On regular occasions in ‘Famous Last Words’, I’ve expressed my thoughts and disappointments on the worlds infatuation and in particular vote chasing politicians’ attitudes to electric vehicles (EV’s).
I reiterate that I’m certainly not against EV’s and know that there is a place for them on the world’s roads, but I’m far from convinced they are the ultimate solution. I reckon the world has been hoodwinked by corporations that financially benefit from the EV uptake and their spin to the degree that gullible governments and environmental movement preachers believe we need to go electric, and it needs to be NOW!!!!
I also take my hat off to Toyota who have been accused by many spin doctors as being anti the environment by not supporting the EV uptake as they believe the multinational corporation should. Unfortunately, they forget that Toyota launched the Prius, the world’s first mass produced hybrid vehicle in 1997 which has gone on to sell over 5 million vehicles worldwide and now includes a plug in (ie electric) hybrid model, that has reduced fuel emissions markedly.
Toyota have always maintained that EV’s are not the whole answer and that Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicles are also an integral part of the car industry moving forward to truly achieve zero emission targets, and that’s why they are investing so heavily in the technology,
Consequently, I was pleased to see Feann Torr’s recent editorial article on carsales.com.au looking at Toyota’s current position on EV’s, where he quotes Toyota Australia’s vice-president of sales and marketing, Sean Hanley speaking at the launch of the new Toyota ‘Hydrogen HiAce’:
“We at Toyota have always said that BEVs [battery-electric vehicles] aren’t necessarily suitable for everyone at every application in this country. BEVs will suit some people and some countries will adopt them a whole lot quicker because it works. But if you want it to do 700km and tow three-and-a-half tonnes, that’s a different matter” – Sean Hanley.
Yes, infrastructure around refuelling Hydrogen Cell vehicles is an issue as it was when EV’s were first introduced (and for that matter still is …) but isn’t that all the more reason to be looking constructively as Hydrogen as a legitimate fuel rather than putting all our effort into the EV market, which one could argue is being powered by ‘dirty’ electricity with ongoing uncertainty around battery life and recycling.