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Will Toyota become Nokia in the automotive industry?

Car giant recalls more than 370,000 SUVs worldwide! The reason is...

According to the financial report released by Toyota Motor Company of Japan, due to the strong recovery of sales in China, North America and other overseas markets, the company's net profit in this fiscal year (April 2020 to March 2021) will increase from the previously forecast of 7.3 billion yen ($1 USD or about 103 yen) to 1.42 trillion days. The picture shows the Toyota logo taken on the car on display in a Toyota exhibition hall in Tokyo, Japan. Xinhua News Agency/AFP

Will Toyota become Nokia in the automotive industry?

As the head of Toyota, Akio Toyota, who has always been calm and low-key, did not expect that his remarks about shelling electric vehicles this time attracted very fierce shelling.

At the recent year-end press conference of the Japan Automobile Industry Association, Akio Toyoda complained that “electric vehicles are overhyped”.

In response to the possible announcement by the Japanese government of a ban on fuel vehicles in 2035, Akio Toyoda said that this did not take into account the carbon emissions generated by the power generation process and the cost of transition to electric vehicles.

“Pure electric vehicles actually bring more pollution, because in some places, electricity is mainly by burning coal and natural gas to supply it. Here you are.

After media reports, his claim caused a heated controversy. Some people think that Akio Toyoda tore open the fig leaf of “electric vehicle pollution”, but others think that he is moving against the world trend, and others make an analogy to Toyota and Nokia.

He Xiaopeng, chairman of Xiaopeng Automobile, made a tough look at Akio Toyota on Weibo, ridiculing Toyota’s future fate, which may be like Nokia.

Why did Akio Toyoda bombard electric cars? Is the electric car really bad as Akio Toyoda said? Does He Xiaopeng make sense? Different analyses of these issues have pushed the dispute to a new climax.

To clear up the disputes, it is not only necessary to put aside emotional ideas, but also to adhere to the development point of view and systematic thinking, so as to find the correct answer.

In fact, doubts about whether electric vehicles are more environmentally friendly exist not only in Japan, but also in China. Queptics and Akio Toyoda believe that although the electric vehicle is zero emissions in the process of use, the electricity used mainly comes from coal combustion, which leads to the inference that electric vehicles are polluted like traditional fuel vehicles, but in fact, “change soup without medicine”.

The problem is that such doubts are just thinking about the future from the present, not the present from the future. It should be seen that the current wave of new energy vehicles sweeping the world is no longer limited to the one-way change of traffic-driven electrification.

Along with it is the energy low carbonization and system intelligence revolution. With the acceleration of low-carbon energy, the global energy structure is also adjusting.

In the future, the proportion of fossil energy such as coal combustion will gradually decline in most countries, while the proportion of clean energy such as wind, solar and nuclear energy will continue to rise. This means that in the future, the electricity charged by electric vehicles will be greener and more environmentally friendly.

To put it the least, even if coal-fired power generation, because it is concentrated combustion, is easier to effectively control and deal with than the scattered emissions of fuel vehicles in operation.

No wonder someone criticizes that it is worth thinking about simply accusing electric vehicles of pollution more than fuel vehicles, which is either stupid or bad.

What’s more, whether it is electric or fuel-driven, it is not completely electrification that can truly subvert the automotive industry, but is deeply integrated with electrification.

As the best carrier of intelligence, electric vehicles naturally have faster response speed than fuel vehicles, which is not only conducive to the better realization of self-driving, but also conducive to the intelligent business ecology of automobiles and the improvement of user experience. Take Tesla and NextEV as examples.

These new car-making forces use Internet thinking, through the new electronic and electrical architecture, and under the premise of reserving hardware capabilities, car owners can automatically upgrade through software, continuously increase vehicle functions, and optimize the experience, making smart electric vehicles becoming a new species. It is also because “electrification, intelligence and networking” represent the future direction of change in the automobile industry that smart capital has given Tesla a much higher valuation than Toyota.

Some people say that Akino Toyota’s bombardment of electric vehicles does not mean that he does not recognize electric vehicles, but that “the drunkard does not mean alcohol”. The reason is that Akio Toyoda, who is also the president of the Japan Automobile Industry Association, will not see the new trends of these industrial changes.

Now the reason why the electric car is bombarded and opposes the “ban on combustion” is just that “the buttocks determine the head”, hoping to leave more time for my transformation. This interpretation is also logical.

After all, at present, Toyota’s dominant hydrogen fuel is high and low, hybrid is only a transition, and the pure electric layout is far behind German Volkswagen, and even behind the domestic Nissan and Honda.

You know, Toyota is a traditional fuel vehicle giant that sells more than 10 million vehicles a year. And the German Volkswagen of the same size has accelerated the transformation of intelligent electrification in an all-round way. How can Toyota not worry!

Judging from the fate of Nokia’s mobile phones in those years, the destructive energy brought by the technological revolution is often unpredictable by ordinary people.

However, compared with the mobile phone industry, the replacement cycle of automobiles is longer, and the “three slow” industry moat naturally has “manufacturing volume, product iteration, market penetration”, which gives traditional fuel vehicle factories longer than mobile phones to meet this electrification challenge.

Therefore, Toyota’s Nokia moment will not come soon. However, if Toyota is still complacent and cannot follow the direction of change, it is difficult to ensure that its Nokia moment will not come one day.

Because, “we often overestimate changes in a year or two, and underestimate changes in a year or two”.

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