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And That Is That.


IanIanIanIan
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Toyota is stopping the production of EVs in December

http://gas2.org/2014/07/15/toyota-executive-puts-kibosh-on-electric-cars/

That ties up all the rumours of the last few months. Without Toyota, EVs will just be a niche car for the discerning few.

At least there was no mention of enhanced range hybrids. I suppose they will be the testbeds for the FCVs.

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I'm not surprised. Electric cars are still a niche market. For the man in the street, a ridiculously long recharge time coupled with a short range and a silly initial price to buy the thing just doesn't add up. It's fine if you have money to throw away, most of us don't.

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Unlike fuel cells that are in never never land.

Doesn't it say Toyota have given up on BEVs but not plug ins?

Each to their own but I think Toyota might lose out here unless they have an ace up their sleeve. Maybe a £25,000 fuel cell car? :)

OK, that'll not happen in the next 20 years. Strange they have changed their direction considering their RAV4EVs are still running from 2001, that they offered the RAV4 in California and had a tie in with Tesla.

Toyota could lose a following though. They sold a lot of cars on the back of their environmental credentials and might lose those customers. Just whether they're a large enough number to be bothered about.

http://www.carbuzz.com/news/2014/2/13/Prius-Owners-Are-Ditching-Toyotas-for-Teslas-7718648/

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Well I think they have made the right choice; pure electrics are too niche - They are only good for short distance commutes right now and are far too expensive for what they are.

What the guy said is exactly right - We need a massive breakthrough in Battery tech before they can break out of that niche to compete with fossil fuel'd vehicles.

The HSDs are just better in almost every way right now and Toyota have that as a solid flexible platform which isn't going to suddenly become obsolete so they can afford to sit and wait. If Battery tech improves, they can upgrade their plugins and still compete in the market; If not then they can swap the IC engine for a fuel-cell or alternative fuel one.

The other issue with pure Battery vehicles is they don't have the battery management abilities of the HSD's. The HSD's don't have to use 100% of the battery as they have the IC engine as a backup, and Toyota have been very clever in the way the HSD manages and conditions the battery. The pure electrics are already range limited so they don't have that luxury and have to charge to maximum every time - This will shorten the life of the batteries by a lot compared to the HSDs.

o be fair tho', I thought the same thing about the HSD's before I knew about the clever battery management, so maybe they will find a trick to keep the batteries going?



The hydrogen thing is an interesting one; It would suck as a direct combustion fuel, but it is certainly the most effective of the fuel cell technologies, but lacks a lot of practicality of, say, the methanol ones. Creation and transport of hydrogen have their own new and interesting problems. I suppose if you think of fuel cells as another type of battery, then it makes more sense but I think the economics will be tricky for them to sort out on a large scale.


Either way, my ickle diesel Yaris is not going to have any real competition for quite a while longer I reckon ;)

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What the guy said is exactly right - We need a massive breakthrough in battery tech before they can break out of that niche to compete with fossil fuel'd vehicles.

Unfortunately, the vested interests will do what they can to prevent such a thing happening.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_encumbrance_of_large_automotive_NiMH_batteries

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I am informed by am employee at Nissan that a lot of the employees have bought the Leaf for the commute to work and local runs. If they need a conventional car for long runs holidays etc they hire one. This works out cheaper for them as they have no road tax and nil fuel costs. I am also told some of the employees do own two cars ie the leaf and a normal petrol car.

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Funnily enough, I came very close to purchasing a Leaf a week ago. This means I have fresh spreadsheets analysing costs.

For my particular usage pattern, which is broadly 14k a year, 8k of which is journeys comfortably within Leaf range, and buying from amongst the cheapest Leafs on Autotrader at present, then if

I keep the Prius for long runs and holidays and

I use the Leaf for commuting and odd weekend bits

then I have to spend 10k, and I save, at tops, £500 per year all in.

We decided against, which is a shame as I quite fancied the idea.

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I fancied a Leaf but with my low annual mileage, and a number of concerns about maintenance costs, the life-span of the vehicle, range anxiety and any future govt policies it probably does not make sense.

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Nissan employees get a good discount if they buy a new Nissan, this would help with the costing if they purchased a new Leaf.

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One of our friends has just purchased a leaf and it came with free use of a large network of charging points as well as charging points at Nissan dealers.

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This is where the economies tend to get blurred though..

Free charging - for how long ? Too much of a variable to put Zero in a column in the spreadsheet.

Servicing - sure, it may be less complex, but do you see the dealers wanting to lose out on hours billed ? Nope - they'll just put the hourly rate up to compensate...

Realistically, when budgeting, anything "free" should be charged at some "average" rate. Look at the way road tax has crept up in price for the low bands over the years.

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.... Look at the way road tax has crept up in price for the low bands over the years.

I dunno. My car is a 2009 and is zero rated for road tax and always has been. It was one of the first to meet the requirement and I'd have save about £500 or more over the last 4 years compared to a 1.8 similar sized petrol. Maybe bigger savings if I compare to a 1.8 petrol automatic.

Mrs Cabbie has an IQ auto which is £20 a year. It would have been zero rated too if she'd gone for the manual. I still smile wryly when I hear people moan about paying car tax :) They just need to choose wisely. Two cars at £200 a year each is £400 (obviously) but if you tell people that's £33 a month just to own the cars, it makes them think more. £33 plus your insurance plus your petrol plus servicing adds up. We pay £1.70 a month for our two cars. Much more like it :)

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