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Why Toyota Isn't All-In On EVs

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During Toyota's annual dealer meeting in Las Vegas last week, which was called "Playing to Win," CEO Akio Toyoda explained why the company isn't all-in on electric vehicles. CNBC reports: Toyoda last week simply stated what he would like his legacy to be: "I love cars." Despite criticism from some investors and environmental groups, Toyoda this past week doubled down on his strategy to continue investing in a range of electrified vehicles as opposed to competitors such as Volkswagen and General Motors, which have said they are going all-in on all-electric vehicles. The plans could arguably cement Toyoda's "I love cars" legacy or tarnish it, depending on how quickly drivers adopt electric vehicles. "For me, playing to win also means doing things differently. Doing things that others may question, but that we believe will put us in the winner's circle the longest," he said [...]. Toyoda, who described Toyota as a large department store, said the company's goal "remains the same, pleasing the widest possible range of customers with the widest possible range of powertrains." Those powertrains will include hybrids and plug-in hybrids like the Prius, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles like the Mirai and 15 all-electric battery models by 2025. Toyoda reiterated that he does not believe all-electric vehicles will be adopted as quickly as policy regulators and competitors think, due to a variety of reasons. He cited lack of infrastructure, pricing and how customers' choices vary region to region as examples of possible roadblocks. He believes it will be "difficult" to fulfill recent regulations that call for banning traditional vehicles with internal combustion engines by 2035, like California and New York have said they will adopt. "Just like the free autonomous cars that we are all supposed to be driving by now, EVs are just going to take longer to become mainstream than media would like us to believe," Toyoda said in a recording of the remarks to dealers shown to reporters. "In the meantime, you have many options for customers." Toyoda also believes there will be "tremendous shortages" of lithium and battery grade nickel in the next five to 10 years, leading to production and supply chain problems. Toyota's goal is carbon neutrality by 2050, and not just through all-electric vehicles. Some have questioned the environmental impact of EVs when factoring in raw material mining and overall vehicle production. Since the Prius launched in 1997, Toyota says it has sold more than 20 million electrified vehicles worldwide. The company says those sales have avoided 160 million tons of CO2 emissions, which is the equivalent to the impact of 5.5 million all-electric battery vehicles. "Toyota can produce eight 40-mile plug-in hybrids for every one 320-mile battery electric vehicle and save up to eight times the carbon emitted into the atmosphere," according to prepared remarks for Toyoda provided to media. Toyoda also said the company has no plans to overhaul its franchised dealership network as it invests in electrified vehicles, like some competitors have announced. "I know you are anxious about the future. I know you are worried about how this business will change. While I can't predict the future, I can promise you this: You, me, us, this business, this franchised model is not going anywhere. It's staying just as it is," he told dealers to resounding applause.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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trekkie
56 days ago
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Boy for someone who 'loves cars' they make some of the most boring but reliable vehicles out there.
Wake Forest, North Carolina
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Broadcom plans a “rapid transition” to subscription revenue for VMware

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A Broadcom sign outside one of its offices.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Justin Sullivan )

Broadcom announced last week that it was seeking to drop $61 billion in cash and stock to acquire VMware. We still don't know exactly what changes Broadcom plans to make to VMware's products or business model once the acquisition completes. Still, Broadcom Software Group President Tom Krause made it clear in Broadcom's earnings call last week: an emphasis on software subscriptions.

As reported by The Register, Broadcom plans a "rapid transition from perpetual licenses to subscriptions" for VMware's products, replacing discrete buy-once-use-forever versions, though "rapid" in this case will still apparently take several years. Broadcom CEO Hock Tan said that the company wants to keep VMware's current customers happy and take advantage of VMware's existing sales team and relationships.

Subscription-based software has some benefits, including continual updates to patch security flaws and ensure compatibility with new operating system updates—virtualization software that requires low-level hardware access gets broken more often by new OS updates than most other apps. But a move toward more subscription-based software licensing could still be unwelcome news for individuals and businesses who prefer to pay for individual upgrades as they want or need them, rather than continuously for as long as they need the software.

