Critical Thinking: Scope of the Modern Company (100 points)
In this module, we looked at technology-based industries and the management of innovation. For this week’s assignment, review CASE 9 Toyota: Seeking a Future in Hydrogen, Chapter 9(in your textbook). Remember: A case study is a puzzle to be solved, so before reading and answering the specific case study questions, develop your proposed solution by following these five steps:
Read the case study to identify the key issues and underlying issues. These issues are the principles and concepts of the course module, which apply to the situation described in the case study.
Record the facts from the case study which are relevant to the principles and concepts of the module. The case may have extraneous information not relevant to the current course module. Your ability to differentiate between relevant and irrelevant information is an important aspect of case analysis, as it will inform the focus of your answers.
Describe in some detail the actions that would address or correct the situation.
Consider how you would support your solution with examples from experience or current real-life examples or cases from textbooks.
Complete this initial analysis and then read the discussion questions. Typically, you will already have the answers to the questions but with a broader consideration. At this point, you can add the details and/or analytical tools required to solve the case.
Case Study Questions:
What is the strategy of Toyota Motors in electric vehicles? Is the strategy the same or different from the leading competitors?
What is the probability that hydrogen-powered fuel cells will become a commercially viable technology for propelling EVs?
Assess Toyota’s EV strategy and offer recommendation in relation to:
The relative roles of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery, and fuel cell powertrains
Strategy for hydrogen fuel cells. In particular: (i) Should Toyota emphasize the development of fuel cell cars (such as the Mirai) or the development of fuel-cell power units to supply other vehicle makers? (ii) To what extent should Toyota collaborate with other companies in developing and commercializing fuel cells, and with whom should it partner?
Should Toyota continue to invest in fuel cells even if batteries are likely to become the dominant EV technology?
Your well-written paper should meet the following requirements:
Be 4 to 5 pages in length, which does not include the required title and reference pages, which are never a part of the content minimum requirements.
Use Saudi Electronic University academic writing standards and APA style guidelines.
Support your submission with course material concepts, principles, and theories from the textbook and at least two scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles unless the assignment calls for more.
It is strongly encouraged that you submit all assignments into the Turnitin Originality Check before submitting it to your instructor for grading. If you are unsure how to submit an assignment into the Originality Check tool, review the Turnitin Originality Check—Student Guide for step-by-step instructions.
Review the grading rubric to see how you will be graded for this assignment.
Case9 Toyota: Seeking a Future in Hydrogen* Toyota Motor Corporation is the world’s biggest automobile producer. During 2020 it produced 8.5 million vehicles, compared to 8.3 million by its close rival, Volkswagen. Yet despite its market leadership, Toyota is an industry outlier in terms of its tech-nology strategy. While Volkswagen, General Motors, Ford, Daimler, and other leading automakers have committed themselves to a future based upon battery electric vehicles (EVs), Toyota has been reluctant to wholeheartedly endorse EVs based upon lithium-ion battery technology and is investing heavily in an alternative EV technology: fuel cells powered by liquid hydrogen. Although fuel cells have been used by NASA for space vehicles since 1962, their acceptance by consumers and the motor industry seems as far away in 2021 as it had in 1966 when General Motors introduced the world’s first car powered by fuel cells. Industry leaders are skeptical of hydrogen-powered cars: Tesla’s Elon Musk dismisses fuel cells as “mind-bogglingly stupid,” while VW’s CEO, Herbert Diess, predicts: “You won’t see any hydrogen usage in cars. Not even in 10 years, because the physics behind it are so unreasonable.” Yet, in December 2020, Toyota launched the updated version of its Mirai-the world’s first mass-produced hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle. According to chief technology officer, Masahiko Maeda, Toyota’s goal for the second-generation Mirai “is to be that first step toward wide-spread adoption” within “the bigger story of reaching a carbon neutral society.”1 However, the challenge facing Toyota is daunting. Between 2014 and 2020, a mere 11,000 Mirais had been sold, compared to 2.3 million Prius hybrid cars. The key barrier to consumer acceptance was the lack of a hydrogen-fueling infrastructure-in 2020 there were only 432 hydrogen refueling stations throughout the world.2 Without a com-mitment by the vehicle industry as a whole to fuel cells, it seemed unlikely that the mas-sive investment needed to develop hydrogen production and distribution would occur. Fuel-Cell Technology and the Hydrogen Economy Fuel cells produce electricity as a result of hydrogen molecules reacting, first, with a catalyst (usually platinum) to produce hydrogen ions and then with oxygen to produce water. Fuel-cell technology has advanced steadily since the first workable cells were developed during the 1930s. Figure 1 provides a timeline of the evolution of fuel-cell technology and its application to transportation. *The case was prepared by Robert M. Grant. © 2021 Robert M. Grant.
