Toyota drops plan for widespread sales of electric car

Comments (26)
Numb3rTech wrote:

It is not the time for a totally electric vehicle yet. There are too many problems getting cheaper electricity without further contamination of the environment. I still believe it is a great loss that so many coal fired plants have been shut down instead of rebuilding them so they are efficient. Too many jobs have been lost in the mining industry as well, since so much equipment has been idled and the periphery jobs are lost too.

Sep 24, 2012 7:07am EDT  --  Report as abuse
BrunoTaTa wrote:

Let me guess. The evil oil companies arranged to kill these cars. It has nothing to do with technical shortcomings or the economics of it.

Sep 24, 2012 10:53am EDT  --  Report as abuse

They are not so much electric-powered cars as they are coal & nuclear powered cars. Still, they are cheaper to run than liquid-fuel.

Sep 24, 2012 10:54am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Jason147 wrote:

Electric cars ruled the streets in the early 20th century.

Then Ford introduces the Model T … cheap, efficient, dependable non-electric engine.

The world never looked back …. until the left saw some untapped subsidies for their cronies.

Sep 24, 2012 10:55am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Dave-0 wrote:

When electric cars can go 300+ miles on a charge (with A/C) and charge in less than 2 hours there’s some chance they’ll be a success. Until then, they’re a hobby.

Sep 24, 2012 11:44am EDT  --  Report as abuse
xsnake wrote:

All…..ALL of America’s Democrats should be allowed to drive ONLY electric cars!

Sep 24, 2012 11:58am EDT  --  Report as abuse
TorresD30 wrote:

“Two years later, there are many difficulties,” said Takeshi Uchiyamada.
Difficulties like lack o passenger safety in a crash
Lack of range on batteries
Lack of charging stations
Lack of heat in Northern climates
Lack of airconditioning in Southern climates

But the biggest difficulty of all is:

Lack of customers without a Government mandate to buy

Sep 24, 2012 12:00pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

In the complete cradle to grave analysis of these cars, which includes not only their manufacture but long term maintenance and eventual disposal, these automobiles are definitely not cheaper to run than liquid-fuel automobiles.

Take a look at what it costs to do repair maintenance on the transmissions and batteries before you buy is a good place to start your evaluation. Next take a look at the used resale market place for these automobiles. If they are such a “good deal” and all that much cheaper to run, overall, why are they so difficult to resale on the used car market?

People often only look at the money they would spend on fuel to gauge “cheaper” and forget the manufacturing, maintenance and eventual disposal ends of the equation entirely.

And as for efficiency. I have a small car of Japanese origin that only has an internal combustion engine that runs on gasoline. It was manufactured in 1991, easy to maintain and I get 50 MPG out of it. It has a good resale value and the maintenance parts, while they still exist, are relatively inexpensive.

I also have a 2002 Prius that was given to me with dead batteries and a part of the electrical power regeneration system in the transmission not working. From this I learned the following.

If you don’t run or recharge your electric vehicle once every three months, as people who are snow birds, (the people who can really afford these expensive vehicles), do the batteries are damaged and need to be replaced.

In my case the transmission regeneration electronics went out, the owner couldn’t find a transmission that he could afford so consequently he let the thing sit, not knowing the damage it would cause the batteries, and thus all the batteries ended up having to be replaced.

Nowhere do they re-manufacture the transmissions so you only have two alternatives. Pick up a used transmission with a questionable history for about $700 or purchase a new one from Toyota for somewhere around $2,100. Then when you have that done, assuming it’s been inoperable for three months or so, you get to replace the batteries as well. New or used becomes the question here as well.

We couldn’t find individual batteries to just replace the ones that went bad but had to buy it as an entire unit. Considering batteries and how easily these can be damaged we elected to purchase new batteries and that set us back almost $2,000 as well. But wait, the story isn’t over.

It turns out that you just can’t slap in a new battery pack, start up the engine and expect them to charge. No, they have to be pre-charged and you can only get that done by a dealer who charges you over $700 to do the job and you have to wait until a charger is made available to the dealer to accomplish the job. WE paid about $1,100 for a used battery pack that we were allowed to rebuild using known good and tested batteries until we had a functional unit.

