Image Credit: AOL, Toyota
  • Image Credit: AOL, Toyota
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  • Image Credit: AOL, Toyota
  • Image Credit: AOL, Toyota
  • Image Credit: AOL, Toyota
  • Image Credit: AOL, Toyota
  • Image Credit: AOL, Toyota
  • Image Credit: AOL, Toyota
  • Image Credit: AOL, Toyota
  • Image Credit: AOL, Toyota
  • Image Credit: AOL, Toyota
  • Image Credit: AOL, Toyota
  • Image Credit: AOL, Toyota
  • Image Credit: AOL, Toyota
Many gearheads will remember that the 1970s-era Dodge Dart's claim to fame was that its motor was so durable (though not necessarily powerful) that one could shoot bullets into the engine block. Decades later, Toyota has taken a page out of that testing process.

"Personally, I don't care what Elon [Musk] says about fuel cells."

With some industry members and analysts questioning both the viability and durability of hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles, Toyota executive Bob Carter, speaking at the Automotive News World Congress this week, says the Japanese automaker went all Clint Eastwood on the fuel tanks of a fuel-cell prototype. Carter says that bullets from a small-caliber gun bounced off the carbon-fiber tanks, and that .50-caliber bullets barely made dents. The shoot-out motif kept going when Carter name-checked executives from Tesla, Nissan and Volkswagen in saying that he didn't care if other automakers question the future of fuel-cell vehicles. As you can see in the prepared text of Carter's speech below, he said, "Personally, I don't care what Elon [Musk], Carlos [Ghosn] or Jonathan [Browning] say about fuel cells. If they want to 'plug in and tune out' other technologies, that's fine."

After debuting it in Tokyo late last year, Toyota showed off its FCV fuel-cell concept vehicle at the Detroit Auto Show this week as it get ready to start sales "around 2015." The car has a 300-mile range and should be priced somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000. Autoblog drove Toyota's fuel-cell prototypes last year, and you can read our impressions here.
Show full PR text
2014 Automotive News World Congress- Bob Carter

January 14, 2014

As prepared for:
Automotive News World Congress
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Bob Carter, Senior Vice President, Automotive Operations, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
_________________

Thanks, Keith and good afternoon everyone.

You know, I've been in the car business for more than 30 years, but I'm more excited about it now than EVER before

Why?

Because for the first time in Toyota's history, we did something here we've NEVER done before.

We shocked people by unveiling two great looking, fun-to-drive cars that blow a hole

in the theory that Toyota only builds "appliances".

Just yesterday, we unveiled Toyota's newest concept, the FT-1 sports car. I'm already getting people asking me when they can get their hands on one.

The FT-1 represents the latest in our heritage of sports cars like the 2000GT, Celica, Supra and most recently, the FR-S.

Then, this morning, the all-new RC-F coupe from Lexus made its world debut.

It offers true racecar performance with a high revving 450+ horsepower, 5-Liter V8. In fact, it's the fastest V8 from Lexus EVER.

I know we have a hit on our hands because my 22 year-old son keeps asking me when he can lease one, and I keep telling him, "not in my lifetime!"

The Lexus RC-F and Toyota FT-1 are tangible evidence of our commitment to create products that are not only safe, dependable and reliable--our stock in trade--but are also BEAUTIFULLY styled and FUN to drive.

It's an unwavering commitment our Global President Akio Toyoda made five years ago that's paying off today in the products we're now bringing to market.

And believe me, the "boss", Akio, drives EVERY product to make sure they're right for our customers.

Along with great looking cars, Toyota and pretty much every automaker agrees, 2014 will be even better than last year.

Our industry is on a roll folks.

Now, those of you who know me probably aren't surprised that I'm bullish on our business.

But my sense of optimism isn't purely emotional, it's also fueled by facts. Three facts, in particular:

We already talked about one: Consumers are demanding great looking cars that are

fun-to-drive and reliable.

Here's fact two: Customer demographics are undergoing a fundamental sea change, and Toyota is ready to navigate the new waters.

And, fact three: The demand for environmental sustainability is achieving critical mass, and Toyota is ready on that front, too.

Let's start with demographics.

We're in the midst of a fundamental shift. The evidence is everywhere.

Consider these two pie charts, compliments of the U.S. Census Bureau.