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trekkie
179 days ago
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if you work for VMware, cash out now, because you'll get cashed out later.
Wake Forest, North Carolina
kazriko
178 days ago
Gotta chase that ARR. I think that pretty much puts an end to me thinking about bothering with vSphere.
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zipcube
180 days ago
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ugh
Dallas, Texas

Apple shakes down WordPress, forces it to add in-app purchases so Apple can collect its 30% extortion fee

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I don’t even know what to say anymore at this point. A bugfix update for the WordPress iOS application – which allows you to manage your WordPress website but does not sell anything – was blocked by Apple because WordPress.com separately also sells domain names and hosting packags, and Apple wants its 30% extortion fee, forcing the developer of this open source app to add the ability to buy WordPress domains and hosting.

Is Apple seriously asking for WordPress owner Automattic to share a cut of all its domain name revenue? How would it even know which customers used the app? Was this all a mistake?

Apple didn’t respond to a request for comment, but Mullenweg tells The Verge he’s not going to fight it — he will add brand-new in-app purchases for WordPress.com’s paid tiers, which include domain names, within 30 days. Apple has agreed to allow Automattic to update the app while it waits. (The last update was issued yesterday.)

In other words, Apple won: the richest company in the world just successfully forced an app developer to monetize an app so it could make more money. It’s just the latest example of Apple’s fervent attempts to guard its cash cow resulting in a decision that doesn’t make much sense and doesn’t live up to Apple’s ethos (real or imagined) of putting the customer experience ahead of all else.

It’s like Apple is purposefully laying out a breadcrumb trail for antitrust investigators.

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trekkie
828 days ago
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Every other vendor does this yet when Apple is successful people loose their fucking minds.
Wake Forest, North Carolina
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Who Buys Big SUVs?

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Aaron Gordon, writing for Vice on the return of the Hummer:

And that portrait is largely the result of one consultant who worked for Chrysler, Ford, and GM during the SUV boom: Clotaire Rapaille. Rapaille, a French emigree, believed the SUV appealed—at the time to mostly upper-middle class suburbanites—to a fundamental subconscious animalistic state, our “reptilian desire for survival,” as relayed by Bradsher. (“We don’t believe what people say,” the website for Rapaille’s consulting firm declares. Instead, they use “a unique blend of biology, cultural anthropology and psychology to discover the hidden cultural forces that pre-organize the way people behave towards a product, service or concept”). Americans were afraid, Rapaille found through his exhaustive market research, and they were mostly afraid of crime even though crime was actually falling and at near-record lows. As Bradsher wrote, “People buy SUVs, he tells auto executives, because they are trying to look as menacing as possible to allay their fears of crime and other violence.” They, quite literally, bought SUVs to run over “gang members” with, Rapaille found.

Perhaps this sounds farfetched, but the auto industry’s own studies agreed with this general portrait of SUV buyers. Bradsher described that portrait, comprised of marketing reports from the major automakers, as follows:

Who has been buying SUVs since automakers turned them into family vehicles? They tend to be people who are insecure and vain. They are frequently nervous about their marriages and uncomfortable about parenthood. They often lack confidence in their driving skills. Above all, they are apt to be self-centered and self-absorbed, with little interest in their neighbors or communities.

I recently rented a Chevy Tahoe because we needed the storage capacity for a day trip. I can’t believe anyone chooses to drive these things daily. It’s like driving a car inside a car, no feel for the road at all.

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kazriko
1008 days ago
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"As Bradsher wrote, “People buy SUVs, he tells auto executives, because they are trying to look as menacing as possible to allay their fears of crime and other violence.” They, quite literally, bought SUVs to run over “gang members” with, Rapaille found." Yeah, right, and all of Freud's patients actually did want to sleep with their mothers.