So, what was that 2002 Prius really worth?

The previous owner couldn’t sell it on the used market because it was broken. The scrap part value in 2008 was about $6,000 and actually less because it didn’t run and it to get that amount would require the sweat equity of parting the vehicle out and selling it piece by piece yourself, which some people do but the previous owner was unwilling to do. He gave us the car basically to get rid of it so while our cost in obtaining it was not passed on to us. Still, that is a real cost that someone else seeking a vehicle would have to pay so it is a significant figure.

$6000, cost of the vehicle which we didn’t pay because it was given to us.
$700, cost of a used but questionable transmission/generator set.
$800 cost of a rebuilt but used rechargeable battery pack.
$700, cost paid to legally dispose of the old batteries.
$700, cost paid to dealer to pre-charge the battery pack.
$3,000, cost of labor to get the vehicle in working order. (We didn’t have to pay this but did it through sweat equity and this includes the time we spent rebuilding the battery pack.

Now what did we achieve for our effort? Had we not had the abilities and knowledge to do much of the work ourselves, we would have paid $11,200 for a vehicle that gets only about 42 MPG at best and was only worth about $6,500 if it was in fair running condition with minor cosmetic damage. Additionally it still requires maintenance and since we got it running we have had to replace the struts and CV axles. And the CV axles are very expensive because each axle contains sensors that sense the speed of each wheel so the on-board computer can control the transmission to provide power or regenerate power to be stored in the batteries for later use.

In comparison my 1991 internal combustion conventional vehicle that gets 50 MPG on regular gasoline alone. When I picked it up it would have cost me about $2,500 in the used condition it was in. It took me about $1,100 to get it running and that included replacing the convertible top who’s job ran just short of $500. I recently burnt an exhaust valve and blew the head gasket so that had to be repaired. The cost of materials and my labor to perform this job was less than $1,000 and that because I opted out to replace the engine and transmission as an entire unit and retained the old engine and transmission for spare parts.

So, what did I get for my efforts? Back in running order, a 2002 Prius that gets 42 MPG and still has to be maintained and eventually disposed of, which isn’t cheap because of battery disposal costs, for roughly $11,200; and an internal combustion only vehicle that gets consistent 50 MPG is easy and inexpensive to maintain and only cost me about $4,600 in it’s present condition and one that won’t be a significant disposal burden at the end of it’s lifestyle.

Now, doing a cost comparison analysis, which is the better more efficient and economical vehicle? Which, in the cradle to grave analysis do you think is the “cheapest to run”?

Sep 24, 2012 12:01pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

In the complete cradle to grave analysis of these cars, which includes not only their manufacture but long term maintenance and eventual disposal, these automobiles are definitely not cheaper to run than liquid-fuel automobiles.

Take a look at what it costs to do repair maintenance on the transmissions and batteries before you buy is a good place to start your evaluation. Next take a look at the used resale market place for these automobiles. If they are such a “good deal” and all that much cheaper to run, overall, why are they so difficult to resale on the used car market?

People often only look at the money they would spend on fuel to gauge “cheaper” and forget the manufacturing, maintenance and eventual disposal ends of the equation entirely.

And as for efficiency. I have a small car of Japanese origin that only has an internal combustion engine that runs on gasoline. It was manufactured in 1991, easy to maintain and I get 50 MPG out of it. It has a good resale value and the maintenance parts, while they still exist, are relatively inexpensive.

I also have a 2002 Prius that was given to me with dead batteries and a part of the electrical power regeneration system in the transmission not working. From this I learned the following.

If you don’t run or recharge your electric vehicle once every three months, as people who are snow birds, (the people who can really afford these expensive vehicles), do the batteries are damaged and need to be replaced.

In my case the transmission regeneration electronics went out, the owner couldn’t find a transmission that he could afford so consequently he let the thing sit, not knowing the damage it would cause the batteries, and thus all the batteries ended up having to be replaced.

