Despite the best efforts of EV journalists to keep the peace, the battery and hydrogen teams are squaring off for a smackdown. In one corner, Tesla’s Elon Musk, who continues to deride the efficiency and practicality drawbacks of what he calls “fool cells.” In the other corner, Toyota, whose Lexus subsidiary runs ads ridiculing battery-electric vehicles, and whose execs insist that BEVs will only ever be suitable as short-range miniature city cars.
Following Musk’s latest salvo at the recent Automotive News World Congress, Toyota’s Senior VP for US Operations, Bob Carter, speaking at last week’s JD Power Automotive Summit, said he was “disappointed” by Musk’s remarks, and that “if I had all my eggs in one basket, I might be making the same comments.”
Carter’s zinger wasn’t included in the published version of Carter’s speech released to the media, but it was reported by Wards Auto.
“In reality, Mirai is an electric vehicle,” Carter noted. “But the electricity is produced onboard…versus off the grid. In other words…the Toyota Fuel Cell System in the new Mirai is simply a better battery.”
Carter doesn’t expect falling gasoline prices to lead to any watering-down of the CAFE standards. “In fact, I think the industry will take the position that it doesn’t want to see that happen. Because to meet [the standard], it takes massive investments, and the industry is making those massive investments today. So we can’t see the industry wanting to change the goalposts.”