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MetroMPG 12-25-2008 10:58 AM

Toyota jumping on the 100% EV bandwagon at 2009 Detroit show
Can't have BWM's electric Mini and Mitsubishi's electric i MiEV stealing the spotlight all the time, now can they? (Not to mention GM's Volt.)

So apparently Toyota will be showing a 100% EV concept at the Detroit auto show in a few weeks.

Not their first EV, of course. They have real world experience building/leasing/crushing and selling and RAV-4 EV's in the mid-90's.

If it weren't for the current economic climate, I wonder if they'll roll out an EV "lease only" evaluation/greenwashing program...


SuperTrooper 01-02-2009 09:23 AM

For all the bashing GM takes for the EV-1 program, I never understood why Toyota has gotten a free pass for doing exactly the same thing with the RAV-4 EVs. As soon as CARB eliminated the EV requirements rules, Toyota did all it could to make people forget the RAV-4 EV ever existed.

basjoos 01-02-2009 12:13 PM

Toyota and Panasonic were sued by Chevron (who bought the patent from GM) for 30 million dollars for infringing on their patent for large format Ni-MH batteries, so they couldn't make any more batteries for the RAV4EV. So after losing a bunch of money on the small-scale RAV4EV program and not being able to get any more batteries for the EV's, so naturally they dropped the EV program once CARB eliminated the EV requirement. At least Toyota is still supporting the RAV4EV's they sold through their dealer network, rather then sending them all to the crusher and washing their hands of the matter like GM did with the EV-1.

MetroMPG 01-03-2009 09:01 PM

My understanding is that Toyota intended to reposess (and destroy?) all the Rav4 EV's until EV proponents put public pressure on the company. Only after that did they relent and permit lease customers to buy them.

See Plug In America - Campaign to Save RAV4 EVs

MPaulHolmes 01-04-2009 03:26 AM

One of the sad things was that Panasonic made some pretty dramatic improvements on the life of the large size NiMH when compared to the Ovonics (Chevron/cobasys) NiMH. That makes me sad that they are allowed to perpetrate such patent encumbrance. I wish the law was use it or lose it with respect to patents.

roflwaffle 01-04-2009 03:34 AM

I still see a RAV-4 EV (SoCal Edison) in my grandparent's neighborhood once in a while so Panasonic/Toyota evidently did something right. I should see if I can snap a picture of the odometer one of these days.

orange4boy 01-17-2009 02:21 AM

Why the volt is bull***t
Here is a video done by a RAV 4 owner who has hacked it to charge off his solar panels. His delivery is a bit annoying but he's dead right.

MPaulHolmes 01-17-2009 11:01 AM

I heard Allen (alan?) Cacconi (sp?), the developer of the EV1 controller, left GM because of their insistance on using an idiotic charger that couldn't just plug into a 110 or 220 outlet. So, that guy "hacked" an electric car to plug into 110 (110 that came from solar). The hack would have been completely unnecessary if they would have done the charging interface right in the first place.

orange4boy 01-17-2009 04:12 PM

I actually corresponded to a lawyer who specializes in patent law and is an activist in the area of patent abuse and it turns out patents are use it or lose it to some extent. I asked him about the Texaco patent sitting on the ovonic batteries. The problem is they are manufacturing the ovonic batteries and using them to hybridize some courier trucks. (Purolater perhaps?)

Since GM sold the patent they can just say that they are too expensive to buy or are not a "fit" for their product or just design the cars "wrong" Never mind that there are still 700ish RAV4s kicking around, some with over 120 000 miles on their battery packs. Just try to pry an owner from their RAV4 EV.

One ray of sunshine to this story is this:

Cobasys is the only seller of nickel metal hydride batteries in North America, a competitive advantage it will hold until 2010, when a court settlement barring Matsu****a Electronic Industrial Co., Panasonic EV Energy Co. and Toyota Motor Co. from selling the batteries in North America is lifted.
Part of a story on Cobasys here:
The real problem IMO is that corporations have too much freedom. Corporate charters used to be granted for specific purposes and if the company was doing bad stuff, like patent sitting, the government could yank the charter or change it. As it is they can pretty much do what ever they want, people having forgotten the whole purpose of incorporation (to make sure these organizations don't use their power improperly against the public) and governments loath to do anything lest they be called anti business and purloined in the, you guessed it, corporate owned media.

A sad state of affairs really.

Nigel2112 08-10-2010 12:26 AM

Well, here we are in 2010, what's the situation?

NeilBlanchard 08-11-2010 04:09 PM

Toyota is supposed to be bringing a new RAV4 EV to market in 2012.

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