Nowhere do they re-manufacture the transmissions so you only have two alternatives. Pick up a used transmission with a questionable history for about $700 or purchase a new one from Toyota for somewhere around $2,100. Then when you have that done, assuming it’s been inoperable for three months or so, you get to replace the batteries as well. New or used becomes the question here as well.

We couldn’t find individual batteries to just replace the ones that went bad but had to buy it as an entire unit. Considering batteries and how easily these can be damaged we elected to purchase new batteries and that set us back almost $2,000 as well. But wait, the story isn’t over.

It turns out that you just can’t slap in a new battery pack, start up the engine and expect them to charge. No, they have to be pre-charged and you can only get that done by a dealer who charges you over $700 to do the job and you have to wait until a charger is made available to the dealer to accomplish the job. WE paid about $1,100 for a used battery pack that we were allowed to rebuild using known good and tested batteries until we had a functional unit.

So, what was that 2002 Prius really worth?

The previous owner couldn’t sell it on the used market because it was broken. The scrap part value in 2008 was about $6,000 and actually less because it didn’t run and it to get that amount would require the sweat equity of parting the vehicle out and selling it piece by piece yourself, which some people do but the previous owner was unwilling to do. He gave us the car basically to get rid of it so while our cost in obtaining it was not passed on to us. Still, that is a real cost that someone else seeking a vehicle would have to pay so it is a significant figure.

$6000, cost of the vehicle which we didn’t pay because it was given to us.
$700, cost of a used but questionable transmission/generator set.
$800 cost of a rebuilt but used rechargeable battery pack.
$700, cost paid to legally dispose of the old batteries.
$700, cost paid to dealer to pre-charge the battery pack.
$3,000, cost of labor to get the vehicle in working order. (We didn’t have to pay this but did it through sweat equity and this includes the time we spent rebuilding the battery pack.

Now what did we achieve for our effort? Had we not had the abilities and knowledge to do much of the work ourselves, we would have paid $11,200 for a vehicle that gets only about 42 MPG at best and was only worth about $6,500 if it was in fair running condition with minor cosmetic damage. Additionally it still requires maintenance and since we got it running we have had to replace the struts and CV axles. And the CV axles are very expensive because each axle contains sensors that sense the speed of each wheel so the on-board computer can control the transmission to provide power or regenerate power to be stored in the batteries for later use.

In comparison my 1991 internal combustion conventional vehicle that gets 50 MPG on regular gasoline alone. When I picked it up it would have cost me about $2,500 in the used condition it was in. It took me about $1,100 to get it running and that included replacing the convertible top who’s job ran just short of $500. I recently burnt an exhaust valve and blew the head gasket so that had to be repaired. The cost of materials and my labor to perform this job was less than $1,000 and that because I opted out to replace the engine and transmission as an entire unit and retained the old engine and transmission for spare parts.

So, what did I get for my efforts? Back in running order, a 2002 Prius that gets 42 MPG and still has to be maintained and eventually disposed of, which isn’t cheap because of battery disposal costs, for roughly $11,200; and an internal combustion only vehicle that gets consistent 50 MPG is easy and inexpensive to maintain and only cost me about $4,600 in it’s present condition and one that won’t be a significant disposal burden at the end of it’s lifestyle.

Now, doing a cost comparison analysis, which is the better more efficient and economical vehicle? Which, in the cradle to grave analysis do you think is the “cheapest to run”?

