Toyota electric cars: why the brand says buyers should think twice

Environmentally conscious drivers should think twice before choosing an electric car, according to a major car brand.

The Australian Toyota boss wants drivers to think hard before buying a new electric car with a massive battery because that might not be what they really need.

Matthew Callachor, president of Toyota Australia, told reporters on Thursday that drivers who use their cars for short trips could overcapitalize on electric cars with huge batteries responsible for significant carbon emissions throughout their lifecycle .

This view was supported by the director general of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, Tony Weber, who warned lawmakers not to push electric battery technology to the detriment of other types of vehicles.

Speaking to reporters at an annual best-selling new car showcase, Callachor said the popularity of hybrid cars reflects their relevance in Australia. Hybrids were more affordable than battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and would reduce “more emissions, sooner, than BEVs alone”.

Toyota has sold more than 240,000 hybrid vehicles since the arrival of the original Prius in 2001.

“By our calculations, these 240,000 hybrids had the same impact on CO2 reduction as around 72,000 BEVs,” Callachor said.

“Yet the volume of batteries we used to produce these hybrid-electric vehicles is the same that we would need for just 3,500 BEV.

“In other words, we can say that the batteries required at 3,500 BEV were used to achieve the CO2 emission reduction effect of 72,000 BEV.

“This means that HEVs are an extremely effective way to reduce carbon emissions today – and at a relatively affordable price. “

Many green customers are drawn to Tesla-type electric cars with large batteries that can travel longer distances, as opposed to electric vehicles such as Mazda’s MX-30 and limited-range electric Mini Cooper.

But Callachor said some buyers who insisted on large batteries were missing a key point of electric vehicles – reducing carbon emissions.

“If you charge a 400 km BEV every night for an average round trip of around 40 km, you don’t get any benefit in terms of the 90% carbon reduction of the battery cells,” M said. Callachor.

“If we use these unused batteries in other electrified vehicles, we could prevent a lot more carbon from entering the atmosphere.

“We can’t assume that ‘one size fits all’. Even if the best choice for the average person one day becomes a BEV, it won’t be the best way for every person to reduce carbon emissions.

“Distributing each battery cell so that we get the maximum benefit from it means placing them in appropriate electrified vehicles, including HEV (hybrids), PHEV (plug-in hybrids) and FCEV (hydrogen fuel cells) vehicles… not only in a smaller number of BEVs. “

Famous for embracing pure electric power, Toyota shocked the automotive world with more than a dozen battery-powered concept cars late last year, ranging from budget hatchbacks to a ute rugged and to a Ferrari combat supercar.

The brand’s first dedicated BEV, the Toyota bZ4X, will arrive in Australia this year. When it does, Toyota will join Hyundai as the only brands offering electric, hydrogen, hybrid and conventional combustion cars in 2022.

“In a country as diverse as Australia, we have to offer a variety of options that – for example – take into account different energy sources as well as big differences in usage and customer needs,” he said. declared.

Tony Weber of the FCAI said that while “there is no doubt that electric vehicles are the future,” governments should set carbon emissions targets rather than encouraging battery electric vehicles at the expense of ‘other options. The UK has banned the sale of gasoline, diesel and even hybrid vehicles from 2030, an approach the local auto industry hopes to avoid.

“Good intentions are not always the right path to good results,” he said.

“We must not lose sight of the overall political objective here, namely the liberation of CO2 emissions.

“Define the objectives and let the market provide the technological mix. “

About Robert Pierson

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