Toyota Engineer Explains How EVs Don’t Have A Practical Future As A Long-Range Transport

APR 20 2015 BY MARK HOVIS 184

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Toyota Motors Corp’s Deputy Chief Engineer Yoshikazu Tanaka   Yuya Shina Reuters

While promoting the Toyota Mirai, Yoshikazu Tanaka, chief engineer for Toyota Motors Corp’s hydrogen fuel cell group, stated that EVs don’t have a practical future as a long range transport, even with technological quick charging breakthroughs. His argument being that the peak loads EVs created would defeat the purpose ecologically as a sound form of transportation.

400kWh Tesla Battery Storage

400kWh Tesla Battery Storage

Tanaka provided the following example. “If you were to charge a car in 12 minutes for a range of 500 km (310 miles), for example, you’re probably using up electricity required to power 1,000 houses.”

Tanaka is stating that the energy consumption over the 12-minute period is equal to the amount drawn by 1,000 homes in the same 12 minutes. Where do we start? 310 miles? 12 minutes? 1000 houses?

A bit of unraveling is necessary. For starters, Tanaka is making his argument against half of the EV market referencing BEVs only. This is quite deliberate in that PHEVs, or plug in hybrids, not only are free from his argument, they trump the FVC in almost every category. On range, economy, fuel time, performance, GHG emissions, cost of ownership, and driving freedom, the 2016 Chevy Volt outperforms the Toyota Mirai.

As for BEVs, 90 percent of charging will still occur in the home or work place eliminating millions of trips to the pump. Therefore a direct comparison to the volume of stops for gas or hydrogen does not exist. As future BEVs move toward greater ranges like the 310 miles described by Tanaka, the number of quick charges diminish as stops are limited to long range travel only. Note that currently a 310 mile production EV does not exist, nor does 12 minute charging if such a range did exist. It would also be nice to quantify how much electricity is being used in his house example. 1000 houses just sounds more horrifying.

But most importantly, Tanaka does not take into account the future of battery storage for power buffering of the grid. Examples of this were explained at the 2014 Energy Storage Symposium by keynote speaker JB Straubel Chief Technical Officer for Tesla Motors. Mr. Straubel displayed an example of existing power buffering installed at a supercharger located in Tejon Ranch, California (24 minutes into the video). Mr. Straubel then provided a graph showing examples of the peak usage Toyota engineer, Tanaka is referring to, combined with the results after power buffering.

While the 310 mile 12 minute charge only exists in the future, a power buffering solution exists today.

JB Strabel

JB Strabel explains power buffering

Fuel cells could effectively be used in the future as range extenders for transportation. By doing so, the required hydrogen infrastructure could be a fraction of the gasoline infrastructure appearing primarily on interstates and highways. Of course, the opportunity to sell hydrogen diminishes in this model. Toyota’s solution of a pure hydrogen FCV transport with no charging capabilities, would require a near identical infrastructure to that of gasoline with staggering cost.

Tanaka points out that a portion of hydrogen will be produced using the methane captured from water treatment and sewage plants. Unfortunately the vast majority of  hydrogen reforming will follow the economic path using natural gas primarily derived from fracking.

EVs also suffer from the generation source of the electricity provided. Fortunately, solar and wind are advancing faster than EVs and an increasing number of EV adopters are independently committing to cleaner generation.  BEVs will cause peak loads during quick charging without power buffering as demonstrated by Tesla Motors. In the majority of cases, the quick charging station’s electricity will be billed based on peak load.

Straubel concludes that power buffering will be adopted as an economical solution to peak load, while achieving the ecological in the process.

 

Categories: Charging, Tesla, Toyota

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184 Comments on "Toyota Engineer Explains How EVs Don’t Have A Practical Future As A Long-Range Transport"

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Discussion of this statement has been pretty active over on the Leaf forum. Basically, he is not much of an engineer if he looks at a difficult problem and just throws his hands in the air, declaring it “unsolvable”. That’s precisely what engineers do every day – solve the unsolvable.

No, I think he knows full well that he is wrong, particularly for light transportation.

The question I have is whether BEVs will (or should) scale up to larger vehicles such as tractor-trailers. For heavy transport, I don’t see how BEVs can hold enough energy and charge fast enough in the near future. Not all is lost though. I could imagine reverting back to the railroad model for long-distance hauling. Those are much easier to electrify via a third rail (no batteries required!).

What do you think about inductive charging through the pavement as a potential solution for trucking?

If I understand you correctly, you are talking about a sort of “wireless third rail” if you will for trucks? Technically feasible, but it would be expensive to implement. If that were to happen, the challenge would be to monitor usage and bill appropriately. But then you could apply that same infrastructure to cars.

The good news is that a modestly sized battery could be in the vehicle to handle off-highway driving. And it could also carry you through a strip that is not yet “electrified”.

Interesting concept either way.

The power transfer rates would have to be increased a lot as well. If it takes 25kW to move my Volt 70mph down the expressway, it’s going to take a lot more than that to move a semi-truck.

It’s not that challenging to bill for miles traveled. That’s a solved problem. Many states have been experimenting with mileage taxes for years with transponders in vehicles. The harder part is if we care to exactly measure energy consumption instead of mileage and to address device tampering.

Inductive roadways are also a solved problem today and they’re only likely to get better.

Altho it’s certainly possible from an engineering standpoint, that would be much too expensive to ever be seriously considered. Note the few bus lines that originally installed chargers under the pavement to charge EV buses while they waited at a bus stop, are already starting to move away from that technology in favor of battery packs which charge faster and give the bus more range.

In our patent we do not use inductive charging, because it is too expensive, we use third rail instead (like for trains). Electricity is switched off if the vehicle speed falls below a certain limit.

The special electrified lines can be used for trucks, buses, and electric cars, with self-driving systems in a “train” mode. This is more convenient than drive high distances yourself – automation with a leading rail is safer than nowadays highway traffic.

Fast-charge at motion – electric cars https://www.facebook.com/fastchargeatmotion Charge your empty electric car battery up to its 80% capacity in just 20 minutes while traveling with 100 km/h on a 33 km long special electrified track. Electric car gets electrical energy via a bottom current collector. Electricity is radio controlled, high voltage is switched off if the vehicle speed falls below a certain limit. Interested in more technical details? Check our Photo Gallery – Patent script, Patent drawings and Technology Review.

Practical long-haul heavy EV freight trucks will certainly be a much harder problem for EV engineering to solve than practical ordinary EV cars and light trucks. It may be that battery swapping will become the norm for long-haul EV trucking, so that the packs can be charged comparatively slowly. To start with, this would be restricted to fleet operations, so they wouldn’t need to worry about just who owned the pack. Moving beyond that… well, it’s foolish and pointless to make predictions about future tech advances. Maybe someday we’ll have small practical fusion generators, like the “Mr. Fusion” power supply at the end of “Back to the Future”.