Sep 24, 2012 12:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
CharlesASU wrote:

By the end of this century, most of the world’s known crude oil reserves will be completely mined-out and petroleum, along with the products made from it, will be rare. The current rate of world consumption is about 85 million 42-gallon barrels per day. The U.S. uses approximately 18 million barrels of crude per day, one-third of which is imported. Therefore, electric vehicles will (eventually) be players after billions of the world’s projected 15+ billion population dies off at the end of a very productive agricultural “green revolution” which was powered by gasoline an diesel fuels. The combustion heat content of a gallon of gasoline is approximately 36 KWh, of which 10 kWh of work can be obtained from modern, very efficient 25-30% internal combustion engines. (The very best electric power plants only achieve about 50% conversion efficiency from their fuels.) So, when shopping for an electric car such as the Nissan Leaf, keep in mind that a 25 kWh lithium-ion battery is equivalent to 2-1/2 gallons of gasoline. This makes sense when you realize the vehicle’s range is 100 miles, and it would likely get 40 mpg with a gasoline engine. A 15 gallon gasoline tank would be represented by a 150 kWh battery, something not attainable just yet. Best wishes, good luck. NObama 2012.

Sep 24, 2012 12:22pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
billnorris wrote:

Toyota unlike Government supported GM understands the market, and problems with electric cars. They do not throw good money after bad.

Sep 24, 2012 12:40pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
FredH1 wrote:

If all of us plug into the electric grid a battery charger for the vehicle, we will burn all of the wiring from the house to the power plant. Does anyone realize that the power must be generated somewhere and create enormous amount of pollution around the power plant.

Democrats and the environmentalists have short sighted vision of what is involved to run an electric car. We have to double the electricity production and install new power distribution system and create so much pollution in one place, that nobody will want to live around power plant for hundreds of miles, because to charge an electric car will require 12 hours of high current draws of the grid, since we will have two electric cars per person while we use one to let the second car charge. How many times we get called on emergency short notice to go somewhere, what you gonna do if your battery is empty.

Sep 24, 2012 1:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Chaylon wrote:

Would we even be talking about putting an electric car on the market if it weren’t for the silly global warming hoax?

Sep 24, 2012 1:37pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Ranger01 wrote:

Leadership at Toyota has it right. Technology on batteries needs to be better so that the amount of miles between charges can be more. When you run out of power on the road, then what. No alternative exept to be stuck. A Prius makes much more sense.

Sep 24, 2012 1:45pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Dave-0 wrote:

It makes much more sense to fuel cars and trucks with CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) than electricity. Alternative fuels are an evolutionary path – we’re never going from gasoline to electric in a single hop, nor should we be trying. Do we see the USG moving in that direction in any way? Time for a more pragmatic approach.

Sep 24, 2012 1:56pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Bojack wrote:

Isn’t it about time the oil companies reveal the secret 100 mpg carburetor they’ve been hiding away all these years?

Sep 24, 2012 2:21pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
diluded0000 wrote:

I think a standard battery size would go a long way towards advancing this technology. Think AA batteries, only bigger but driver changeable. Now on a road trip, you just go to the service station and swap your battery for a freshly charged battery. It eliminates one of the biggest obstacles to driving these.

And it is funny, but kind of gross, how many people equate their manhood with what they have under the hood. You electric car bashers need to think long and hard about why you don’t like them.

Sep 24, 2012 3:33pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JamVee wrote:

President Obama should, for a change, try to actually understand the technology and it’s problems before making such unrealistic requests.

It’s as if he exists in a fantasy world, where wanting it really really hard, makes it a reality.

Sep 24, 2012 4:01pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Gordon2352 wrote:

The problem is that the electric car was cutting edge technology at the turn of the century — the 20th century, that is — and timing is everything when introducing a new product.

The real problem is that battery technology hasn’t improved substantially in the last 100 years or so, nor does there appear to be a new breakthrough anytime in the future.

The use of rare earths was another “duh” decision to resurrect the dream that never was — except in nostalgic dreams of the past that never was by people who want us all to go back to where we never were.

If that doesn’t make sense, neither do they.

However, there is always demand for yet another pork barrel project paid for by the government to waste taxpayers’ money.

I would put my money on natural gas, which is a proven technology with little transition issues, and a reasonable stop gap measure until we can come up with a real breakthrough in technology.

Meanwhile, I have a lot of buggy whips on hand, if anyone is interested. I have a feeling the demand for them may pick up shortly.

Sep 24, 2012 4:55pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
jo5319 wrote:

@OrnleyGumfudgen:

Thanks for the detailed information.

