Auto companies may have been and may still be somewhat vindictive about being told what to do by a state such as California.
On a slightly different subject. In the case of CA stipulating that an EV battery must last at least 100,000 miles, I would agree with the auto companies. To demand 0 emissions is fine. To micro manage how competing companies go about accomplishing this task is not legitimate government business.
> wrote: I was asked a question in private email:
>Why would Toyota not want the car being used by the public?
>And why would they destroy them?
I asked if it would be all right to reply in public and they said it
would be fine.... they had just figured everyone knew the answer, and
why clog up the conversation?
I mention their reaction because it must strike some of us.
Does any of us know the answer to this question with such absolute
certainty that it bears no discussion. Many of us have theories, and
some seem to have theories that they hold as proven or nearly so (even
though some of those theories seem to disagree with each other.
First, as best I can tell, Toyota does not destroy the vehicles in
that the compromise they reached with the activists involves taking
them out of public circulation and putting them into service in such
areas as national parks... something like that.
But the bigger question is why go so far out of their way to remove
them from the hands of drivers in the public who want them.
I think at least PART of the answer is that Toyota, as a corporate
entity, has been instructed that they must do this. They suffered a
moderately damaging lawsuit over the batteries they used in the RAV4
EVs. They (and Matsushita?) had to shell out, what, a few dozens of
millions of dollars in the settlement? I speculate that a broader
part of the settlement (whose terms have not, by agreement, been made
public), involved not only cessation of production of certain
particular types of NiMh batteries, but also that Toyota get "in line"
with all global auto makers on plug-in vehicles. I think Toyota has a
somewhat heightened vulnerability to any threats in this area since
they have committed to hybridization of many models. If their supply
of NiMh batteries were threatened for their non-plug-in-hybrids, the
company's future might be seriously impaireed.
I think that the folks behind the lawsuit and batteries (Cobasys,
Chevron and maybe ECD) have not been friendly toward production of
plug-in vehicles using NiMH.
I think the behavior of various automakers (not just Toyota) with
respect to taking back BEVs has been striking... perhaps we would call
it "maniacal" or something, if we were talking about a human being
acting funny. So, we are trying to diagnose the behavior ("why?")
behind an organization of humans rather than the behavior of an
If we look at Nissan taking back the Sony Lithium-Ion-powered Altras,
or GM taking back the EV1s, or Ford trying to destroy viable Ranger
EVs or Toyota being chased through the streets of Southern California
by activists who finally caught them taking back much-desired RAV4 EVs
for "dismantling", a pattern is the seemingly inexplicable
anti-customer anti-product behavior of supposedly profit-seeking
productive industrial capitalistic corporations.
Another pattern is that basically all the vehicles in question were
wanted by paying customers.
Other people will add different explanations to try to explain the
seemingly maniacal anti-plug-in behavior of the auto giants. They
will say those explanations should be added to mine, or to other
explanations, or that they go along with mine or stand alone as the
only explanations. These additive or stand-alone explanations
1. Auto companies motivated by governments informing them that they
must not allow vehicles on the road that would harm government tax
2a. Auto companies motivated to keep the global money-making auto
business status quo in place, including parts replacement, repair,
2b. Auto companies motivated to maximize the value of their
investment in IC Engines and not treat their expertise and factories
as "stranded assets".
3. Auto companies motivated by oil companies threatening via a few
leverage points and mechanisms. Leverage points might include
back-room financial control (some of the auto companies not being in
the same financial health as the auto companies) and mechanisms might
include board memberships. In the case of Japanese auto companies, is
it possible that the oil companies might be very un-generous toward
shipping oil to Japan, as a whole? It's not an oil-rich country.
4. Auto companies claiming to be motivated by concern as to liability
for cars on the road (though we have never seen them show such
concern, to the point of fleetwide vehicle-destruction, when it comes
to vehicles of proven questionable safety, whereas the limited
production EVs in question generally seem to have been safe as far as
5. Auto companies claiming to be concerned about keeping up the
vehicles in question (this seems absurd considering the lengths to
which some owners have been willing to go to keep the vehicles going,
regardless of auto company action.
So, I think Toyota (in particular) has maniacal (for want of a better
word... if someone has one, please let me know) anti-plug-in behavior
that can be partly explained by their singular experience in a lawsuit
with Chevron et. al. on the other side.
When we look at the behavior of the other auto companies, we see they
also have exhibited similar behavior. When we look at other discussion
participants and activists in these forums, we see that they have a
variety of responses to the question that was posed. Some of their
responses might agree with me, all or in-part, and some might
disagree, all or in-part.
[Default] On Fri, 01 Feb 2008 01:42:45 -0700, murdoch
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