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Toyota's Comments on PHEVs at Air Resources Board Hearing
Oct 2, 2006 (From the CalCars-News archive)
This posting originally appeared at CalCars-News, our newsletter of breaking CalCars and plug-in hybrid news. View the original posting here.
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Toyota's David Hermance concluded his presentation about the company's position on electric vehicles and hybrids by speaking about plug-in hybrids September 26 at the ARB ZEVTechnology Symposium. (We'll have more comments on this as soon as the ARB puts up the presentations from the event.)

Outside of the media relations department, Hermance has been Toyota's leading spokesperson on PHEVs. He has been thinking about PHEVs for years, and was involved in the early meetings of the Hybrid Vehicle Working Group that led to the pioneering reports on PHEVs produced in 2001-2002 by a partnership between automakers, Department of Energy National Labs, the Electric Power Research Institute and California electric utilities (see­resources.html.

Below is the full text of his two minutes on PHEVs (with indications of _emphasis_), followed by his bio. As we've often noted, Toyota's statements on PHEVs continue to evolve -- and not always in a consistent direction, as you can see at the CalCars page, "How Car-Makers are Responding to the Plug-In Hybrid Opportunity"­carmakers.html.

"Toyota Activities," September 26, 2006.

One last topic, plug-in hybrids. As a long-term vision, plug-in hybrids are _really_ appealing in terms of energy diversity. Depending upon the grid mix and the manufacturing efficiency of the elements of the system, they may offer reduced lifecycle CO2 in addition to reduced fuel consumption.

To reach the vision requires a breakthrough in battery technology ...for capacity, energy storage, durability and cost.

With today's best technologies, plug-ins are not _commercially_ viable.

At a DOE workshop in May, this is my summary; their summary is not published yet; I welcome comments on my take from their meeting.

  • The technical merit of plug-ins is reduced oil consumption and transportation energy diversity.
  • Batteries are the key issue.
  • Reduced fuel consumption trumps all-electric range. If you require a vehicle to have all-electric range, it requires a different design and will delay the introduction, mitigating the potential benefit.
  • And V2G [Vehicle to Grid], while it's an interesting concept and a future possibility, is not ready for prime-time at this point in time.
  • We support those conclusions. Just one more slide, I'm almost done, I promise.

    It requires much more battery on board, a minimum of four times the battery and sometimes as much as eight or 10 times, depending on how much you're trying to do. That has mass, volume and cost impact.

    The energy storage system,, the battery becomes much more like a consumer electronic product than today's hybrids, so the duty cycle is much more severe for the battery. A battery that lives well in today's hybrid application will not _necessarily_ live well in this application. Typically, the range of state of charge is 100% to about 20%, which is much more stressful to the battery, and durability becomes a real issue, and if you don't have a life-of-vehicle battery, that has major implications on lifecycle cost of the vehicle technology. And that's it.

    Here's his biography from the ARB event: David W. Hermance is Executive Engineer for Advanced Technology Vehicles at Toyota Technical Center (TTC), located in Gardena, California. TTC, Toyota's North American R&D center, is a division of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing, North America, Inc. (TEMA). Mr. Hermance is responsible for advanced technology vehicle communication for the North American market and advanced technology vehicle emission regulatory activities in California.

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