In 2012, 64 percent of the U.S. population was white, with the balance-36 percent-split among Hispanic, African Americans and Asian Americans.

Fast-forward 30 years to 2050 and the pie will look like this.

Today's minorities will comprise tomorrow's majority.

And the biggest jump will be among Hispanics, from 16.5 percent in 2012 to 30.2 percent in 2050.

Now, if you're thinking, "These are just forecasts. There's no guarantee that's how it's going to play out," think again.

More than half of the babies born in America today are non-white. And 40 percent of the 18-to-24-year-olds today are multicultural.

The wheels are already in motion.

Trends in pop culture reflect these shifts. Think about TV sitcoms.

We've come a long way since the days of "Leave it to Beaver," when all of the characters were white.

Today's model?

It's the wildly popular "Modern Family," that mixes characters of different ethnicities, sexual orientation, and age.

It checks all of the boxes.

The shift is also reflected in the foods we eat.

This chart shows the growth of avocado sales since 1989. Holy guacamole!

Maybe we've been in the wrong business all this time.

Even our vocabulary is changing.

More than 30 percent of the new words added to the Oxford English Dictionary between 2000 and 2010 had multicultural roots.

Clearly, the ethnicity of the customer base is changing.

These customers will have different needs for vehicles. They'll have different expectations about the purchase experience.

Such change might strike fear into the heart of some companies. But those of us at Toyota say, "Bring it on!"

I'm proud to say that we're already the most popular automotive brand among Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans and African Americans.

And on the retail front, ownership of our dealerships by ethnically diverse individuals

has increased 54 percent since 2002.

We're committed to adding 4 to 6 diverse dealers each year, and we met that goal in 2013.

So, increasingly, the face of our dealers will reflect that of our customers.

Even our Marketing department is undergoing a fundamental restructuring, in large part to ensure our resources are properly aligned with these emerging customer realities.

Another key component of this demographic shift is generational, specifically the transition from the Baby Boomers to the Millennials.

That being said, as a card-carrying member of the Older Folks generation, I can assure you we're not quite ready to hand off the baton. Not just yet.

Consider this: In 1960, the average lifespan was 70. Today it stands at 79. Or, to put it another way, 80 is the new 70!

The median age of the U.S. population is also on the rise. That's good news for Toyota, too.

It means that older customers, who have been our bread and butter, will remain extremely important to us for some time.

After all, right now, the Boomers are much more likely than the Millennials to have the discretionary income to buy cars.

Still, younger buyers are our future. So fine-tuning our interaction with multicultural audiences will help us better meet their needs, too.

But the expectations of today's 20somethings don't turn solely on ethnicity. That's where Scion has been so helpful to us.

As you can see here, Scion's customers are the youngest in the industry. And 64 percent of Scion's customers are new to Toyota.

That suggests they wouldn't have found their way to our dealerships' showrooms if not for Scion.

In short, the market is becoming more diverse, complex and, if you ask me, more fun.

And a new more vibrant and innovative Toyota is rising up to meet it.

Our brand's advertising tagline-"Let's Go Places"-encapsulates this mindset. It sends a clear message to our customers that when it comes moving down the path of life, we're all in this together.

---

Now, let's shift gears and talk about that third fact I mentioned at the outset: environmental sustainability. All automakers must respond to long-term needs of our customers, our society, and our environment.

Did you happen to see the headline the other day that said:

"China Vehicle Sales Beat 20 Million as Smog Chokes Cities"?

It really brings home the harsh reality that if we want to continue to grow as an industry, we must find ways so cars will work in harmony with our environment.

At Toyota, we're building on our hybrid leadership and developing pioneer technology

to continue being an environmental leader.

In fact, a week ago, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, I unveiled our new hydrogen fuel cell sedan in North America.

We plan to bring a production version of this vehicle to market NEXT year.

Now, I realize there is no shortage of naysayers regarding the viability of this technology and the infrastructure to support it.

Personally, I don't care what Elon, Carlos or Jonathan say about fuel cells. If they want to "plug in and tune out" other technologies, that's fine.

It reminds me of all the head scratching when Toyota made a commitment to hybrid technology back when gasoline was a buck a gallon.

The Prius was dismissed as a PR gimmick and a science experiment.

Well, we've since sold over 2.2 million hybrids in the U.S., and nearly 6 million sales worldwide.