However, speaking only for myself, I’d love to see a return of most freight moving by rail. A modernized, high-speed national railroad system, for both passengers and freight, would be a great benefit to our (American) economy.

It’s even more environmental friendly ship non-perishable goods via boat/ship on existing canals, rivers and lakes.

I’ve always thought that over the road hauling could be relatively easily adapted to EV’s with a rather significant change to the system. If you integrated the battery packs in the trailer, you could have haulers incrementally move trailers to their destination. A truck would haul a trailer to a charging/transfer station and pick up another one with a fresh charge.

Interesting idea, but the wait time for battery charging would pretty much wipe out the advantage of using trucks instead of rail for hauling freight. The reason so much long-haul freight these days moves by truck instead of railroad is “just in time” delivery, putting a priority on minimizing the time the freight spends en route. A semi trailer sitting in a station on a charger would be just as time-wasting (from the viewpoint of the shipper) as a freight car sitting in a railyard waiting to be attached to a train, or waiting in a railyard for the freight to be unloaded and transferred to a warehouse.

A Volt like system, that uses gas would be much more economical for trucks.

The Volt made this concept obsolete in 2010.

2 Million dollars a station, that’s Insane.

This is a little known fact, but – although the passenger rail system in the US is mediocre – we have the most efficient freight rail in the world. In 2010, average efficiency was 457 miles per gallon per ton of freight. http://www.economist.com/node/16636101

Your question is valid for large and long haul trips, but for large short haul vehicles there are already successful BEV transit bus and city transport vehicle pilots going on around the world. Because EVs are so much more efficient, the amount of kWh battery storage is providing to be solvable, in the city.

It’s not “unsolvable”, it’s embarrassing for Toyota.

I commute 100 miles each way on a BMW i3… quite practical in my opinion.

Check my blog: http://practicalbev.blogspot.com/

I prove by doing it.. just no point in arguing with armchair ICE drivers…

Fine, Toyota, build us a really great PHEV..

Your Plugin Prius is now ready to whisk you away! 😉

Oh wait… You said, “Great”. 🙁

I think you hit on the real reason Toyota doesn’t like EVs, they compete with their hybrids. Toyota spent a lot of money to dominate the hybrid market and Nissan, Tesla and BMW are about to eat their lunch!

Absolutely. I think the Prius was the best-selling car in the world for some years?

And now the Prius and other mild hybrids are going to be made obsolete by plug-in EVs which actually -replace- gas/diesel-powered miles with electrically powered miles… instead of merely using a secondary EV drivetrain to improve the efficiency of the primary ICE drivetrain.

Toyota spent a lot of time and money developing the hybrid tech, and building factories for producing mild hybrids. So it’s quite understandable they’re not going to help make them obsolete!

While that is what Toyota may think, I don’t think that is the case. Not in the current market. People buying BEVs don’t do so because they want to use less gass, they do so because they want to use NO gass, and Toyota’s cars don’t offer that option.

I think working with Hydrogen messes with your brain..

It’s the only explanation I can come up with for why some people continually justify pushing Hydrogen, when it does not make financial, environmental or any sense in terms of even basic physics: converting energy into something else (hydrogen), before using any leftover energy it contains.

The hydrocarbon lobby must have amazing powers of persuasion… That, or just lots of money.

*shakes head*

Your theory has some merit. I can’t otherwise explain his nonsensical assertions.

To be fair, an EV does much the same thing.

Converting some input (photons from solar, mechanical from wind or hydro, thermal from natural gas or coal, Etc) into chemical energy using a battery, then to mechanical via the electric motor.

The major difference is the very high efficiency of the EV and current engineering realities.

Thanks!

“The major difference is the very high efficiency of the EV and current engineering realities”

I wish this was obvious to everyone. Apparently you have to be Einstein to know/accept it though.

I just realized another limitation of FC vehicles. Since they normally have a very small traction battery as a buffer they can’t have much regen capacity. Part way down the mountain you’re burning up brakes and throwing away energy.

Not to mention:
– invisible flame
– and a bomb like nature.
– with every station an easy terrorist target.
– poor efficiency
– No global warming solution

Aside from that…

Yeah, the invisible flame has not gotten any attention. That would be a real problem if FC cars were mass adopted (which they wont be)

Don’t forget …Hydrogen is a Ozone depleting agent.

Seems like an argument to convince themselves they are on the right path. After all, if you believe something can’t be done, you are unlikely to even try. Sort of a self-fulfilling prophesy.

When all is said and done, I might take as many as two trips some years that a Model S, or any other 200 mile range EV couldn’t manage on one charge. I guess I’ll either wring my hands over lack of infrastructure, or drive the Prius.

Or plan for a long lunchbreak those two times a year… Oh the sacrifice 😉

digging their own grave

Tanaka provided the following example. “If you were to charge a car in 12 minutes for a range of 500 km (310 miles), for example, you’re probably using up electricity required to power 1,000 houses.”

What a crazy position to be arguing. And completely ignoring that the 12 minutes of pulling that juice would power the EV for over 6 hours, assuming 50mph.

When we can charge 310 miles in 12 minutes, there will be no stopping EVs, Mr. Tanaka.

the problem with recharging quickly is a matter of doing it safely. if you can recharge 500km in 12 minutes, you would probably be looking at a megawatt EVSE. if a short ever developed, you would surely get fried as it is hard to imagine a circuit breaker that could respond quickly enough to save you.

if you were an operator of a charging facility, it is hard to imagine being able to get insurance for such a EVSE setup…

And what about when the gas pump fails and a static electric spark ignites a fire? The difference is this: with the gas pump, the user is standing there, holding the nozzle. With the electric connector, the user is inside, buying coffee and a snack.

the difference is that the “spark” is not inherent in the fuel pump system, where the “spark” is inherent in the EVSE.

This is fear-mongering FUD. High voltage and high current electrical systems are a problem which has been thoroughly and safely solved by industry. Industries routinely use high voltage and high current, safely, on an everyday basis. Sure, accidents occasionally happen. And occasionally, gasoline fires kill people. That doesn’t mean we’re gonna shut down all gas stations, now does it?

Are you aware that a spark plug is working at up to 35000 volts!
To load in 12 minutes you only need 3000 volts.
Beside two mm of plastic can take ten times that, so where is the danger.

Wouldn’t a charging station just need battery storage?
High charging for cars, low refill of battery at night.

But a battery pack the size of one in the BEV (or actually a bit larger, given inefficiency) could only hold enough energy to recharge 1 or two BEVs per day. When EV tech is mature, we can expect super-fast-charge stations to handle EVs almost as fast as gas stations handle gas guzzlers today.

I don’t think using batteries to supply the electricity for a charging station is going to be practical, and even in the near term (until the price of batteries drops quite a lot), for fast-charger stations serving only a few customers a day, it’s not going to be affordable. Installing an industrial electrical power hookup is going to be a lot more affordable, and will make super-fast-charge stations practical.

