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Re: [future-fuels-and-vehicles] Toyota Makes Sure Another Plug-In Is Removed From Sight

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  • murdoch
    ... 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
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 4, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      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.

      My opinion:

      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
      individual human.

      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
      include:

      1. Auto companies motivated by governments informing them that they
      must not allow vehicles on the road that would harm government tax
      revenues.

      2a. Auto companies motivated to keep the global money-making auto
      business status quo in place, including parts replacement, repair,
      etc.

      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
      vehicles go).

      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.

      6. Etc.

      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
      <murdoch@...> wrote:

      >
      >
      >http://plugsandcars.blogspot.com/2008/01/toyota-snags-rav4-ev.html
      >
      >
      >
      >Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
    • Lee Dekker
      One more. 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
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 4, 2008
      • 0 Attachment
        One more.

        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.



        murdoch <murdoch@...> 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.

        My opinion:

        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
        individual human.

        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
        include:

        1. Auto companies motivated by governments informing them that they
        must not allow vehicles on the road that would harm government tax
        revenues.

        2a. Auto companies motivated to keep the global money-making auto
        business status quo in place, including parts replacement, repair,
        etc.

        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
        vehicles go).

        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.

        6. Etc.

        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
        <murdoch@...> wrote:

        >
        >
        >http://plugsandcars.blogspot.com/2008/01/toyota-snags-rav4-ev.html
        >
        >
        >
        >Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >





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