Although hybrids and other alternative powertrain vehicles are still a small part of the overall market, they are growing rapidly and totaled nearly 600,000 units last year

In fact, if you counted gas/electric hybrids...pure electrics...and the trickle of fuel cell vehicles as a segment in 2013, it would be the 7th largest segment out of 21.

Even better, it would have been the second-fastest growing segment in 2013...jumping more than 17% ... better than the hot-selling full-size pickup segment.

That ain't smoke and mirrors, folks.

Ten years from now, I have a hunch our fuel cell vehicle will be viewed in similar terms. We truly believe it has the same potential as the first Prius.

We've been working on this technology since 1992.

Trust me, Toyota would not have continued on this path for this long if it didn't make good business sense.

Fuel cell vehicles offer several advantages.

They drive like electric cars but can be refueled like gasoline cars.

They're safe. In testing, we fired small-caliber bullets at the hydrogen tank and they just bounced off it. It took a 50-caliber armor-piercing bullet to penetrate the shell.

And, even then, it just left a hole and the hydrogen simply leaked out.

This is no Hindenburg.

They're also viable in real-life conditions.

We've battle-tested our fuel cell vehicle in the deep freeze of Yellowknife, Canada,

the stifling heat of Death Valley, the high altitude of the Rocky Mountains, even the steep hills of San Francisco.

And fuel cell vehicles will be cost-effective.

With economies of scale, we're confident a fuel cell vehicle's MSRP will eventually be on par with today's plug-in hybrids.

Meanwhile, the main feedstock for producing hydrogen will be natural gas, which is in abundant supply in this country.

We're even exploring alternative hydrogen sources, including methane emitted from

trash dumps, landfills, waste-treatment plants, farms, and ranches.

Some experts even believe the cost of hydrogen could eventually fall below that of gasoline.

And since a fuel cell is more efficient to operate than a gasoline engine, it requires less fuel to travel the same distance with zero emissions.

The hydrogen refueling station infrastructure will grow, through public-private initiatives such as the California Fuel Cell Partnership.

The issue of infrastructure is not so much about how many, but rather, location, location, location.

Toyota and the University of California Irvine's Advanced Power and Energy Program collaborated on a model that maps-out a specific distribution of hydrogen fueling stations.

And guess what we found?

In California where we'll initially market our sedan, it will only take about 68 station sites to regularly re-fuel about 10,000 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Another way to look at it... if every vehicle in California ran on hydrogen, we could meet refueling logistics with only 15 percent of the nearly 10,000 gasoline stations currently operating in the state.

So, unlike gas stations, you won't need fuel cell stations on every corner.

Yes there are many challenges ahead. And it will take a lot of collaboration between government regulators, universities, automakers and energy providers. But stay tuned because this infrastructure thing is going to happen.

By the way, we're finding there's tremendous interest in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

We set up a fuel cell mini site on our toyota.com website, and in just one week, we've already had more than 56,000 site visits.

And they spent an average of about 4 minutes there, an eternity for web reading.

The real beauty of hydrogen fuel cells is that they have a range of 300 miles and can be re-fueled in 3-5 minutes, similar to today's gas cars.

So you don't have to stop every hundred miles or so, and spend 3 to 5 hours recharging like an electric vehicle.

And they only emit water vapor.

Now, that's not to say EVs won't have an important role in the future of transportation. They will. Hey, we have EVs, too.

The fact is, we believe consumers will be able to find BOTH electric outlets AND hydrogen stations without too much trouble in the future.

The bottom line... fuel cells will be in our future sooner than many people believe, and in much greater numbers than anyone expected.

So competitors who dismiss fuel cells out of hand do so at their own peril.

My point is this: No matter how the move to new fuels and technologies plays out,

Toyota will be there with vehicle options and I'm confident we'll continue to thrive.

---

Well by now, I hope you will agree, our industry is in a great place today.

I have no doubt that we're going to be in an even better place tomorrow no matter what the future has in store for us.

So this is more than just a great time to be in the auto business.

It's an INCREDIBLY EXCITING time to be in this industry and we're all lucky to be a part of it.

So together, let's go forth and do some great things in 2014!