“If you were to charge a car in 12 minutes for a range of 500 km (310 miles), for example, you’re probably using up electricity required to power 1,000 houses.” Yeah, for the super-fast-charging stations of the future, we’re gonna need industrial power. Sure, measured as if it’s residential power, it sounds like a lot. But let’s put that in perspective: Amount of power needed for the average American suburban single-family dwelling: 2 kW (kilowatts). Amount of power needed for one electrically heated steel mill arc furnace: 45 megawatts (MW). According to the quote above, a super-fast charger, even without using any electrical storage buffer, would need something on the order of 2 MW of power for each car being charged. So now you understand that super-fast charging is well within the capacity of current engineering, and in fact wouldn’t be anything out of the normal for industrial power. And as already pointed out in the article above, most EV charging is slow charging at home or work. Only a small fraction of EV charging needed for future EVs will need to be provided by industrial strength super-fast chargers. The article claims 10%; currently it’s only about 5%, and I… Read more »

Pretty shabby argument to start with. Assuming a 300 mile car has a 100kWh battery, charging it in 12 minutes means 100wh per house, or leaving a 500 watt load on for a hour. Not that significant, really. I waste more energy that that looking at Inside EVs through the course of a day.

“Assuming a 300 mile car has a 100kWh battery, charging it in 12 minutes means 100wh per house, or leaving a 500 watt load on for a hour.”

Sorry, but no. You’re confusing watts with kilowatts. 1 kilowatt = 1000 watts.

Charging 100 kWh is the equivalent of 100 kW of power for one hour. To do that in 12 minutes instead of 60 minutes would require 5 times the power, or 500 kW. The average American single-family house draws an average of 2 kW, so hopefully it’s obvious that ordinary household wiring is hopelessly inadequate for this amount of power.

You’re looking at peak power, I was looking at net energy consumed (500 Watts for an hour in 1000 houses is 500kwh or 100kwh in 12 minutes). His augment seems to refer to energy consumed.

Clearly charging at that rate would be done somewhere other than at a house.

Lots of commenters here need to check out this power vs energy article as I kWh and kW being thrown around interchangeably and they mean very different things:
http://cleantechnica.com/2015/02/02/power-vs-energy-explanation/ which is really helpful.

Energy or battery capacity is measured in kWh aka kilowatt-hours. The capability to do something. e.g. 25 kWh battery pack

Power in simple terms describes how fast you make or consume energy.
e.g. 120 kW supercharger, 300 kW motor, etc.

Take a few minutes and learn the difference as it is quite cringeworthy to hear “yup, got a 20 kWh charger which will be great for my 70 kW Tesla!”

“His argument being that the EVs would consume so much electricity that it would defeat the purpose ecologically as a sound form of transportation.”

Wow. Just wow. This is the kind of argument that a climate change denier would come up with. Toyota is suffering from a REALLY bad case of of groupthink.

Someone should tell this guy that my rooftop solar PV system provides ALL the electricity that I need for BOTH my house AND car.

It’s a particularly despicable form of greenwashing to argue that EVs are environmentally unsound because of the power demand, while promoting hydrogen fueled “fool cell” vehicles. One reason hydrogen fuel is hopelessly impractical is because the energy demand for generating, compressing, storing, moving, and dispensing hydrogen is -so- much higher than the energy demand for charging batteries!

Despicable indeed. That’s why I bring up the climate change denier comparison.

Most of the general public understands very little about science and engineering and that is why I am quite offended when scientists & engineers lie/deceive about things such as climate change, energy generation systems, energy storage systems, etc. The public needs accurate information in order to be informed voters.

Scientists/engineers/doctors that lie/deceive about climate change, energy systems, vaccines, alternative medicines, etc. are loathsome charlatans that deserve massive public ridicule.

I think part of Toyota’s problem is that their patriarch, Mr. Toyoda, has become enamored with fuel cell cars. And in the Japanese system, they often respect their elders very highly . . . even when it sometimes leads them astray.

Well, every other car company will get a jump on Toyota in plug-in cars.

that’s no different than elon musk being “enamored” with BEVs. toyota has put money behind FCEV technology, so they have a vested interest in convincing people that they made the right choice; elon musk put money behind battery technology, so he has an interest in convincing people that he made the right choice.

i’m not a fanboy, so from my perspective, i can see a role for batteries and i can see a role for fuel cells because each technology has different strengths. it’s somewhat like what exists in combustion engines where some vehicles use gasoline and some use diesel.

There is a big difference.

1) EV’s solve social issues, pollution and climate.
2) There is no electric monopoly pushing Musk to do EVs, where there is a carbon industry in Japan pushing Toyota.

Sure . . . you can say both companies have leaders that have made a decision. However, I think there is a HUGE DIFFERENCE between the two.

Akio Toyoda
Education MBA, Babson College 1982
Faculty of Law, Keio University 1979

Elon Musk
Education University of Pennsylvania B.S. in Physics, B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School.
Began a PhD in Applied physics at Stanford, but left the program after two days to pursue his entrepreneurial aspirations in the areas of the Internet, renewable energy and outer space.

One of these guys is a management drone and the other is an engineer/scientist.

It’s true that fuel cell tech does have its strengths. But those strengths are only advantageous in niche applications, where very limited space or very low weight make a battery pack impractical; or where the cost of the fuel is not an important consideration. For example, a fuel cell (not necessarily hydrogen powered) is a good power source for a remotely operated underwater vehicle, or a man-portable generator.

But the high cost and difficulty of handling of hydrogen fuel makes it hopelessly impractical for everyday cars for Joe and Jill average. And contrary to what some like to believe, no future tech advance is going to change this. The properties of hydrogen are a fundamental part of our universe, and — just like attempts to invent perpetual motion — aren’t subject to any clever way around those physical limits.

If hydrogen is such a great solution, then the grid load for an BEV is no problem. Just make all the DC fast chargers hydrogen powered. Any answer as to why this is a bad idea is the same reason hydrogen cars are a bad idea.

that’s terrible idea; the reason for fuel cell technology is that you can refill in 5 minutes, as is the case with conventional gasoline stations. if you operate a charging station on hydrogen and have the vehicles being BEVs, then you still have the problem of long recharge time. in that case, hydrogen fuel cells makes absolutely *no* sense. the only place where it would make sense is if you used the hydrogen *in* the vehicle.

well if thats the main reason i wonder how much it costs to install battery swap stations instead of hydrogen stations. are they cheaper? i am guessing so but dont really know…. there are almost as many batt swap stations as hydrogen car filling stations in the usa.

it is as much of a mistake to assume that current hydrogen production costs will continue ad infinitum as it would be to make the same assumptions about battery costs.

that said, the tesla battery swap model is so impractical as to be virtually disconnected from reality. but i think that elon musk threw this out as a technical “showcase” solution. battery swap doesn’t seem practical if the battery swapper is going to be required to go back to the first swap location and retrieve his original battery.

