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Tesla, Toyota project exposed corporate culture clash

Discussion in 'Tesla Motors' started by AnOutsider, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    A pretty decent read going over some of the issues Toyota and Tesla faced when working together

    Tesla, Toyota project exposed corporate culture clash - Newsday

    Couple excerpts:

     
  2. Aury

    Aury Member

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    #2 Aury, Aug 7, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    I think what I find worrysome is the friction at Tesla to acknowledge hydrogen cars as viable, and calling the tech itself "bs".

    The article mentions Musk ridicules hydrogen. Exactly what benefit does either Musk or Tesla have by ridiculing tech.

    We all know hydrogen cars work by now, unless you're living in a cave, the cars are out there and they work well, it's viable tech, Tesla should acknowledge that it is viable tech, they should respect what Toyota is doing for the environment, and all other hydrogen makers, and stop the hostility / friction they create. I thought we were in this together, apparently not. Apparently it's not about being green but about something else.

    And it doesn't help Tesla itself that the toyota relationship is broken, Toyota is working together with BMW on hybrid cars like the Z4. People might think car are single entities, they're not, most car manufacturers have extremely close relationships and most of them work together.

     
  3. GSP

    GSP Member

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    This story seems to be making much ado about nothing. Sounds like normal differences in opinion and problem resolution on a tight timetable are being exaggerated in order to manufacture a story.

    At the end they make it sound like Tesla and Toyota are cooling their heels due to differences of opinion, then will look at collaborating again in a couple of years. No mention that Tesla says they just need to wait for the Gigafactory to have surplus battery supply for Toyota.

    I wonder if Tony Williams thinks he was quoted correctly. I know he has had problems with his RAV4, but the quotes sounded pretty harsh.

    GSP
     
  4. jkliu47

    jkliu47 Member

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    The front of the FCV reminds me of a Stormtrooper.

    Toyota FCV.jpg
     
  5. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    I think the mods need to do some clean-up here. Came here expecting to read a thread about Toyota vs Tesla, but turned out to be another thread about hydrogen vs EVs.
     
  6. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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  7. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    The friction sounds like normal interactions between two different engineering groups. It's pretty much how most joint ventures are. On the Hydrogen BS quote, that came well after the relationship was over. I'm pretty sure Toyota never really had plans for long term collaboration with Tesla other than to get a few compliance points. Now that they have a much better compliance cow, they don't need Tesla at all. I'm sure Elon feels a little bitter about that.
     
  8. Red Sage

    Red Sage The Cybernetic Samurai

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    [BOLSHEVIK], by any other name...

    The continual, ongoing tactic of claiming cars can be 'cleanly fueled' by 'abundant hydrogen' is what Elon Musk ridicules, because it is ridiculous.

    Sure, the 'tech works'... marginally better than regular ICE does. Instead of being 12-15% efficient, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are a whopping high 15-18% efficient. Either is woeful compared to an 85% efficient battery electric vehicle.

    It is a matter of honesty. Once you have compressed or liquified hydrogen in a tank, in a car, it is a very clean running technology. The problem is in the outright lie that the hydrogen is yielded from solar power and water. The fact of the matter is that the hydrogen is stripped from natural gas, methane, that is refined from petroleum. Thus, the hydrogen economy remains in the same pockets of the oil companies that provide gasoline.

    The adjacent lie is that hydrogen is produced from refining petroleum anyway. Sure it is, but that isn't the part of the process that they are harvesting hydrogen from... They are instead taking it directly from a hydrocarbon source, and thereby releasing Carbon Dioxide, the very same 'greenhouse gas' that green cars are supposed to prevent the propagation of, in order to get the hydrogen fuel.

    The final lie concerns how that hydrogen reaches the end user. More energy is consumed in stripping the hydrogen, compressing the hydrogen, transporting the hydrogen, and storing the hydrogen, before it even gets into the car, than can be produced by using the hydrogen as a power source for the vehicle. It makes more sense to simply take the electricity that you know you are going to use to power the vehicle anyway and transfer it to the batteries to begin with.
     
  9. roblab

    roblab Active Member

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    ABSOLUTELY ++++ and more. It's not competition, it's stupidity. Some people just can't understand it, and some car companies will take advantage (and your money). There is no cure for dumb, but this is business at it's worst. They are primarily concerned with drawing focus away from battery electric cars.
     