Thank you.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 433 Comments
      eric.sales
      • 1 Year Ago
      if you are saying a person's name than you are thinking about what he says... Big Toyota thinking about a company with one car and one plant. Why do I feel that small AMERICAN company will win in the end.
      Aaron
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good thing Toyota doesn't make EVs, otherwise Mr. Carter would look foolish. ;) The durability of the hydrogen tanks isn't in question. It's the infrastructure. With fewer than 15 hydrogen fueling stations in the US, the infrastructure isn't there. This doesn't even include the expense of the stations -- having to store hydrogen at near absolute zero temperatures in cryogenic storage tanks ain't cheap and ironically takes a lot of electricity.
        Jeff Gilleran
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Aaron
        I agree with you totally about infrastructure at current. However, we need to keep in mind that there are some people out there that find the "safety" in question even more than the Infrastructure. The fires that were reported by Tesla owners had a negative effect on some people even if they weren't really considered a "problem" at all by most. Even with the lack of infrastructure, Tesla is ahead of the game currently by having recharging stations in many more locations than Hydrogen, but even that is going to take awhile to saturate locations around the country to be viable to mainstream citizens. Using electricity directly, or indirectly does not mean either technology is actually useful, or useless.
          DarylMc
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Jeff Gilleran
          It shouldn't be forgotten that any risks with hydrogen will be on top of whatever is inherent in EV's. They both share the same electrical systems but the FCV has hydrogen storage, plumbing and fuel cell on top of that. In any case it is good to see that Toyota has done some testing on the tanks and thinks they are safe.
          archos
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Jeff Gilleran
          Then what will these safety-concerned buyers do when the first hydrogen car catches fire? We all know it will be much more...substantial than a sparky battery fire. They should post some video of what happens when the hydrogen tank is ruptured during an accident...how far does the killzone extend?
          SloopJohnB
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Jeff Gilleran
          Don't forget the fires started by either improperly installed Tesla vehicle home chargers or faults in the Tesla charger itself. IIRC Tesla is recalling chargers to replace them with an improved model with better safety features.
          DarylMc
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Jeff Gilleran
          Hi SloopJohnB Contrary to the headlines here Tesla is just replacing an adapter that plugs into their portable charger. Some of them have melted and there is uncertainty whether it is a fault the adapter or from being plugged into a faulty wall socket. There is only one reported fire from this. Tesla has incorporated a thermal fuse into the new plug adapter. If it is plugged into a faulty socket in your home it is designed to shut power off when the plug adapter gets too hot. There is a detailed explanation of the issue and steps Tesla have taken here. http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/acms/cs/jaxrs/download/doc/UCM448668/RCDNN-14V006-9349.pdf
          johnnythemoney
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Jeff Gilleran
          Tesla doesn't need recharging stations to sell cars, because you have your own recharging station, at home. Beat that with hydrogen.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Aaron
        Some are talking up on-site hydrogen generation. Technically anywhere where you have electricity and water you could generate hydrogen. So in that sense, you can think of hydrogen as kind of like an EV, but with hydrogen as the storage medium instead of batteries.
          gpmp
          • 4 Months Ago
          @icemilkcoffee
          "BEVs make ideal commuters for short daily trips where you can get a full charge overnight." Tesla has pretty much proven that wrong.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 4 Months Ago
          @icemilkcoffee
          Time = Money. Charge for free or very cheap, but wait a long time. Refuel for about the same or less than gasoline, in only a few minutes. Different people will decide what they think is better for them. BEVs make ideal commuters for short daily trips where you can get a full charge overnight. FCVs have more appeal for people who need to drive long distances in larger vehicles, without worrying about long recharges.
          johnnythemoney
          • 4 Months Ago
          @icemilkcoffee
          True but... you need electric energy and water to make hydrogen to run a fuel cell to run an electric motor. The only pro is that filling an hydrogen tank takes less time (today) than filling a battery with electric energy.
          Joeviocoe
          • 4 Months Ago
          @icemilkcoffee