Battery swapping is even more of a promotional stunt than the “superchargers” are.

“no comment” said:

“battery swap doesn’t seem practical if the battery swapper is going to be required to go back to the first swap location and retrieve his original battery.”

I certainly agree that Tesla doesn’t seem to be serious about battery swapping. The company appears to be interested in developing the tech only far enough to get carbon credits for having the -potential- to do battery swapping. (Regulatory reform for carbon credits is clearly needed, to close the loophole Tesla is exploiting, or trying to.)

However, I quibble with your objection(s) here. The most likely scenario for battery swapping would be someone taking a long trip, and swapping out the battery pack rather than having to wait while recharging. In that scenario, the BEV driver simply stops at the same swap station on the return trip.

And Tesla already said that if the owner chooses to keep the replacement battery pack, he’ll be billed for the difference in value between the newer pack and his original one. The owner is not “required” to drive back to the swap station to get his original pack back, if he doesn’t want to.

If most hydrogen will be derived from natural gas (methane), then rather than reform it into a difficult to handle form, transport and distribute it using expensive new stations, why wouldn’t I simply take it from my home gas supply and use it directly in an ICE hybrid car.

The whole hydrogen story is told only from the perspective of a “cool car” with complete disregard for the infrastructure issues. It is quite astonishing.

If you resign to using fossil gas, that is indeed making more sense. But if you want to get away from fossils it would be better to have a BMW i3 architecture where you have a 100 miles battery as a base and an adapted rex system to use renewable fuels like bioethanol. On a semi truck, the size would be big enough to install a combined turbine steam cycle system to further improve the number of KWh per liter of fuel. Another way to do that is the Toyota direct free piston generator that would be used with intermediary water injections to generate vapor pressure cycles in the same cylinder. That would also cool it from the inside.

He’s either stupid or knows he’s lying. I think the latter.

“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

While I generally agree with Hanlon’s razor, I think you’re right in this case. I just don’t think that this comment is adequately explained by stupidity.

Agreed. I seriously doubt he’s really that uninformed. Unfortunately, businessmen lying to the public, to their customers, and even to their employees, is an entrenched part of normal business procedures. In fact, dishonesty (including outright lying) by company spokesmen is so common we have euphemisms for it: “spin” and “hype”.

The question to Mr. Tanaka is, “does the Toyota Mirai make sense? “

Funny. I wonder how many houses could be powered by the energy used to produce the hydrogen and then transport it and finally compress it enough to be put into a fuel cell? And as the author pointed out, 12 minute recharging would be amazing for long distance travel (which is rare for most people), but is completely unnecessary for daily driving (again, for most people). I drive a Leaf, and I just plug it in when I get home and wake up every morning with a full charge. My car isn’t doing anything else while parked in my garage, and it’s not like it takes any labor or time on my part beyond plugging it in, so the actual time it takes for my car to charge is irrelevant. It’s invisible to me and working in the background of my life.

The Toyota guy’s comments are nonsense, but realize that only 35% of Americans (and probably smaller percentages elsewhere) live in single family homes where they probably can plug in at night. For almost everyone else, a PHEV won’t make sense, and a BEV will only make sense with a convenient, reasonably priced fast charging option available. In a theoretical all BEV future, despite the comments in the above article, far less than 90% of charging will take place at home.

I don’t know that I believe your statistic. But even if true, of the 65% of Americans who don’t live in single family homes, I’m willing to bet that 80-90% of them could still arrange for overnight charging. Some apartment complexes are starting to catch on. Condos and duplexes often have electrical outlets near parking spaces. This problem is one of logistics and policy. 100% solvable for at least 90% of Americans.

Right. Everybody who owns a car has to park it -somewhere- for the night. It’s true that currently, very few places have EV chargers beside parking lots. Part of the EV revolution will be that situation changing. When the EV revolution is complete, -most- parking places, whether in parking lots or curbside parking, will have slow-charge EV chargers within reach. Even curbside parking in residential areas.

It may be hard to envision our cities changing that much, but consider that this will be a -much- smaller change than the change to cities when we moved from the horse-and-buggy era to the motorcar era.

I stand corrected. I was surprised myself when I previously found (I thought) Census figures indicating only 35% of Americans lived in single family housing. In fact, after looking again to dig up the link, it’s more like 60% according to the Census. Whoops!

Salvaging a bit of my argument, I find it improbable that most people living in apartments, townhouses, etc. will get easy access to charging at home. If many/most people had a PHEV or BEV, it would require virtually everyone in such housing to have a parking spot with charging access.

This doesn’t mean they won’t eventually buy a BEV, it just means that they’ll need access to reasonably priced fast charging elsewhere. Bigger batteries and this access to chargers in a few years, rather than EVSEs at every parking spot, seems a more likely solution to me.

actually, to the urban dwellers in this situation, I think many urban dwellers simply don’t own a vehicle. Or else there’s also BMW’s streetlight chargers. Or maybe attach an EVSE to parking meters? Or maybe to the grocery store parking lot?

The point being, living in an apartment isn’t as big of a detriment to BEV adoption as people think.

Limiting the market to 60% of Americans really isn’t much of a market limitation anyways in the real world of marketing. If I had a product that I could sell to 60% of Americans, I’d be ecstatic. Any market penetration for a new product that is in the double digits is considered a gold mine in the marketing world.

Look at the massive success of Apple, pushed primarily on iPhone sales, and Apple has way less than 60% market penetration.

Calculate in the number of apartment owners who simply don’t own any vehicle at all, and all the apartment owners who will end up finding either a new apartment to accommodate charging, or get their current apartment upgraded to allow charging, and the issue of apartments really means very little to whether or not EV’s are a success.

Yeah, I don’t think your 35% figure is correct.

And as Brian pointed out, adding chargers to apartments and condos is NOT a big deal at all. It is very basic electrician work. The only reason it is not being done is that there is not yet much demand for it and it is not clear who should pay for it (the renter? The apartment building owner? The utility?)

Grok, I live in a very old (1960’s) condo, and it took the building engineer less than an hour to wire a plug in front of the parking spot I was assigned. He didn’t even bother to charge me for it because he had all the material and it didn’t take long.
You don’t need to live in a single family house to charge at night. Heck, an 8 amp plug (3 miles per hour of charging) would work 98% of the time, though the 12 amp one (5 miles per hour of charging) I have is better.

Yep. One of the surprising findings that a Los Angeles survey on EV drivers found out is that a very large percentage of them get by just with a 110V outlet.

Now I don’t recommend it, getting a 240V charger is much preferred. But for a basic commute, an ordinary outlet can do the job.

Ironically, a large battery would be better suited to trickle charging. If the battery is large enough, the overnight charge needs to replenish enough power for your average usage, and not your actual daily usage. We may find that with a 60kWh battery and a 200 mile range, most people can get by with either trickle charging at 1.4kW or fast charging at 100+kW.

