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Discussion Starter #1
Here's Toyota's admission that they don't know how to use Lithium Ion batteries properly. It is going to take some time for them to do it, as in catching up with GM...

"Copenhagen—Toyota and lithium just don’t mix.

Masatami Takimoto, executive vice president for the technology department at Toyota, acknowleged during a presentation at Copenmind, a technology conference taking place here this week, that the Japanese auto giant will inevitably put lithium ion batteries in some types of cars.

Toyota, for instance, will probably put lithium ions into commuter cars and will also likely use a lithium ion battery in its plug-in hybrids. In fact, the company will in the near future send out lithium ion batteries to those testing the plug-in Prius. Right now, those plug-in Priuses contain two regular Prius batteries, which cuts the all-electric driving range down to around 13 kilometers.

Challenges, though, persist with lithium-ion batteries, he said. They are expensive. They can’t drive cars very far and they weigh a lot, which in turn hurts mileage. Thus, enthusiasm is tempered.

“Lithium ion batteries will probably be used in vehicles, but we still have problems,” Takimoto said. “We do think it’s appropriate to use lithium ion batteries in commuter cars.”

And don’t expect an all-electric car with lithium ion batteries, or any kind for that matter, for a while. Batteries don’t have the energy density that can compete well with liquid fuels or even fuel cells."
from this link:

http://greenlight.greentechmedia.com/2008/09/02/toyota-plugs-lithium-ion-batteries-reluctantly-507/
 

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Toyota is bluffing

They know exactly well how to develop Lion. But they just want to give more life to their dinosaur production lines.

Problem with Lion is not weight or capacity or power. They have half the weight of NiMH, 4 times more capacity, and twice the power.

The problem is safety with Cobalt and Manganese based chemistries. But this has been solved with Iron Phosphate chemistry (A123).

Toyota is bluffing and they wish to prolong the life of their investments in combustion engines, transmissions, catalytic convertors, cooling systems etc. They are casting doubt on the Volt hoping that GM will postpone the introduction.
 

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Toyota is bluffing and they wish to prolong the life of their investments in combustion engines, transmissions, catalytic convertors, cooling systems etc. They are casting doubt on the Volt hoping that GM will postpone the introduction.
Just the same as GM was doing when they crushed the EV1s. It took the economic disaster GM is now facing to wake them the hell up.

On the other hand, Toyota should be praised for pushing more fuel efficient cars and hybrids while GM was busy crushing their electric cars and pushing Hummers. While I'm happy with GM now for thinking ahead with E-Flex, we must all face the facts: conventional cars will dominate the market for a long time to come.

Since GM has nothing to lose at this point, it looks like they're thinking further ahead than the other car companies for the first time in memory.
 

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meh

I think you guys have been drinking the kool-aid. Auto Manufacturers Make what they can sell. While gas was cheap most people went big and powerful when they could. Now that it's expensive they strive for smaller lighter and more efficient; because that's what will sell. While I think it was silly for GM to crush the ev-1's they were a clear money looser. You aren't going to sell any significant volume of a small, slow, range limited outrageously expensive ($80k I think it was) car while a gallon of gas costs $1.00. The volt is a far superior car in every way that will have a top end cost of half of that or less and there are quite a few people complaining.
 

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Moving towards electric cars is a gamble. You have to make big expensive changes to your manufacturing processes and you stand to lose revenue on spare parts since electric motors and so simple and long lasting. GM didn't want to do it ten years ago but now it's their only hope. Mr. Toyota has shown great disinterest in plug in cars, but Toyota (and everyone else) is reluctantly moving into the field so they don't get left behind. No kool-aid here, just being realistic about it.

And about the price of the EV1. They only made ~1100 of them and they were assembled by hand! The 80 grand figure doesn't mean very much when you consider economies of scale. It was an experimental car made only to meet the California Zero Emissions Mandate. The Execs at GM who really mattered hated the idea of the EV1 being a success, so linking the failures of the EV1 program to the impracticality of electric cars is circular logic. The Toyota RAV4EV cost about half the price of the EV1, even though only a small number were made. It was just a standard RAV4 body, no special lightweight materials or super aerodynamic designs, and it has a range of over 100 miles per charge. It's no dream car but it's a hell of a lot better than the EV1 economically.
 

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What Kool-aid?

WTiger - no koolaid here. It just in the best interest of Toyota to postpone Lion development and cast aspersions on EVs. It is a pure financial and economic tactic.

as darthvader says, gm has been left with little choice but to pursue the Volt.

EVs will cannibalize auto sales, service revenue, and parts sales in the auto industry. Their revenues will plummet just as the newspaper industry is seeing their revenue plummet due to online classifieds and ads. They will fight it tooth and nail. If they don't fight it, they are not working in the best interest of their shareholders.

It is not up to a manufacturer to be a charity. Get over this dream. These are just utopian/idealistic fancy dreams of the leftist (i.e. economically illiterate) crowds.
 

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Toyota can drop a Li-Ion battery into the current Prius and downsize the motor to get what is essentially a Volt. If they're not doing it, it's because they think it isn't worthwhile. They get close to 50mpg with what they are doing today and will probably get 10-20% better with the 2009 Prius. That car is going to sell.

They will produce a PHEV with limited (20 mile?) range in the near future in limited quantities, just to have such a vehicle on the market.

Toyota will make a big shift to PHEVs when the price of the components is right and the capabilities work the way they want, not when they think they need a Hail Mary Pass to keep the company alive.
 

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From the name of the Renaissance thinker Niccolò Machiavelli has been derived the term "Machiavellian," referring to an amoral person who uses manipulative methods to attain and retain power.
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stella
California DUI
 

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Discussion Starter #9
There is that significant portion of us, future car buyers, that wanted an option not to use a drop of gasoline or diesel when we wanted to, and yet enable us to commute to work with some portions of the roads having 55 mph or more speed limit. We also don't want to get caught with a flat lined automotive power in some cases. Toyota doesn't have anything like the Volt, and if they don't plan on producing one, sorry for them, they won't get our business. When they do plan something that is a serial hybrid with the first commuting distance on pure electric, then there would be real competition.
 

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Don't know about Toyota, but Honda has a serial hybrid using a fuel cell. Changing from a fuel cell to ICE is not a big deal.
 
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