This just in: No less an authority than Toyota is warning folks that moving to eliminate gasoline-powered cars isn’t a good idea. Excerpt:
A senior Toyota executive will express skepticism before U.S. senators Tuesday about aspirations by rival automakers to phase out gasoline-powered vehicles, saying those goals must overcome many obstacles.
Robert Wimmer, director of Energy & Environmental Research at Toyota Motor North America, will testify at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing.
“If we are to make dramatic progress in electrification, it will require overcoming tremendous challenges, including refueling infrastructure, battery availability, consumer acceptance and affordability,” he will say according to an advance copy of his remarks.
He will say that while rivals have made aspirational statements, less than 2% of vehicles sold in the U.S. last year were battery electric. He will also note it took Toyota 20 years to sell more than 4 million U.S. gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles.
Toyota plans to begin selling two new electric vehicles in the United States next year, but also aims to keeps boosting sales of hybrid cars.
Many automakers and policymakers in Washington are eager for the U.S. government to take steps to speed the adoption of EVs.
The problem always comes down to energy density. The same folks who agitate for all-electric cars, with their limited range and long recharge times, are the same nincompoops who agitate for windmills and solar panels. These do not produce energy on the scale or with the reliability of natural-gas or nuclear plants, and will not maintain the energy requirements of an advanced technological society – but then, that may be a feature, not a bug, eh?
As for hybrids, when someone builds a hybrid pickup that will carry a slide-in camper and tow a boat for 3-400 miles a day, on roads that pass through mountain ranges and into remote back-country destinations, then maybe I’ll give it a look. But, as with so many things, color me skeptical.