True. If you only drive 30 miles a day, that’s all you need to charge at night. For most people, they can use 120 volt.

“Full range” is an almost entirely hypothetical number. No one — EV or ICEV — drives all the way to empty. It damages the engine in an ICEV and damages the battery in an EV. In the real world, people refill at or near the quarter-tank point.

In the real world, refilling after 75%-80% of the battery has been used, a 60 kWh battery will give about 150 miles of range. In summer, more like 175-180 miles. In winter, more like 130 miles in a mild climate and 100 miles in a harsher climate. And on the days of January, more like 60 to 80 miles.

Anyone who owns an EV for a while knows that those numbers are true, so there’s no use in trying to inflate them.

You’re claiming roughly 50% loss of EV range in January due to cold weather?

I think it’s safe to say that very, very few EV drivers “know that those numbers are true”. The consensus is a 20-30% loss of range due to very cold weather. If someone is actually losing 50% range, they’re probably either not leaving their car plugged in at night, or else they’re using the wrong charging/preheating settings.

You’re claiming roughly 50% loss of EV range in January due to cold weather? Please re-read what I wrote. The winter average isn’t 50% lower. It depends on how warm or cold the climate is. In coastal California, the differences won’t be as large because their winters are mild. In Chicago, I’d expect the loss might be 50%, and much worse on the coldest days there. Even in Seattle, where winter temps bottom out at 15-25 degrees overnight in late January, my records show a minimum mpg-e of 66, vs. a maximum summer figure 140 mpg-e. I think it’s safe to say that very, very few EV drivers “know that those numbers are true”. The consensus is a 20-30% loss of range due to very cold weather. If someone is actually losing 50% range, they’re probably either not leaving their car plugged in at night, or else they’re using the wrong charging/preheating settings. Leaving your EV plugged in overnight isn’t generally a great idea unless you ran it down to 20-25% state of charge the night before. I don’t know what effect battery heaters would have, given that the biggest reason for retarded winter fuel economy is use of the… Read more »

Speculawyer said:

“One of the surprising findings that a Los Angeles survey on EV drivers found out is that a very large percentage of them get by just with a 110V outlet.”

That’s certainly true for residents of Southern California, Florida, much of Texas, and other places where it rarely gets below freezing. But as was pointed out to me in a post here not so long ago, that may not be true in areas where it often gets quite cold in the winter. If you have a level 1 charger and your car uses power to keep the battery pack warm at night, then on very cold nights (say, below 20° F) you may not be able to draw enough power to add many miles of range even when the car is left on the charger all night. This will be especially true for those who can’t park their car in a garage at night.

For some EV owners, a level 2 charger isn’t a convenience; it’s a necessity.

for electric vehicles to achieve wide acceptance, they have to appeal to more than EV enthusiasts. the reality is that most potential purchasers are going to charge from a 120v outlet because the typical person doesn’t want to arrange their lives around their cars – instead, they want it to be the other way around.

if you live in a cold weather climate, an overnight recharge might get you 20-25 miles of range from a 120v charge. so you can start to see the problem with BEVs in colder climates: even if you had a tesla model s, you could find yourself in a situation were there might be days where you aren’t going to have enough range if you drive the car every day.

I’m not seeing how installing a 220 volt outlet in your garage (or outside your house, if you don’t have a garage), or even getting permission from your apartment landlord to install one in your apartment’s parking lot, equates to someone having to “arrange their lives around their cars”.

It’s true that this sort of upgrade will be expensive in many older homes not already equipped for 220 volt appliances. But more modern homes generally already have at least one 220v outlet for the electric dryer, and possibly a second for an electric oven.

The cost for installation in even the worst case should be less than the amount the average driver spends on gasoline in just one year. If it’s not… then you hired the wrong electrician. Shop around.

It’s expensive to run 240v to a detached garage. I know, because I have a detached garage with 240v service, which I’ve connected to a charger. If I lived in an apartment, i.e. I was a renter, there’s no way in hell that I’d be willing to pay for installing a 240v hookup, even if the landlord gave permission.

Actually apartment dwellers could be advantaged instead of disadvantaged. How many houses have a lift compared to how many apartments. The fact is that the underground parking of an apartment building could easily have a fast charger installed to be shared among the apartment dwellers. Something that is almost not or much harder to envision for a house. So you end up not only having charging possibility but fast charge possibility.

I’m staying out of this discussion since on both sides its unnecessarily a real mess.

Aw, c’mon Bill, join the fun. You always have something interesting to say.

Indeed . . . I want to hear Bill’s views too.

Can anyone tell me what the losses are going the grid sorage route? I know when I charge my Leaf I see a ‘loss’ of around 20% when I compare Wall electricity to what the dash tells me has been used. Perhaps the loss is less at the larger grid scale?

I highly suggest that you buy a 240v appliance meter. The brand is “Watts Up.” (Not to be confused with the climate change skeptic site of the same name.) I have a Watts Up meter and have more than 2 years of precise usage data as a result. Nissan’s “Carwings” data is completely useless.

p.s.: If you’re recharging your LEAF at 120v, then you can get a meter at any hardware store for about $30. The Watts Up 240v meters are about $200.

Toyota also said the lithium-ion battery was not ready for the automotive market. Then Nissan & GM came out with plug-in cars. Suddenly Toyota has a plug-in-prius using lithium-ion batteries. They just say whatever they want to try and hold others back.

Yeah, I have to think they are just lying at this point. Toyota engineers are just not this stupid . . . just overruled by management and marketers.

Toyota is just throwing out FUD so they can ride their conventional hybrid advantage for as long as possible before the plug-in car begins to dominate.

wouldnt toyota do just as well to put L-ion batteries in their standard hybrids and charge more for them instead of wasting time on FCV? I guess the big carbon credits net them more money?

Complete FUD as expected. Fact is that you would have to use even more electricity to produce the hydrogen for all FCEVs since they are less efficient than pure BEV.

Clearly Yoshikazu Tanaka is putting the Toyota Mirai up for challenge in a long range test.

I propose Toyota demonstrate how far the Mirai can travel in the US, or Japan without using the same stretch of road more than once in a given direction. Any sure a number of Tesla Model S owners will be up for exceeding the distance in using either Superchargers, or CHAdeMO charging.

The result will likely be hundreds of miles for the Toyota Mirai vs. tens of thousands of miles for a Tesla Model S. the Nissan LEAF and Kia Soul EV should also have no issue to exceeding any distance the Toyota Mirai can travel today.

Real engineering is demonstrated in the road and track! 🙂

I have a idea which I think is a better illustration: Let’s set up a distance driving test between a BEV and a hydrogen-powered car, where a fixed amount of electrical energy is used to (a) charge the BEV’s batteries, and (b) to generate, compress, and dispense hydrogen into the hydrogen powered car.

The BEV should go about 3-4 times as far as the “fool cell” car.

