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Quo vadis 2021?

You can roughly identify two directions for coping with the climate crisis. The one claims that one absolutely wants to maintain the standard of living. Yes, it could possibly be increased in order to drive technical innovations with taxes and duties, which can then also be exported abroad and generate further growth.

The other point of view subtly points out that we are already suffering from a reduction in our prosperity due to inflation and fuel prices. Here, is being considered to give back to the citizens some of the higher costs annually. But basically one is in favor of higher taxes and duties, especially for the rich, among other things also for CO2.

There will be a mixture of both systems, but how does the auto industry relate to that? VW is clearly committed to purely electric cars. It should be interesting what the second largest in the world is doing, namely the exact opposite. Strange isn't it? Is that the unconditional belief in hybrid and hydrogen technology or do marketing considerations also play a role in setting yourself apart from the industry leader?

Certainly, Toyota made a brilliant start in three generations with its hybrid drive in the Prius. It was the kind of joining between the electric and the combustion engine without any clutch that had never been seen before. While the others only talked about a reduction in fuel consumption, it was detectable in the Prius if you held back when you step on the accelerator.

To this day, the company has benefited from its good reputation. But what happened to the hopeful beginnings of hybrid technology? Instead of 4.4 or 8.8 kWh for the Prius, the latest Camry only has 1.6 and the Yaris even only 0.94. What, for God's sake, should you do here with a 59 kW (80 PS) electric motor? Sure, write a high system performance in the brochure and of course discreetly hide the low battery capacity.

If you want to buy a Yaris, you pay more than € 4,000 more for the hybrid version. But the simple combustion engine really cannot be compared with that of the hybrid version. Its 1.5 liter version already has 15 kW (20 hp) more and a fully automatic system on top of that. After all, the basic Yaris already has a manually operated air conditioning system. It would actually be a good offer if the strategists didn't persuade the customers to the much more expensive version with 0.8 to 1.0 liter less consumption.

But what is this prophecy worth? It uses an age-old regulation of the EU, according to which a full battery is not included in the calculation in the first 100 km. If the customer drives further, then he is at least at the higher consumption, if this does not increase even more due to the larger ballast. And one last thing: Who guarantees that you will arrive in the evening with a fully charged battery for the next day?

The tragedy began when the hybrid drive was 'transplanted' into the Lexus, because economical driving is difficult and only wanted as long as it doesn't cause any trouble. The same engine can be found in the popular RAV4, this time combined with a rechargeable 18 kWh battery. It is hard to believe that this car should have a consumption of 1 l/100 km. There you can see the practical value of the rules above.

One would have had a real chance with the reverse process, namely to make the motor smaller and smaller and to enlarge the battery. In the final stage, the motor would hardly be of any consequence and one would have taken the path to the electric car without fear of range. Instead, a prototype has just been presented, which is supposed to come in 2022. The ProAce does not count because it was taken over by Stellantis.

Elon Musk: Presenting a prototype is easy, mass production is hell.

No, if you look at the facts, you can come to the conclusion that Toyota is trying to continue its way to the point where hydrogen cars become more widespread. It would not be the first time that Asians had get started a principle against Western common sense. This is indicated by the rivalry with Hyundai. A competition is raging in Asia. It is not for nothing that the price of the Mirai has dropped by almost € 16,000 when it was previously the same with € 79,000.

If you look at the number of petrol stations in Japan, you have benefited from the Olympics there. Compared to Germany, it can probably be expected to double in 2022. In South Korea, a third of the area of Germany, it is expected that it will more than triple in 2022. Either we hurry with battery development or we are excluded from one of our most important markets.

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