If I were getting an SUV, it'd be entirely for the towing capacity and cargo capacity. Otherwise I'd just get a van. Of course, right now I have two cars instead.
Colorado Plateau
trekkie
1008 days ago
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Six family members, we buy big SUVs to go anywhere. Minivans are cool and all if you don't need to bring stuff with you with that many people.
Wake Forest, North Carolina
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ktgeek
1026 days ago
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we recently bought a SUV because we needed towing capacity for our camper. I find myself liking it much more than I thought I would... we went SUV over pickup because for the times we do need it for daily driving, we wanted more comfort and space. If I could get the towing capacity I need in something that wasn't a land barge, I'd be all for it, but that's not how it works right now.
Bartlett, IL
tingham
1025 days ago
I've been driving a tacoma for years (mountain bikes, camping, always having "friends") and when my wife wanted out of the minivan we put her in a 4 runner because it's the same frame. Even the Sequoia is too big.

Mazda will intentionally nerf its EV's performance to make it act more like a gas guzzler

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Recent statements from Joachim Kunz, Mazda’s head of Product Development and Engineering, have revealed that the Japanese carmaker will be adopting a rather curious approach to its electric car strategy. For one, the company intends to make sure that its first EV, the MX-30 SUV, will feel familiar to drivers, and it intends to accomplish this by intentionally tuning the vehicle to be less “frenetic” than other electric cars.

This, of course, will result in the MX-30 having performance that is not up to par with other premium electric cars like the Tesla Model Y and the Jaguar I-PACE. But this is not all that is quite strange with Mazda’s EV strategy. The company has also stated that it will not produce vehicles with large battery packs because they are allegedly worse for the environment.

Explaining his point to Autocar, Kunz cited a Japanese University’s study which claimed that a 95 kWh battery pack was less environmentally favorable than Mazda’s Skyactiv diesel engine. Thus, Mazda intends to utilize a rather small 35 kWh battery because it makes more sense environmentally, at least according to Kunz.

The MX-30 will use a Panasonic lithium-ion battery manufactured in Japan that the company claims will give owners around 130 miles of range and 141 bhp. The company’s research suggested that by 50,000 miles, the Mazda MX-30 and its 35 kWh battery should start trending towards environmentally-friendly emissions.

For buyers who wish to travel longer distances, Mazda intends to release a “range extender system” that utilizes a compact rotary engine. Kunz stated it was too early to release any specific details on the rotary motor, but the system was available for the public to see in Portugal at Mazda’s event for the MX-30. The vehicle is expected to begin production in Europe later in 2020 and in the UK in 2021.

Electric vehicles are good for the environment. They create a smoke-free and environmentally-conscious transportation selection for whoever deems it as an appropriate option. Battery production has seen a drastic decline in CO2 emissions according to a Swedish environmental group. Simply put, there continues to be little to no need to place petrol-powered motors in electric vehicles.

Tesla’s industry-leading battery technology has led to a growth in the electric vehicle sector for a number of reasons. One of the biggest reasons is the fact that Tesla vehicles offer more range than any other electric car on the market and it has to do with the company’s constantly-improving battery technology. With this in mind, Mazda’s EV strategies, particularly with regards to performance and range, seem uninspired at best and questionable at worst.

The post Mazda will intentionally nerf its EV's performance to make it act more like a gas guzzler appeared first on TESLARATI.

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trekkie
1052 days ago
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Just when you think they couldn't get any dumber...35 kWh battery and a gimped performance compared to every other ev. lame.
Wake Forest, North Carolina
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Google to restrict modern ad blocking Chrome extensions to enterprise users

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Google is essentially saying that Chrome will still have the capability to block unwanted content, but this will be restricted to only paid, enterprise users of Chrome. This is likely to allow enterprise customers to develop in-house Chrome extensions, not for ad blocking usage. For the rest of us, Google hasn’t budged on their changes to content blockers, meaning that ad blockers will need to switch to a less effective, rules-based system, called “declarativeNetRequest.” I’m glad I switched to Firefox already, and I suggest you do the same. A browser that is not tied to a platform vendor (like Safari) or run by an ad company (like Chrome).
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trekkie
1271 days ago
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oh man, had no idea they were doing this. never did switch to chrome. firefox 4 lyfe
Wake Forest, North Carolina
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