Mr.Tanaka,

The average distance driven per day (in USA) is ~37 miles. Theses daily miles driven will over 90% of the time be covered by a home charger over a period of several hours. And…increasingly many homes are using roof mounted PVs to self generate some or all of that kWh consumed.

Apparently Toyota has decided to ignore the real-world BEV energy consumption statistics and instead rely on their own made up hypotheticals.

Silly conjecture by a disingenuous engineer. The kind of power buffering we see at the one supercharger will be rolled out on a huge scale in coming years to accommodate all the solar and wind coming onto the grid, both as utility scale projects and those in the home, like the ones Solar City is rolling out.

What I don’t want to see is more high-power home charging, because it’s superfluous and has the potential to burn down your house. 30A L2 is really enough for most people.

Water Heaters can also burn down homes. Are you also against the use of Hot Water, sir?

they can also explode taking most of the house with them. (water heaters that is)

I strongly urge everyone here to remember that when we hear Toyota and Honda reps talking up hydrogen and bashing (PH)EVs, it’s NOT an indication of what they really believe, but a reflection of their perceived business situation. As best I can tell, some companies, most notably T&H, have determined that it’s in their best interest to try to derail electric cars for now, push something that earns them huge subsidies and emissions credits, and then reverse course and leap into EVs at a later date. I think this is a very dangerous strategy because it gives companies like Nissan and GM a huge head start in building brand awareness and production, marketing, servicing, etc. electrics and it assumes that the delayers can very quickly close that experience and image gap. My hunch is that they’re trying to delay jumping into the market until batteries get cheap enough to let them build mass market, (roughly) 200-mile vehicles. They don’t want to deal with the discontinuity of transitioning from “expensive” current batteries to “cheap” near-future batteries. Again, I think this is a mistake; only time will tell. I look forward to the day I check my news feeds and see a… Read more »

Perhaps you missed it but Honda seems to have already thrown in the towel. They announced that new plug-in hybrid and pure EVs are on the way. They are continuing to push FCVs but I think their launching of PHEVs & BEVs is tacit admission that FCVs are no longer viewed as the only future path.
http://insideevs.com/honda-announces-upcoming-electric-phev-model-debuting-fcv-concept/

I’m also disappointed that Tanaka has brought up “power” in relation to ecological purpose. If I use 1000x as much power as a house, but for 1/1000th as long, I use the same energy (modulo smaller factors like whether I use the 1000x power as efficiently). High power need not be an ecological burden, while high total energy consumption (time-integrated power) very well may be. As others have argued already, there’s no demonstration that an FCV consumes less total energy than a BEV (and by thermodynamic principles likely never will). Ecologically, who cares if I use the power of a thousand homes, as long as I do so rather briefly? (of course, grid engineers may care, but not for ecological reasons, and others on this thread have already brought up buffering possibilities)

Exactly, Toyota is using a pointless argument. It is a bit the same as saying we shouldn’t use high speed trains because when the accelerate from the station they use the equivalent of 7000 houses. It is quiet obvious that instantaneous power use is not the parameter but rather the energy per seat mile, in which case the HST is obviously better than whatever else Mirai included.

Another thought along the same lines…we are GAINING capacity in our power distribution system as we speak. Each LED light bulb currently replacing the previous generation’s incandescent (and what the world was already wired for) is freeing up 80% or more of the current intended for the circuit. We have more efficient air conditioners, TVs, etc. I read all of the comments along here to try and gain ammunition towards the lies propagated by special interests. Here is another piece of logic to throw at folks who might be dumb enough to believe this Toyota nonsense. In a most interesting specific example, the deck under-rail lighting that my house used to have involved 18 5watt bulbs and an inefficient 20watt transformer. By purchasing new LED wedge bulbs and snipping the wire on a cheap transformer that might be used for cell phone, I now have a system that uses just 4 watts TOTAL- less than 1 bulb in the old system. We can now use freaking speaker wire for lighting. It truly is abominable to spew this hydrogen rant at the masses by using a grid reference. I guess Toyota has assumed that ignorance of a big thing (the entire… Read more »

Yeah, don’t get me started on LED lighting. LED lighting owns the future. Nothing else comes close to the efficiency, robustness, quick response, etc.

I wouldn’t be surprised if homes started using different wiring for LED lighting because they’ll be able to save on wiring material costs & installation time.

I agree. I switched to CFL about ten years ago. But in the last few years, replaced most with LED with better light quality, faster turn on, and more efficiency.

when I bought my first EV my electric bill went up by 30 bucks. I then switched the whole house over to LED and the bill went back down to what it was before i got the ev. (Imiev)

“If you were to charge a car in 12 minutes for a range of 500 km (310 miles), for example, you’re probably using up electricity required to power 1,000 houses.”

Since the example gives a very fast charge time for a long range car, can only expect that he was referring to the power loss due to fast charging. Otherwise, it makes no sense. If you could charge a leaf in 1 minute with the same net power as 30 minutes, you would do it.

So I suspect something may have been dropped from the original quote.

For the general problem of fast charging “putting the grid on its knees”, take a stroll with your ham sandwich during lunch around your office building. Chances are good you will find a big green cube outside that is humming at 60 cycles. That is the buildings’ conversion transformer taking the 13,000 volts from the power line and converting it to run the building at 220/120 volts.

The power company is quite adept at delivering industrial power. They could just as easily deliver enough power to vaporize your car as charge it. Its a non-issue.

Actually if you supercharge a model S P85D to full over the course of 12 minutes – which isn’t actually possible, by the way, you end up using the energy of about 60 homes. Napkin maths, but it’s a ballpark average. So nowhere near 1,000 homes.

Why do FCV advocates always spout such bullshit? Does he think that hydrogen is split for free? Does he not think it takes electricity to do that also?

LOL toyota dumb af

I have to agree with the Toyota engineer on this one. The gasoline infrastructure exists and it is wasteful to lug around a huge battery when 150 miles of EV range should be more than enough for every day driving and to reap the performance benefits of an EV.

I personally would prefer 150 miles of EV range with a 30 kW gasoline range extender to an EV with 200 miles of range. In fact I don’t even know if I would buy a 200 mile EV because to really maximize supercharger benefits one needs closer to 100 kWh. And how fast do superchargers work when all the superchargers are being used at one station?

That would already make much more sense if Toyota was supporting that idea, but the Hydrogen stuff is going nowhere. The 100 or 150 miles plus rex is a good idea for at least one or two decades. Later on it could be that batteries become so cheap that 600 miles range is affordable but that will not be the case for a while.

Tesla has advertised that a partial charge takes about 30 minutes. So your worst case scenario if you were the 9th car to arrive at a supercharger station with 8 stations, would be 30 minutes, doubling your charging time. That is if all 9 of you arrive at exactly the same time.

If you assume an even distribution of arrival times (8 cars per half hour, each arriving roughly 4 minutes apart), then the average wait for the 9th car to arrive would be around 4 minutes. That adds about 10% to your charging time.

