If you talk to anyone who has been a die-hard Apple user since the inception of the iPhone, you will come to learn something about them. Apple is the end-all of smartphone technology. Android users disagree entirely with that, claiming that Android-based phones are far superior, giving them more customization and features.
While that debate will rage on eternally, another fight is happening in a different technological realm, automotive. It is the battle over the electric car and the technology surrounding it, particularly battery technology.
If you have ever met a Tesla fan, you will know they are like Apple users, and many of them probably are. They admire the hard work and thought put into the Tesla vehicles by co-founder Elon Musk. They look at him as some form of tech leader that has graced their every waking moment with the hope of a better future.
The thing with Tesla owners is they are very rooted in everything about the company. They are the early adopters and will be Tesla owners for the rest of their lives, just like Apple users.
So what happens when something else comes out to challenge the status quo? What happens when another car company comes out with something that is ultimately better? We are entering a time in history where we see this happen right before our eyes. Most just do not understand it, though.
Toyota And Tesla the Apple/Android Of The Car World
Toyota motor has been around for decades longer than Tesla. Hailed often as a premium car company, Toyota is a brand that people know and trust. In my opinion, they are more like Apple, while Tesla is more like Android.
Update: After today's decision by the Japanese government Toyota has no choice but to follow Tesla or chart its own EV path.
Some of you may say this is total heresy, but hear me out. Toyota started the real EV revolution back before GM killed the EV-1. Hybrids are synonymous with Prius, just as electric cars are with Tesla. Apple gave us the first real smartphone. No, your lame Blackberry does not count. Toyota gave us the first real hybrid, which is part EV.
When Tesla entered the scene, electric cars were a neat idea, but most people thought it would fail, based on what GM had done. To me, it was like Android first starting out. Competing in a new and mostly uncharted space with competition from more prominent car companies that overlooked it.
Android, now like Tesla, has become a significant player in the market with many different Android OS brands. Apple, on the other hand, is still playing the iPhone game and sticking to it. Like Toyota, with the hybridization of their fleet, they rely on hybrids to rule the empire. All the time, watching what Tesla is doing and waiting for the opportune moment to strike, and strike hard.
Toyota And The Solid State Battery Revolution
Tesla battery day, in my eyes, was a huge success. Gaining a 56% increase in overall vehicle efficiency is absolutely astounding. Better batteries that cost less to produce and are less harmful to the environment are significant steps in complete EV adoption in the next 10 years.
As neat as battery day was for Tesla and all the fanboys (and girls), it is nothing compared to Toyota's announcement. The solid-state battery that Toyota promises to bring out next year will wipe the floor with Tesla battery tech.
Think about it. A battery that can fully charge in 10 minutes go farther is safer and better for the environment is a total no-brainer. It will destroy everything about lithium tech, no question. If there was ever a time in history where an EV revolution would take over on a massive scale, the time is now.
Tesla currently cannot produce more than 3% of what Toyota does, which also means once Toyota is at its production level, Tesla better hope they have a prayer and a fan base that will stay with them.
Why Toyota Will Succeed
I have been around many different Tesla models. I have been around many different Toyota models. Here is what I can tell you from not only my experience but that of others.
Toyota builds a better vehicle. Is Toyota a perfect car company? No, that does not exist. There are many things about Toyota that I wish were different. However, when it comes to longevity, Toyota builds a vehicle that lasts. The attention to detail with Tesla over the paint, weatherstripping, and car construction is somewhat lacking, a lot.
It is not to say that Tesla cannot build a vehicle; they simply need more time to refine their process and dial the cars in. Toyota will succeed because they have been in the game for longer than Tesla. Toyota knows the market better and has more established manufacturing facilities.
Toyota has loyal engineers and decades of research and development. Tesla does not have the resources that Toyota does and may not for quite a few more years.
Toyota will succeed because they are incredibly strategic. No move is ever made in the Toyota realm without serious time spent researching and doing a cost-benefit analysis. They are the Sensei to the Tesla apprentice.
When it comes to building a vehicle, I will buy a Toyota over a Tesla for the quality factor. If I plan on spending $40,000 or more on a new car, I want it to last. I think Tesla is going in the right direction but is not there yet. No one even knows why their company value is so high when they cannot even turn profits regularly.
Toyota is a company that does not do anything until they know for sure it will work. Toyota went longer than every other manufacturer before putting Lithium-Ion batteries in their hybrids. Why? Toyota believed it was not developed enough yet.
Thinking on that idea, Toyota is now rolling out a solid-state battery. This bit of knowledge tells me that Toyota has been researching this for years and kept it under wraps. They are ready to present the world with the next big thing in transportation.
Tesla may be the first car to be synonymous with EV, but Toyota is the wise Sensei who keeps showing the apprentice new things.
Until next time! Have a pleasant holiday and stay safe out there. Check out what is happening to Honda Element Owners
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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 reporters.