  10. Tedkidd

    Tedkidd Member

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    What exactly IS "being green"?

    Is it wearing a ball cap that says "I'm Green"?
    Is it buying a Ground Source Heat Pump for your 2000 sf house so you can brag about it at cocktail parties, when air source would be often be a much better economic and environmental choice?

    Green is a lie created by madison avenue and fed to sheep.

    Math and Economics are a fundamental component of truly arriving at "green", you don't get there wearing a ball cap.
     
  11. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    Why on earth would Elon speak positively about a technology that sucks? LOL!

    Also, perhaps you should give us your definition of "viable" because I don't get it. How can hydrogen be viable and "green" if it requires burning of fossil fuels to generate that hydrogen? I'm sure you are aware that the bulk of hydrogen generation is not green in the slightest, but requires the burning of CNG and other fossil fuels. Toyota and others would love people to believe that H2 comes from water, but that's not how they produce H2 on an industrial scale.

    Also, where is the national infrastructure? Currently there are fewer than 20 stations in California, and none are located in areas where you can drive any distance. Also, have you researched who is paying for these H2 stations? Tesla pays for superchargers on its own dime. Each supercharger station, serving 8-10 vehicles, costs about $150,000. By comparison, a single H2 station can cost several million. Oh and by the way, H2 stations are being subsidized by California taxpayers. That's no fun, is it?

    Tesla was the one who did not renew Toyota's contract because they lacked battery supply. If you have a finite supply of batteries, the better choice is to put them into your own vehicles where your profit margin is higher, versus wholesaling them to Toyota for the limited, California-only RAV4. So let's be clear about the reason why Toyota turned to fuel cells. It needed a replacement for its RAV4 compliance vehicle. If it didn't replace the RAV4, which it could no longer produce because Tesla ended the contract, there would be hell to pay in California under the CARB rules. For Toyota, a fuel cell car has nothing to do with concern for the environment or the viability of the technology. It has to do with replacing one compliance car with another. Of course Toyota had to spin this in a positive way, they couldn't just say they got dumped by Tesla.
     
  12. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    I'd correct that to say "For Toyota, selling a fuel cell car NOW has nothing to do with concern for the environment or the viability of the technology". That's equally true of other manufacturers and their compliance BEVs.

    I don't doubt Toyota's sincerity on the technology itself, even if they've been caught unawares by advances in lithium batteries, in particular by Tesla's approach to BEV.
     
  13. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    Not at all. Being green means that you take actions in your life to minimize your impact to the environment. Some of those actions cost money and may not make sense on a spreadsheet. Being green has nothing to do with math or economics. Doing what's right for the earth and protecting the environment are not necessarily profitable ventures. The planet doesn't care about money - it's a human invention, and we are but one of billions of species on this planet. If we don't take care of it, we will die and another species will rise to dominance. Although it will be a long time before cockroaches can send astronauts into space.
     
  14. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    At the same time, any practical technology has to be both ecologically AND economically sustainable or it will ultimately fail.
     
  15. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I don't believe Toyota is serious about FCVs, they are just doing it for the many ZEV credits one FCV provides, and for the "green" cred they get from the uninformed.
     
  16. Tedkidd

    Tedkidd Member

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    Right? How does economics NOT come into play?

    Otherwise this argument about fuel cells is pointless, you have trapped yourself into losing the debate. Ultimately, hydrogen will be made from electricity instead of natural gas, then all you have left is the economic efficiency argument which you've now said don't matter.

    Either your position is "So what if it costs more?" or it's "We need to optimize clean tech where it makes financial sense so we can scale and have meaningful impact." You don't get "green at any cost" unless you are a dimwit.
     
  17. Red Sage

    Red Sage The Cybernetic Samurai

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    Pretty simple really. The primary waste from working with hydrogen fuel is not in the economics arena. It is the fact that the energy 'stored' in a hydrogen fuel source is considerably less than the energy that is expended to get it in that state. Also, the process used to get the hydrogen releases carbon dioxide in vast volumes, which pollute the very environment that this falsely 'green' power source is supposed to power in a clean fashion. In this case, doing something that makes green sense -- using battery electric cars instead of hydrogen fuel cell technology -- will actually make good dollar sense as well.
     

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