So best case, supercharger overcrowding might cost folks around 10% more time to charge on average. Worst case it would double charge times.

Since in the real world, we are seeing PHEV’s getting sold, and being used more for road trips than pure EV’s, this is probably one of those future problems that people fret over, but never materializes. Like “what if everybody gets a telephone? There won’t be enough telephone switchboard operators to run all those phones!” –Actual FUD used against telephones back in the day.

I would prefer a BEV that can tow a generator. I only need the range extender for maybe 5-10 trips a year. Why would I want to have an unreliable ICE in my car that will force me to leave the car in the shop every now and then? Why would I want to have the ICE replacement cycle be in any way related to replacing the rest of the car? Also, towable generators can be rented, leaving the maintenance/upgrade issues to somebody else.

Within a few years, 50 miles of additional range will cost less than an ICE and all the transmission complexities of a PHEV. It may already cost less.

The i3’s generator can be easily improved upon so I would hope in a few years a generator would weigh closer to 200 pounds and the option could be closer to $2k. The absurd limitations place on the i3 range extender can easily be removed.

I agree with Gene.

Any long range EV or PHEV requires you to cart around something extra for your everyday commute.

Either you cart around lots of heavy and expensive extra batteries you don’t use everyday (pure EV), or you cart around a gas engine you don’t use.

Make the engine lighter and less expensive (and integrate it correctly — unlike the i3) and the downsides of a PHEV aren’t bad at all.

If you drive 90% of your miles in electric mode, and 10% using a gas extender, and the gas engine only runs ten thousand miles out of every hundred-thousand miles. The reliability of an ICE engine that runs well less than 50K miles over the life of the vehicle, and is run at steady states without varying load should be VERY high.

You burn gas the same whether you pull a trailer that burns gas, or if the motor is onboard. The downside of the trailer’s drag, weight, etc has to be considered too.

The range extender in a car is going to have to meet emissions regulations. It isn’t going to be cheap, light, or small. That’s why I would rather have a trailer generator. It is going to be more expensive and less efficient than a built-in generator, but for occasional use it will make more sense to rent a generator than to have one built into the car. I would rather pay $30/day for the occasional trip than add a $4k option that increases maintenance costs by over $100/year.

Engines require maintenance even if they aren’t used very often. You can’t just leave the oil and gas all over the place without thinks getting gunked up. That’s one reason the Volt turns on its engine every couple of months even if it always runs on electricity.So if you aren’t planning to use it regularly, you will be better off not having it built into your car.

It can be way lower than 200 pounds. I would rather say 20 pounds and shoebox size like the Toyota direct free piston generator. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2014/04/20140422-fpeg.html At which point it doesn’t really matter anymore if you place it in the ev or not since it is so small and light weight. The fuel tank is plastic so also light and you only need to put fuel in it if you know you are going to make a long trip. By the way you also need to start you generator from the beginning even with a full battery to allow it a lower average power than what you typically use at 80 mph. That way the time you deplete your battery you will be at your destination.

Obviously a two stroke would be the ideal range extender but as jkw points out it would never meet emmisions standards. But if EVs had 150 mile range then in theory we could just make it illegal to run the range extender within 40 miles of a major city center and maybe that would be good enough to solve the emmisions issues.

The only chance fool cell cars got, is if there is a fusion energy breakthrough. Bring down the cost of hydrogen fuel real low and then maybe they could win cause of convenience. It’s the only way they can compete cost wise.

They still couldn’t compete. Gasoline and diesel have the advantage of being liquid at room temperature and standard atmospheric pressure. The difficulty of handling and dispensing highly compressed hydrogen is the reason why it costs about $2 million to build a hydrogen dispensing station that can’t even service very many “fool cell” vehicles per day.

I don’t think the “hydrogen economy” could compete even if electrolyzing water into hydrogen could be done for -free-! The other costs associated with compressing, storing, moving, and dispensing hydrogen would still make it so expensive it’s a non-starter.

And remember, all these costs are a result of the basic physical properties of hydrogen. No clever future invention is going to change those properties. Regardless of future tech advances, hydrogen fuel will -always- be much more expensive than liquid fuels or using electricity to charge batteries.

I suspect the reason hydrogen refueling stations cost to much is that only ten of them have been built. Build 100,000 of them and they must get cheaper. At least that’s Elon Musk’s claim regarding batteries, and I have no reason to doubt him.

Certainly the cost of $2 million to build a station that can only service a dozen or so cars a day (!!!) would come down somewhat if more were built. But to dispense gas/diesel, all you need is a tank no stronger than that needed to hold the same volume of water, an electric fuel pump, and a meter to measure how much gas is dispensed. All that’s pretty easy to build, so isn’t terribly expensive, other than the labor cost for installation. Contrariwise, the hydrogen fueling station has to handle a gas at very high pressure; a gas composed of molecules which are so tiny they will leak past nearly any seal… or even, slowly, leak right thru the side of a steel storage tank! Also, when highly compressed hydrogen is dispensed, it loses a lot of pressure in the process, and this has to be compensated for by continually supplying more pressure from energy-hogging high-pressure pumps… which of course is a significant ongoing expense which gas stations don’t have. Now, how do you get the hydrogen fuel to the station? Either you generate it on site using electrolysis — which requires a huge amount of electricity, and is… Read more »

Fusion would change nothing since electricity would also benefit.

Translation from Toyota h2speak to English:

“We’ve sold over 7 million Hybrids worldwide to people who want to save gas and be green. We don’t want EV’s or PHEV’s to kill our cash cow.”

“We also don’t want to have an effective CARB ZEV mandate system that works to bring EV’s and PHEV’s to the mass market. So CARB board, please keep pretending that H2 Fuel Cells are the future, and give us another decade to work on a mass-market H2 Fuel Cell vehicle. Meanwhile, stop making us build EV’s and loosen up the mandate.”

/end translation

Poll question: Do these statements from Toyota make you More Likely or Less Likely to buy any vehicle from Toyota in the future?

My answer: Much Less Likely.

my answer: makes no difference.

you expect any automaker (or any business for that matter) to spin reality so that it looks like it is the singular company that chose the correct product decision. when is the the last time you saw a company say: “we have poor products because we made the wrong product decisions; please buy from our competitors”?

It is borderline ridiculous how ignorant on technology Tanaka can be. The battery buffer on fast charging stations is one of the key ingredients that allows higher share of renewable power integration on grid.

This is a good reminder how fool people are when they cannot derive the future from the past.

On the other hand I doubt that even on this discussion there are not many who could define E. G. All factors that are affecting on defining the price of electricity in smart grid. Most people cannot even define the smart grid. But everyone has inadequate understanding on smart grid.

It would be sad if Toyota was anyway serious with hydrogen cars. But the truth is that Toyota is spending more than 95% of their R&D budged on gasoline cars.

