Toyota’s Bob Carter Takes Shots at Tesla’s Elon Musk, Nissan and Volkswagen in Fuel-Cell Versus EV War of Words
Oh Toyota…aren’t you even aware of the fact that you have the Scion iQ EV, Prius Plug-In Hybrid and RAV4 EV on the road?
Is it possible you’ve forgotten your deal with Tesla Motors too?
Toyota’s Bob Carter made some statements at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show that I’m certain he already regrets.
Bob Carter is Toyota’s senior vice president for automotive operations. Carter was Toyota’s talking head at a press conference held in conjunction with the 2014 NAIAS.
As Reuters reports:
“Carter said “naysayers” who have spoken out against the [FCEV] technology would be proven wrong and referred to Elon Musk, founder of electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc, Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan Motor Co, and former Volkswagen executive Jonathan Browning by name.”
Why in the world is Carter attempting to strike up a battle with the heads of 2 of the world’s largest automakers and Elon Musk, America’s most beloved CEO?
Here’s what Carter stated:
“Personally I don’t really care what Elon and Carlos and Jonathan have to say about fuel cells. It’s very reminiscent of 1998, 1999 when we first introduced the Prius.”
If Carter doesn’t really care, then why even mention those fuel cell “naysayers?”
Truth is, Carter does care and so does Toyota.
Toyota has a lot riding on the success of its fuel-cell program. Billions of dollars are involved too, so Toyota has a lot to lose if fuel-cell vehicles again flop.
“Toyota’s Carter addressed the [FCEV] infrastructure issue on Tuesday, arguing that the number of hydrogen fueling stations would grow in time, helped by private-public partnerships such as the one established in the state of California.”
“By placing stations in better locations, Carter estimated that if all cars in California were running on hydrogen that the state’s fueling needs could be met with 15 percent of the nearly 10,000 gasoline stations currently in operation.”
But electric sockets are everywhere folks and installing a public chargers costs a mere fraction of the hundreds of thousands of dollars each hydrogen fueling station does.
“Ten years from now, I have a hunch our fuel cell vehicle will be viewed in similar terms. We truly believe it has the same potential as the first Prius.”
Ten year from now plug-in vehicles will be so mainstream that we hope the fuel-cell vehicle dies off forever – at least for passenger vehicles.