A similar story: somebody who started walking & biking instead of commuting reduced carbon emission a lot more than buying an electric car.
The steel, parts, the battery, the manufacturing process of any car requires carbon emission.
Depending on what was used to generate electricity — could be wind, but most often it’s oil, even the dirtier coal — electric cars are not really zero emission in total, just zero from the exhaust pipe of that car.

Sep 24, 2012 7:58pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
beancube2101 wrote:

Who kills electric cars? Big auto.

Corporations’ expensive and greedy packaging schemes are trying to twist and hide away commonly existed advance and modern electrical technologies for electric cars.

Don’t you aware those monopoly schemes from the last century are still trying to package expensive craps and force them into the consumer markets?

Sep 24, 2012 12:14am EDT  --  Report as abuse
cranston wrote:

“The current capabilities of electric vehicles do not meet society’s needs, whether it may be the distance the cars can run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge.”
Toyota is expressing a sentiment that is out of touch with society’s needs- curent electric vehicles – even golf carts – match normal distance for going to and from work, the costs are extraordinary because the car companies build out five years in the future and charging does not take long at all. Too bad. Toyota is a good company but this is a bad decision.

Sep 25, 2012 7:12am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Overcast451 wrote:

**So, what did I get for my efforts? Back in running order, a 2002 Prius that gets 42 MPG and still has to be maintained and eventually disposed of, which isn’t cheap because of battery disposal costs, for roughly $11,200; and an internal combustion only vehicle that gets consistent 50 MPG is easy and inexpensive to maintain and only cost me about $4,600 in it’s present condition and one that won’t be a significant disposal burden at the end of it’s lifestyle.

Now, doing a cost comparison analysis, which is the better more efficient and economical vehicle? Which, in the cradle to grave analysis do you think is the “cheapest to run”?**

My 32 MPG Combined Avg (actual not hype) Dodge Dart with the lifetime warranty does, IMO. You all go ahead and replace batteries and such – I’ll just take mine to Dodge and let them fix it. Even if my single battery goes out, Dodge will fix that, if my engine dies, Dodge will fix that, etc.

I was on the fence, until they offered that Warranty, that sealed the deal.

Sep 25, 2012 11:28am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Carllehb wrote:

Folks Back in 98 a vehicle was developed that was presented in the 2000 Detroit auto show that was all electric and on a single 20Minute charge could run at 60MPH for 300 miles. The difference was how the energy was stored. It was not stored in batteries but in spinning rotors. The same technology that stores the power in our satellites because it is lighter than batteries.

With the new nano carbon technology in electric solar cells we can convert 98% of the light’s energy into electricity. This tech should be incorporated into all electric cars. The idea of getting a “tank of gas” just by sitting in the parking lot at work will dramatically cut down on the electric grids drain and save the consumer a bunch of money.

Lastly we need to plan for electric cars by installing electric car parking spaces with plug ins at rest stops, restaurants and service stations along our highways

Sep 25, 2012 1:36pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
MJGSimple wrote:

I think the biggest obstacle is distance. It’s too bad that too many aren’t willing to put forth the upfront effort for the long term benefits. Interestingly enough for Toyota, they actually teamed up with Tesla motors who is installing electric charging stations across the country, as I type this. Seems short sighted of them, although I suppose they have the model now, they simply need someone else to do the work for the market.

SOURCE: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/tesla-motors-launches-revolutionary-supercharger-032000226.html

Sep 27, 2012 11:42am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Anthonykovic wrote:

The car manufacturers make their money not in the showroom, but at the service department with costly parts, pricey labor and all that “recommended scheduled maintenance” nonsense.

There is nothing technically challenging about electric machines that run on rechargeable batteries. Planetwide there are hundreds of millions of rechargeable shavers, dustbusters,garden and shop tools not to mention electric forklift trucks, bicycles, boats and golf carts.

An electric lawnmover does not cost three times the price of a gas one, so why should an elctric car cost three times the price of a gas one?

Sep 27, 2012 10:35pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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