Toyota: We Need To Use All The Tools In The Toolbox
I think we can all agree that a 10mm wrench, (while very useful) does not work on every fastener in an automobile. The idea then that one type of vehicle should fit every person's needs is also rather ludicrous.
If you are thinking that BEV (battery electric vehicles) are the sole transportation of the future, I am sorry but you are horribly mistaken. Gill, in his article, points out clearly why we cannot rely solely on one technology but to think about and leverage all that we have going on in the industry.
Why Do We Need Multiple Types Of Transportation?
As I briefly said earlier a 10mm wrench does not work on every fastener in a car. Hence, a BEV, PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle or FCEV (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle) does not work for everyone.
"The solution to uncertainty is diversity." - Gill Pratt.
While BEVs are part of the solution they are not all of the solutions. Total carbon emissions must be drastically reduced. But BEV alone will not achieve that. Even with Toyota making massive strides in Solid-state battery technology, we still are dealing with finite resources on this planet.
The other point that I keep coming back to is one size does not fit all. If we hammer out the electrical grid with more BEVs we are going to see a massive problem. The Grid is nowhere near capable of supporting an overnight BEV revolution despite the trillions of dollars being poured into the green initiative.
Some people who live in areas with low carbon intensity electrical power generation would be best to use a long-range BEV. It would be the best way to help them contribute to reducing carbon emissions.
Others may be able to contribute better by having minimal demands placed on the grid by using a PHEV or FCEV. Living in an area where their cars are used mostly for commuting, it makes sense to leverage this technology.
Finding out what is best for people in the conditions they live in then adopting the proper transportation to help facilitate the lives of those individuals and families will make a massive difference.
What Can Be Done To Help Make Current PHEVs And FCEVs Better?
There is no question that the answer to FCEV is infrastructure and hydrogen production. The technology is already pretty darn sound.
PHEVs need help in appropriately sizing the battery packs. The current Prius Prime with a lackluster 25 mile EV range does not exactly excite many.
Toyota has claimed they are working on solid-state battery technology which, if they can come through with it, will be a huge game-changer.
I have said something similar to what Gill has before. BEVs and all the other forms of transportation are supplements to our current situation. The reason we are branching out into these "alternative" fueled vehicles is because all our eggs have been in one basket, until now.
Together with the right modes of transportation in place and the availability to produce multiple types of vehicles will give the human race a big advantage in lowering carbon emissions over time.
We have to remember that the pollution we created yesterday we will have to deal with tomorrow. Thinking of a house we can do that and leverage all of the resources of the planet responsibly is our best shot.
That is all for now. Remember, Today's Adventure is Tomorrow's Story. Did you hear what Donut Media said about catalytic converter theft?
Check out this wild new battery tech that Tesla has and why it will forever change the auto industry.
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Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting. Read more of Peter's stories at Toyota news coverage on Torque News. Search Toyota Prius Torque News for more in depth Prius coverage from our reporter.