          Or..... How about an EV, that has a range extender (PHEV). You always seem to forget that little guy there. A range extender only works if there is a abundance of fueling points located in the places you want to go outside of the battery range (a.k.a. outside of cities). And the farther you go, the more spread out they must be. Fast refueling is NOT a benefit if you must drive out of your way 30 minutes to find they nearest town with an H2 station.
          archos
          • 4 Months Ago
          @icemilkcoffee
          "Technically" but not really. And if we were to think of hydrogen cars as EVs we would have to think of them as inherently inferior EVs due to additional extensive amounts of energy used to produce the hydrogen. Simply put, why use 3x the electricity, plus water, when you could just electricity alone, and alot less of it?
      MONTEGOD7SS
      • 1 Year Ago
      People who worry about tanks blowing up just haven't shot one. Propane, CO2, Oxyacetylene, etc. they all just hiss and leak down just like Toyota said when they are pierced. Override the safety relief valve and then overfill it and overheat it and it will rupture, but not when it just has a little hole poked in it. Why would Hydrogen tanks in cars start exploding, when the millions of tanks out there in industry and riding around in the back of Airgas trucks not? Just like electric and hybrid, the fear campaigns will be strong with fuel cells.
        SteveG
        • 4 Months Ago
        @MONTEGOD7SS
        Acetylene leaks are no joke. Sure it just hisses, unless it gets up to 15psi somewhere then boom, or it finds any ignition source. That is why the tanks for it are filled with Agamassan. Acetylene leaks are dangerous. Never trust a welder that does not believe that. H2 on the other hand is a problem because it pools in ceilings. So current filling stations cannot dispense it. You either need no roof or a properly vented one. A garage should be upgraded to vent before storing h2 in it.
        Chris M
        • 4 Months Ago
        @MONTEGOD7SS
        Propane, CO2, Oxygen, Acetylene and other compressed gases in standard steel bottles are nowhere near the pressures proposed here. To get enough H2 for a reasonable range requires pressures from 7,000 to 10,000 psi, which in turn require different types of tanks. Steel simply isn't strong enough or light enough.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Chris M
          Which is why Toyota is building Type IV CR reinforced tanks. Much stronger and lighter than steel, and still only about $3k each.
      carfan
      • 1 Year Ago
      so now the american idiots will have EXPLODING tayatas with sudden unintended acceleration. Good one, buy asian garbage brainwashed americans
        kant
        • 4 Months Ago
        @carfan
        Yes because your car isn't full of a highly explosive substance...oh wait.
      Dave D
      • 1 Year Ago
      Gotta call bullsh*t here. Carbon fiber will not stop something heavy with lot of load behind it. It will stop most bullets with decently thick carbon fiber, but it won't stop a shotgun with a "deer slug". Imagine what a car would do to it? LOL It would be completely destroyed! This is like the "demos" where they shoot a bag of sand with a high powered rifle and it stops it. Then they shoot the same bag of sand with a simple bow and arrow and it goes right through it. Toyota is playing really fast and loose with "facts" here. They might as well call this a demo of "statistics"! LMAO!!! For an example of what happens when something with a serious mass hits the carbon fiber, check out this video of a deer slug penetrating the target in the third test on this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoP0iPzupKc
        Letstakeawalk
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Dave D
        1. Different kinds of carbon fiber, different lays and different winding patterns. 2. Tanks aren't just carbon fiber. There's metal in there too. Keep looking, and find and actual test on an actual tank performed by certified authorities. Perhaps you might check out the links many commentators have provided. "Gotta call bullsh*t here." Perhaps you missed the main thrust of the article. Toyota doesn't care what you think, because you don't know what you're talking about. If you want to ignore their work, they couldn't care less.
      AngeloD
      • 1 Year Ago
      Kudo's to Toyota for pursuing this technology. It has great promise and a lot of advantages over hybrid and all-electric systems for autos. Toyota deserves special praise considering as how they have had very little support in this from the Obama Administration. The Obama Administration has had tunnel vision by focusing on hybrids and all-electrics to the exclusion of other very promising tech such as Toyota's fuel cells.
        nocommie11
        • 4 Months Ago
        @AngeloD
        Actually there are no advantages, it still takes electricity to produce hydrogen from water and the you have to transport and store it. It just adds extra steps to directly charging batteries.
        archos
        • 4 Months Ago
        @AngeloD
        Not really. New battery chemistries will be available to the masses long before these FCVs ever are mass produced. They can't compete in price and the range of FCVs restricted the radius of the few remaining stations in a couple states. In the end who's going to pay $50,000 to $100,000 for a hydrogen car with no benefit to the consumer other than tailpipe emissions? Its even more expensive to fill up than a car. No thanks.
