Toyota’s Prius model

The Toyota boss reckons hybrids are a better idea than all-electric since no expensive new power supplies or charging points are needed, with recharging built-in to the vehicle. Also, lifetime CO2 emissions are comparable to EVs when all factors are taken into account. As someone demanding realism, one suspects he’s not too impressed by on-off renewables either.
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In his first policy speech as prime minister last October, Yoshihide Suga pledged to reduce Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, thus giving substance to the government’s goal of eliminating the need for fossil fuels in the latter half of the 21st century, says the Japan Times.

Part of that goal is to ban new internal combustion engine cars by the mid-2030s, a pledge addressed by Akio Toyoda, the president of the world’s No. 2 automaker, Toyota Motor Corp., and chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, during a Dec. 17 online news conference he held under the latter capacity.

Toyoda derided the government policy as being ill-informed and unrealistic.

At the same time, he castigated the press for glorifying electric vehicles as a main instrument for achieving carbon neutrality.

Toyoda said he had met with association members and they agreed to help Suga achieve his policy goals, but added that without “epoch-making technological breakthroughs,” such goals cannot be reached, so the government must work with manufacturers “as they do in Europe and China.”

After pointing out that Japan’s auto industry had cut vehicular CO2 emissions by 22% and increased fuel mileage by 71% between 2001 and 2018, he said that increased dependence on electric vehicles will not solve the emissions problem.

Instead, it will simply move that problem into the realm of electric power generation because of the amount of extra electricity needed to operate and make electric vehicles.

Toyoda estimates that if 4 million cars on the road, approximately the number sold in Japan in the average year, were electric vehicles, then Japan would need to increase its power output by 10% to 15% — the equivalent of 20 thermal or 10 nuclear power stations — and since fossil fuels account for 77% of power generation in Japan right now, there wouldn’t be any net drop in emissions unless more renewable and nuclear power generation facilities were put online.

There is also the cost of providing sufficient infrastructure — an estimated ¥14-37 trillion to build recharging stations and ¥100,000 to ¥200,000 for each home charging facility.

Manufacturing electric vehicles will also produce more emissions because the process requires more electricity. In order to check and inspect electric vehicles, Toyoda estimates that 5,000 houses’ worth of electricity would be used in factories to test new cars each day, thus placing an even greater strain on Japan’s power capacity.

As for the media’s role in all this, Toyoda bristles at the notion that electric vehicles are somehow superior to hybrids in terms of CO2 emissions.

Although non-plugin hybrids, which alternate between electrical and gasoline motors, use fossil fuels, they produce their own electricity, thus obviating the need to recharge from the power grid.

Full article here.

Vehicles crowd a busy Tokyo street August 2. Japan’s domestic vehicle sales took another tumble in July, down 14 percent from a year earlier, the 28th straight month of decline and biggest fall in percentage terms for the year so far, industry data showed today. KM/TAN/WS

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop

January 30, 2021 at 01:30PM