Just a couple of comments, one being that the Mirai is an electric vehicle. It has a battery and can travel on battery power alone. The battery is also used for regenerative braking. If there is a break through in battery technology the battery could become the prime source of power and the fuel cell-reduced in capacity-would become a range extender. Don’t kid yourself, Toyota has the technology to do anything Tesla is doing, they just don’t have the desire to do it at this time. When electric cars really take off the auto industry will have spent tons of money to switch their business from ICE to ELECTRIC.

In regard to 18 wheelers, in the future they will have electric drives. Who knows what the power source will be?

With power buffering, we see electricity going to a battery to be turned back to electricity to go into another battery to turn back to electricity. This all sounds a bit familiar.

Wow this Toyota “engineer” really doesn’t get it. We just drove 2700+ miles from Seattle to LongBeach to enjoy the Formula E race. Used Tesla Superchargers the whole way, zero issues, zero cost.

If anyone is confused between kW and kWh please take 5 mins and read this:
http://cleantechnica.com/2015/02/02/power-vs-energy-explanation/

I’ve seen both power aka kW interchanged with energy aka kWh all throughout the comments.

I’m waiting for someone to say “Yup, got my 20 kWh charger all ready to charge my Tesla’s 85 kW battery”

And now let’s speak about “kWh/h”, which is not kW
😉

Yes, but while reducing kWh/h (kWh per hour) to merely kW may be mathematically correct, it also removes any informational value when discussing the speed at which EVs can be charged. When discussing how much range the car gets from charging, kWh per hour (or per minute) is a useful yardstick. Minutes per kWh — and for super-fast chargers, kWh per minute — would probably be an even better way to measure it.

Anyway… even with H2 cars, you would still have to product the H2, and thus also using the energy of 1000 houses.
It all depends on HOW the energy is produced, and EV’s have a great advantage: they don’t require new factories and sustainable production already exists.

“currently a 310 mile production EV does not exist” – The Tesla Model S can be driven 310 miles. Just keep it at 55mph or under and don’t do any wild accelerating, and you can get it more than 310 miles. True for the P85 and definitely true for the 85D.

I agree it can’t be recharged in 12 minutes though 🙂

if it takes 12 minutes to give a hydrogen car 310 miles of range, that’s still FAR longer than a gas station fill-up for an ICEV. It’s 25 miles of range per minute. A compact ICEV fills up at a rate of 145 miles a minute.

After driving the better part of 310 miles, it takes me more than 12 minutes to finish pi*****. Sorry to be crude but the fact is that taking 30 minutes to charge your pack works for most people after just 2 hours of driving let alone 4 hours.
And changing the recharge time to 30 minutes for 2-3 hours of driving means that the current charge rate of the newer SuperChargers, 120 kW chargers, would already supply 60 kWh of charge, nearly, in about 30 minutes. And 60 kWh will take you 180+ miles.
Tanaka is already behind the current tech and who knows what will be around in 2 years, let alone 5.

After driving the better part of 310 miles, it takes me more than 12 minutes to finish pi*****. Sorry to be crude but the fact is that taking 30 minutes to charge your pack works for most people after just 2 hours of driving let alone 4 hours.

I really don’t think “most people” want to stop for a half-hour every 2-1/2 hours. I know I don’t. I sure didn’t want to spend a half-hour yesterday afternoon in Troutdale, Oregon. Five minutes of “charging” was quite enough, thanks so much.

And changing the recharge time to 30 minutes for 2-3 hours of driving means that the current charge rate of the newer SuperChargers, 120 kW chargers, would already supply 60 kWh of charge, nearly, in about 30 minutes. And 60 kWh will take you 180+ miles.

Hey, I used Tesla’s own numbers for the charging time and range. I know that my own EV’s range drops on the highway, and I’d expect the same to be true of any lithium-ion powered vehicle. I don’t think any of this is an argument for hydrogen fuel, but I do think BEVs are not, and will not be, truly road trip capable for a long time.

p.s.: The countersargumet on the road trip side of it would be that if they stuck “superchargers” at every rest stop, hotel, shopping mall, etc., they might eventually work out, but only if a) they were far more powerful, and b) the car batteries held at least three or four times as much energy.

Both elements of that equation would be phenomenally expensive, so I really don’t expect any fundamental change for a long time. At best, I think EVs can take a share of the in-city commuter car market. I think Tesla’s “superchargers” are basically a promotional gimmick.

I have discussed the charging time issue so often that I decided to time my charging today. By which I mean my long-range vehicle a Ram pickup truck. It downloaded 5.2 gallons a minute.

In my pickup, that was 430 miles of range added in 5 minutes, or 86 miles of range per minute of charging. In the average small U.S. gas car, it would be 435 miles of range in 3 minuter, or 145 miles per minute of filling.

Tesla claims that its Model S will add “as much as” 170 miles of range in 30 minutes at a “supercharger,” or 5.7 miles per minute of filling.

Yes. So basically, we’re causing massive amounts of smog, fouling our oceans with toxic oil slicks, oh, and global warming…

all so you can save 20 minutes on the occasional 200 mile trip. A problem that we’re already solving by 2017 with better batteries and faster chargers.

Go convenience!

It’s true, I’m a pig, but at least I’m not a terminally self-righteous one.

Hydrogen is interesting for higher stage rocket engines, for nuclear rockets, for special balloons on Mars, on Venus, on Titan or ExD types on Earth, it also is interesting for direct reduction iron production which allow metal production without coal burning, but it is not interesting for cars.

While Toyota goes down the fuel cell path of inefficiency other car makers will make better and cheaper plug-in vehicles. Any commuter vehicle without a plug by 2020 will have very little resale value. It is almost free for daily driving on electricity.

Looks like Toyota has joined Oil companies in bad mouthing EVs.

No one is going to recharge their vehicle in 12 minutes. Even if that day comes, every day they are not going to charge and drive for 310 miles. Most people do slow charge at home during the night when the power demand is low which boosts the operating capacity of power plants.

Some may charge during the day. Again they wont charge fully. And all of them are not going to charge at the same time. Instead it will vary.

Goodluck to Toyota with their Fuel Cell Vehicles, but the Electric vehicle movement has already begin and we read report of higher sales from many countries : USA, China, Germany, Britain, France and so on.

Yeah, at 310 miles, even Taxi drivers won’t have to care about charging during an 8-10 hour shift. Keeping warm during that time might be an issue though, but charging once on their lunch break wouldn’t be a problem.

There was some debate on Tesla Motors Club forums about a possible 100D.
Probably no sooner than late this year.
It will have a ~300 mi range. So, close to the mirai. Anyway in less than 10 years we will have a $100/kWh battery EV, at that point the discussion will be over. Toyota could probably afford to be late to the game. Still, the mirai seems like such a waste…

I suggest an alternative title for this article: Toyota Engineer Defends Choice of Technology in Fuel Cells.