        Grendal
        • 4 Months Ago
        @AngeloD
        Toyota is a foreign owned company. California gives plenty of ZEV credits to FCEV's, more than electrics. What else do want the government to give them?
          JakeY
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          @Letstakeawalk "Toyota has more than a decade's worth of ZEV credits saved up from their sales of hybrids" Again, that's incorrect/inaccurate. Toyota has a lack of gold credits (which CANNOT be fulfilled with hybrids or PHEVs) , which is why they had to build those 2400 RAV4 EVs. Their hydrogen vehicle will continue that on except they only need to build a third of the volume vs the RAV4 EV.
          JakeY
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          @Letstakeawalk No. More like they already invested hundreds of millions (maybe a billion?) into hydrogen during the Bush era when it was all hyped up and if they don't use it now at least for a fleet, that money would be wasted, esp. when CA is giving triple credits for it (2015-2018) and installing a bunch of stations. This is similar to what happened with hybrids (Japan invested heavily into hybrids thinking the US would push it). Meanwhile, they don't really have to participate in promoting EVs and aid in cannibalizing their own hybrid sales for at least 3 years (which is what a lot of EV advocates suspect is the real reason for their EV naysaying). It's not really like they have to invest another hundreds of million into this, so it comes to the question if they lose less money making/servicing one FCV vs three EVs. Given the overhead costs of having to service 3x the vehicles and possibly needing to expand the market beyond California, the FCV may be the more "economic" choice in the current ZEV credit situation. Again, I have said it would be interesting to see what happens in 2018, when the hydrogen cars no longer get bonus credits. That ones that are not really serious will likely pare back on promotion efforts and perhaps switch to EVs.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          So Toyota had a choice then. They could farm out compliance-car-production cheaply, to a company that they already partly own... or they could invest hundreds of millions (maybe a billion or more?) into the development of a totally different drivetrain. Joeviocoe likes to push the idea that ZEV-credits are a primary motivation behind FCV development - but that just doesn't make financial sense. We can all agree that Toyota is certainly going to lose money on the early production runs of FCVs, and the ZEV credits might only barely make the production break even. Toyota has done the math. They've decided on the tech that they think will be profitable *after* ZEV credits run out in a few years. That's why they're happy to farm out the simple BEV production, and focus their own resources on a more difficult - and lucrative - engineering solution. A solution that has resonance beyond the auto industry.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          "... so it comes to the question if they lose less money making/servicing one FCV vs three EVs." Are you suggesting Toyota will lose less money on one FCV than they would on 3 EV's? Seems like that would be a positive on the FCV side. "It's not really like they have to invest another hundreds of million into this..." That's pretty good news, too. Toyota is simply leveraging the cost of all the R&D they've *already done*. Who'd a thunk they'd take advantage of that? I'm not saying Toyota will avoid the BEV market entirely - I think there's strong evidence that Toyota will build small commuter BEVs. I just think they're getting a jump on the higher goals (FCVs), and leaving the low-hanging fruit (BEVs) for later. Toyota is really shooting for the stars, instead of settling for the moon. As you say, even if they miss with FCVs, they can easily fall back to BEVs, with the benefits of their carbon fiber collaboration with BMW. Toyota has made a calculated decision to go after FCVs, when they could just as easily have chosen BEVs. I agree, we'll just have to wait and see how it all plays out. Although, I do also agree with Marcopolo's assessment that the profit motive of hydrogen refueling is simply far too strong for the hydrogen providers to simply ignore it.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          Toyota has more than a decade's worth of ZEV credits saved up from their sales of hybrids. They could build BEVs or FCVs - it doesn't matter to them, because they're not chasing ZEV credits at all. So, they choose the route they think will be a better long-term investment, rather than chase a short-term reward.
      William
      • 1 Year Ago
      It isn't a problem with the fuel cells or vehicles or safety that people worry about. It's the fact that hydrogen refueling stations are virtually non-existant and very expensive to build. And hydrogen itself is more expensive than power from the grid, or solar. If Toyota is so certain that Fuel cells are the answer, perhaps they should build a network of refueling stations and charge their customers nothing for the hydrogen.
        Avinash Machado
        • 4 Months Ago
        @William
        Exactly.
