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Rebuttal to Sirish Chandran - Don't Ride The Toyota Story

Hey Sirish,

Hello from EV enthusiasts. Let us preface this by saying that we hope we all want the same things - India to be a better, healthy and environmentally conscious country for us and our future generations.

Here is a rebuttal to your tweets with some facts, and FYI not facts whose source is a company which has not been able to provide a credible EV even with its dominant market share and market Cap :-

Tweet 1/7

  • Dramatic job creation finding in e-vehicles study - The shift to electric cars could create more than twice as many new jobs as the number that will be lost by the demise of the internal combustion engine. That is the main finding of a study by the European Association of Electrical Contractors (AIE) into the employment impact of a move to e-vehicles. The main beneficiaries will be people working for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). T&E clean cars director Greg Archer added: ‘Politicians should take note of this study, not just for what it says about the benefits of e-vehicles, but as a warning not to trust traditional industries that say they can’t tackle environmental issues without putting large numbers of people out of work. It’s normally an excuse for a failure to take action. And this study underestimates the full potential of e-vehicles, as even more jobs could be created if we take into account the electrification of trucks, buses and ships.’ We hope that you are happy seeing this, Sirish.

  • E-vehicles industry to create 10 million jobs in future: Report

  • How Germany closed its coal industry without sacking a single miner - Do see how Germany closed its coal industry without sacking a single miner.

Jobs will be created in Renewable sectors and others too. Also using the argument of job, we should be opposing automation in industries also. :)

There is this documentary (do watch)- Will Germany's car industry survive?

Some points to note from this -

Its about political will.

Jobs may be lost, but new ones will be created.

Trying to protect jobs in sector where world markets have moved, is the worst mistake one can ever make.

Tweet 2/7

As you acknowledge infrastructure can be scaled up quickly. Thanks for acknowledging the same. We really don't understand the argument on where India is on raw materials required for EVs! An EV requires the following components:-

  • Batteries-

  1. Reserves of lithium, required for production of EV batteries, found near Bengaluru- Recently 14,000 MT of Lithium reserves was found near Bangalore. Many more such deposits may be found going forward.

  2. Panasonic may set up li-ion battery module assembly  unit in India

  3. Niti Aayog seeks Cabinet nod for battery push - GOI has plans for providing subsidy for battery manufacturing in India. And also setting up multiple gig factories.

  • Motors- India has a lot of electric motor manufacturers , some of the worlds best . Predominantly permanent magnet synchronous motors are used. Many manufacturers already manufacture this, some OEMs make them inhouse too.

  • PCB /Controller unit: already used by ICE manufacturers , same sources can be used.

  • Single speed reduction gear box: No need to discuss this.

  • HMI & Backend software and sheetmetal and body work are nothing new.

What we don't understand is, yes , we may be importing many components as of now, but surely they can be localised in the near future. Also importing these components is a one-off thing. Compare this to importing dead dinosaur oil in shipping containers that burn more dinosaur oil for all the ICE/hybrid in perpetuity!

India spent USD 111.9 billion on oil imports in 2018-19. At an average cost of $35,000 per an EV, even if all 60% components are imported, that's ~ 53 lakh cars i.e. 1.6X of India's annual car sales.

Tweet 3/7

Most profound point to note: ICE cars burn gasoline less cleanly than it did when new. As engines age they inevitably begin to irreparably fall apart, become less efficient, and just plain become dirtier.

Over time, electricity on the grid gets cleaner and cleaner. That's because of ever-tighter regulations requiring cleanup measures, and as old inefficient power plants are retired they're replaced with new efficient ones either solar or wind which are now cheaper than coal power plants in India.

Regarding sources of energy :

  1. Renewables accounted for 36% of India’s total installed capacity by end of 2019

  2. Solar in India is now cheaper than Coal - Solar is now cheaper than coal so who one can gauge where the investments will flow towards.

  3. Solar-Wind Storage Tender with Assured Peak Power Supply Oversubscribed by 420 MW- Renewables with grid stabilisation stationary storage battery bids are lower than a coal power plant supply cost. Hence a no brainer.

A recent study published by researcher Ryan Cornell of Harvard University shows that electric vehicles emit less carbon emissions than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles even when charged off a largely coal-powered grid.

Using the Argonne full lifecycle model, which accounts for battery and vehicle manufacturing as well as a standardised 150,000 miles (about 240,000km) life, an average ICE vehicle will emit around 69 metric tonnes in its lifetime.

But an EV, in a state like Wyoming,US which is almost completely powered by coal, will only produce 66 metric tonnes if the vehicle is made by a manufacturer using a grid that is 13% renewables (the US national average).

Now you might say here that this is just 3mT difference, do note that it's in worst case scenario of using almost all coal powered Electricity. Share of Renewable is increasing(Karnataka has ~62% mix of renewable) and you can always put solar at home and charge green.

Tweet 4/7

The assumption here is that battery composition will remain the same. So will the electricity generation sources. Which is false, Tesla is working on million mile battery and their next generation cells will completely do away with Cobalt, where as cobalt is used for removal of Sulphur from Petrol (which most don't know). The battery is expected to retain 80-90% capacity even after 1M mile use. Things won't happen if efforts aren't made. No one will come and give Toyota a totally perfect battery until and unless they themselves do it. It's all about will, making efforts.

Also Arun Bhat a Hyundai Kona Electric owner, has gone for solar rooftop generation and generates 5X times what he consumes and feeds the extra solar generation to the grid. So have many other EV owners.

Tweet 5/7

“Toyota claims”..... OK! Isn't this point an oxymoronic point negating your earlier tweets? You say BEVs are not Zero emission and here you say 60% of the time it has zero emissions. Pray clarify. Also camry isn't a Plug In Hybrid, it gets charged by engine and regen. We have our doubts on the emissions result they provide.

Hybrid cars are an unnecessary intermediate step only to keep the ICE OEMs money making train chugging along i.e. Spares & maintenance for ICE components. An EV owner in fact significantly saves on service costs.

Time of Hybrids is gone, we should have pushed for it in 2014-15. At the time world markets are pushing for EVs, advising India to focus on Hybrids, doesn't sounds like benefiting our country in the long run. We lost out on electronics manufacturing , we will lose out on EVs too if they are not a focus.

Tweet 6/7

“According to Toyota”..... OK! According to reason and logic, fuel saving will go up by a gazillion times and so do Co2 emissions reduction if we go BEV. Why stop at 30% electrics?

We don't have problems companies selling Hybrids till complete electrification instead of pure ICE, but they shouldn't be a focus.

Tweet 7/7

We are all for CO2 tax and using them to fund renewables. Its a free market , but why provide half baked one sided facts from an predominantly ICE OEM who is incentivised to stop BEVs from being a success! Manufacturers can adopt any tech they want. In fact before automobiles there we horse carriages. People can still use them, so can manufacturers who want to make them. Similar to Remington typewriters and Kodak film camera, Toyota and other ICE manufacturers are more than welcome to continue with ICE / hybrid cars, but we think they will be on the wrong side of history.

This article was in no way attack on Sirish, we just intend to clear the FUD being spread by Big Auto and Oil. We will keep doing so.

All we can say is, Don't Ride the Toyota Story.

Founders TCIN™

Building a Community for Future

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