        Marcopolo
        • 4 Months Ago
        @William
        @ William Toyota don't need to worry about building refueling stations. H2 providers includes the largest corporations of the planet. These corporations not only have the money to quickly build an H2 refueling net work as extensive as the current gasoline diesel network, but they are the most experienced organizations at organizing large scale infrastructure on a global scale. Shell calculates it can create an H2 network to cover the US, for a little as $ 6-8 billion. Shell's 10 rivals, can be expected to match that. By 2020, there could easily be an oversupply of H2 outlets ! H2 will sell for the same price (or a little less) than gasoline/diesel, including government taxes. But an HFCV will give far better mpg. Building an HFCV, at an economic price, is the difficult problem, not providing refueling infrastructure.
          Joeviocoe
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Marcopolo
          Yet for all their might and money,... they don't build any real H2 stations, unless the bulk of the funding comes from government. Yeah, sounds like they have confidence /sarc
        Dave
        • 4 Months Ago
        @William
        Hydrogen Refueling Infrastructure Cost Analysis. May 15, 2012 - http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/review12/an020_melaina_2012_o.pdf
          Jesse Gurr
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Dave
          "I suspect that initial stations will be unprofitable. Just as initial vehicle production will be unprofitable." No business person in their right mind would invest in an unprofitable business. A gas station owner will close down or not even build more stations if the current ones aren't profitable. How could he? The automakers would have to eat the cost if this plan is to go forward. "Since a car would use about 1/2 of a kg per day, that is only $1,685 per car, which is much less than the cost of digging up a sidewalk and installing a charger" The report assumes that the station will be 80% utilized. In other words they assume that 1200 kg/day of hydrogen would be used per station. If one car uses 0.5kg/day then that station could support 2400 cars. They would have to sell H2 at a minimum of $3.37/kg. That doesn't sound bad but I don't know how many stations there will be after 2016. Lets say 200 stations at 2016. That is enough capacity for up to 480,000 H2 cars. Lots of competition. Don't know how many cars it would take to stay profitable.
          Jesse Gurr
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Dave
          Care to elaborate? That link tells me that it will cost an average of $2.8 million to build a hydrogen station from 2014 to 2016. Everything in that link is what William just said.
          Dave
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Dave
          "Care to elaborate?" I suspect that initial stations will be unprofitable. Just as initial vehicle production will be unprofitable. If BEVs and FCEVs were currently profitable, the federal government wouldn't have to give out $7,500 rebates, and CARB wouldn't have to mandate them. However, once we get to the point of building large stations, page 14 estimates a construction cost of $3,370 per kg per day. Since a car would use about 1/2 of a kg per day, that is only $1,685 per car, which is much less than the cost of digging up a sidewalk and installing a charger.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Dave
          "No business person in their right mind would invest in an unprofitable business." Almost every small business is unprofitable, at first. That's why you need a huge amount of cash to get you through those first few years, until profitability happens. It's taken Tesla over a decade, and they're still a bit iffy.
        PICKLEBOY
        • 4 Months Ago
        @William
        Thats what they said n their presentation of this fuel cell vehicle. Toyota isn't retarded, they know there aren't a lot of refueling stations and they already have plans set up to open 60 more hydrogen fueling stations.
          Joeviocoe
          • 4 Months Ago
          @PICKLEBOY
          Nissan also installed Fast Chargers at dealerships. H2 stations located at dealerships do NOT scale.
          JakeY
          • 4 Months Ago
          @PICKLEBOY
          "they already have plans set up to open 60 more hydrogen fueling stations." California has plans to set up 68 stations with taxpayer money, not Toyota. Toyota so far has not announced plans to set up any stations, only Hyundai has (a couple at their dealers).
          Letstakeawalk
          • 4 Months Ago
          @PICKLEBOY
          Toyota has a JV with Air Liquide to build stations, and may install refueling equipment at dealers in Japan.
      CoolWaters
      • 1 Year Ago
      Toyota going to build the New Edsel. I'm kind of shocked they want to lose so much money.
      khod3
      • 4 Months Ago
      I can't understand why they didn't push natural gas then progress to hydrogen. Lithium powered cars will only be a niche market. Natural gas is already piped into most houses and with minimal expense folks could fill up right at home. Lithium electrics require charging using mostly coal the nastiest fossil fuel on earth. Too bad most folks don't think. Hydrogen of course burns clean but natural gas is much cleaner than coal or oil. Down in Brazil since way back they have used sugar cane to use ethanol which actually is way better than corn based ethanol. We don't have to worry about "saving the planet" as all the heavy industry has been shipped to Asia and they will "destroy" it. Still plenty of oil though and soon North America will be the largest producer. The USA is already the largest producer of natural gas now and it's dirt cheap. So, go out and blow your wad on a Tesla and don't exhale because I reserve the God given right to ruin the planet with my gasoline powered 4 wheel drive Chevrolet truck because here in Minnesota it's so cold today schools are cancelled again, it was about 20 below ZERO at 9 AM, and with the wind chill down to 35-55 below ZERO.(much colder in northern Minnesota) Oh and how about all the hard frost warnings down into central Florida???? When the next ice age hits and the mile high glacier has crushed half the USA I hope it hits Al Gore's "farm" this time.
      Mark
      • 4 Months Ago
      I'm certainly no expert in either technology, but for me, this issue is about more than just safety and cost. EVs just make sense because our primary source of power in the US is electric. It's easy to transport (power lines vs trucks), available everywhere and can even be produced at home with solar and wind. In both scenarios, the vehicle stores the energy in either liquid fuel or battery. Current battery technology lags behind because of long fill-up times and limited energy storage. Batteries take hours to charge versus the minutes it takes to fill a tank of gas and they just don't store as much energy as liquid gasoline or hydrogen, but I personally believe both will change. Also, per Wikipedia, "Fossil fuels are the dominant source of industrial hydrogen." Am I missing something? I know a lot of electricity is also produced with fossil fuels, but this sounds even worse. Finally, what would be the impact of a tanker carrying liquid hydrogen leaking into the ocean? Maybe nothing. I don't know, but I'm curious. I guess it can't be worse than oil, right? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_production
        DaveMart
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Mark
        Briefly, natural gas is indeed by far the largest source of hydrogen. However fuel cells use fossil fuels around twice as efficiently after all reforming losses as petrol vehicles, and perhaps 1.7 times as efficiently as natural gas vehicles. Vast amounts of fossil fuels are also used to power the grid, and only around a third of the gross energy of the power plant comes out of your wall socket, with maybe another 15% lost in charging a BEV. Transport hydrogen is also mandated in California to be a third from renewable sources, currently biogas from landfill. In answer to your last question, hydrogen is non toxic unlike oil and petroleum, and would not harm the ocean.
      Electron
      • 4 Months Ago
      So the fact that the stuff that powers my car needs to be stored in containers that can stop 50 cal bullets is somehow supposed to make me feel better about this technology? HFCs can be made to work but it takes some pretty extreme engineering which usually doesn't come cheap. Even Toyota is hinting at 2030 before cost hits mass adoption level which is so far away the claim is basically meaningless. So Toyota's plans for the future: fossil fuels for decades to come with a chance that HFCs will allow basically a different mix of fossil fuels at some point, more steam reformed natural gas and less fossil oil based products. Whatever. Meanwhile Tesla is building the Supercharger network, an average of 4 new stations popping up every week each at a small percentage of the cost of a hydrogen station, all to be used "free for life". So good to have a choice.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think it is normal that multiple technologies will be explored. That is not a bad thing. But in the end unlikely both will be right. We have seen that in Unix vs Windows, Concord architecture vs 747 architecture and many others. In the end though, things unlikely will be pretty for both sides. Toyota may succeed or they may lose millions going this path. One thing is for sure: Tesla is getting ahead because the infrastructure is being setup already.
        CoolWaters
        • 4 Months Ago
        TESLA has the electric motor, and a battery going thru it's own Moores Law( 20% capacity yearly increase, for 80% of previous year's price ). EV's also have the advantage of 90% efficiency, and when ever the Grid gets greener EV's automatically get greener. Hydrogen, An Explosive Idea when it hits an SUV, has none of these advantages.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 4 Months Ago
        The infrastructure is already in most people's garages, and runs along every power line already. And electric cars are going to be cheaper.. CNG cars are mostly a failure because despite having hundreds of stations per state, people just didn't want to pay small the premium for the car or deal with fueling at those stations. That being said, i scratch my head when something comes along with an even more uphill battle to face and people are like 'wow, that's the future!!'
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