CASE 9 TOYOTA: SEEKING A FUTURE IN HYDROGEN 431 FIGURE 1 The evolution of fuel-cell technology and its applications Francis Thomas Bacon develops alkali electrolyte fuel cells at University of Cambridge 1930 1940 Allis-.-N_A_S_A_–t Chalmers tractor-1st develops alkali fuel fuel-cell Ballard cells for vehicle develops Gemini and’-r—~ PEM fuel-Apollo GM cell ‘–.–~ launches ~–~ fuel-cell Electrovan missions 1950 1960 1970 1980 Georgetown University builds experimental fuel-cell bus Launch of Daimler’s fuel-cell NECARl 1990 Hyundai launches fuel-cell bus (2005) Alstom and ix35 car (2013) introduces hydrogen-Toyota powered Launch of Hydra. Mirai trains 1st fuel-launched cell boat in Japan and US 2000 2010 2020 There are several different types of fuel cells. While all produce power from the reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, they use different types of electrolyte. Most of the fuel cells used in transportation vehicles utilize proton exchange membrane (PEM) technology. Table 1 shows the main types of cell. TABLE 1 Different types of fuel cells Cell type Acronym Global shipments 2020 Notes Major producers Proton exchange PEMFC 53,600 Used mainly in mobile Toyota, Hyundai, Ballard membrane applications, Power Systems, Plug Power, especially EVs Hydrogenics, ElringKlinger Solid oxide SOFC 24,700 Used in stationary power Bosch, Bloom Energy, generation, e.g., data Ceres Power, Rolls Royce, centers, server farms, Fuel Cell Energy remote locations Phosphoric acid PAFC 300 Mainly large capacity cells Doosan Fuel Cell, Fuji Electric for stationary generation Direct methanol DMFC 4000 Small units for portable SFC Energy applications Alkaline AFC <100 Military and aerospace AFC Energy, GenCell applications Energy Molten carbonate MCFC 0 Large scale industrial/grid FuelCell Energy generation Sources: Adapted from E4Tech, "The Fuel Cell Industry Review 2020"; Deloitte, "Fueling the Future of Mobility Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Solu-tions for Transportation" (2020). Despite almost 60 years since their application to road vehicles, fuel-cell EVs are still restricted to experimental and niche uses. Table 2 shows the estimated populations of fuel-cell EVs. The supply of hydrogen was the biggest factor constraining the adoption of fuel cells. There are four main sources of hydrogen: ¥ Green hydrogen is the most environmentally friendly and most expensive source of hydrogen. It uses electricity generated from renewable energy tech-nologies to electrolyze water, separating the hydrogen and oxygen atoms. 432 CASES TO CONTEMPORARY STRATEGY ANALYSIS TABLE 2 Numbers of fuel-cell vehicles in the United States, China, Europe, and Japan, 2020 Cars Buses Trucks Forklifts Fueling stations us 2019 7271 35 n.a. >30,000 42 2030 target 5.3m. 0.3m. 7100 China 2019 1000 11,600 n.a. 100 2030 target lm. 500 Europe 2019 1000 76 100 300 152 2030 target 3.7m. 45,000 n.a. 3700 Japan 2019 3800 91 n.a. 250 135 2030 target 0.8m. 1200 n.a. 10,000 900 Source: Modified from Deloitte, “Fueling the Future of Mobility Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Solutions forTransporta-tion” (2020). Saudi Arabia’s Helios plant is the world’s biggest green hydrogen project. Its hydrogen output will be converted into ammonia for ease of shipping to consumer countries. 3 ¥ Grey hydrogen, the most common form of hydrogen production, uses steam methane reformation to extract hydrogen from natural gas. ¥ Blue hydrogen uses the same process as grey hydrogen, but the carbon emis-sions from the natural gas are captured and stored (or reused). ¥ Brown hydrogen is the cheapest way to make hydrogen but also the most envi-ronmentally damaging due to its use of thermal coal in the production process. However, carbon capture can limit environmental damage. A consortium com-prising Kawasaki, ]-Power, Shell, and AGL Energy is developing a major project in Australia’s Latrobe Valley to produce hydrogen from lignite (brown coal) to ship to Japan.4 The interdependence of every step of the hydrogen value chain-from hydrogen production to hydrogen distribution to fuel-cell development to the production of fuel-cell vehicles-creates a chicken-and-egg problem where no company is willing to invest unless it is assured of investment at other stages in the chain; hence, the vital role of governments in supporting and coordinating investments in fuel-cell technology, fuel-cell applications, and hydrogen infrastructure. Hydrogen development programs are in place in the United States, China, European Union, and Japan: ¥ United States. The Department of Energy’s Hydrogen Strategy report outlined the Department’s plan “to accelerate research, development, and deployment of hydrogen technologies in the United States.”5 Programs include H2@Scale to fund R&D in hydrogen production, storage and distribution and H2USA, a public-private partnership with vehicle manufacturers to support hydrogen infrastructure. The California Fuel Cell Partnership envisages one million fuel-cell EVs on California’s roads by 2030.
CASE 9 TOYOTA: SEEKING A FUTURE IN HYDROGEN 433 ¥ China. The draft of China’s 14th Five-Year Plan announced in March 2021 included further support for hydrogen. Specific measures were expected to include continuing subsidies for the purchase of fuel-cell EVs and encour-agement of fuel-cell applications to buses and trncks. China will phase out sales of petroleum-fueled road vehicles by 2035: a half of new vehicles sold in China must be fuel cell, plug-in, or plug-in hybrid. ¥ Europe. The aim of the EU Hydrogen Strategy is to decarbonize hydrogen production and expand its use in sectors where it can replace fossil fuels. The emphasis is on increasing the production and use of green hydrogen through investing in 6 GW of renewable hydrogen electrolyzers by 2024 and 40 GW by 2030. A European Clean Hydrogen Alliance, comprising public and private stakeholders will identify and coordinate investments. ¥ Japan. The 3rd Strategic Roadmap for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells announced in October 2019 prioritized lowering the cost of hydrogen through import-ing “brown” and “grey” hydrogen and targets 900 hydrogen refueling stations by 2030. Intellectual Property Innovation in fuel cells is indicated by a stream of patent applications (see Figure 2). Patent holders include private companies (52% of patent awards), national labora-tories (35%), and universities 03%). The decline in patent applications since 2014 is due, not so much to declining R&D efforts, as to a lower priority among companies to protect their proprietary technologies. Thus, since Toyota’s 2015 announcement of its intention to allow royalty-free use of its patents related to fuel cells and hydrogen storage, Toyota’s new fuel-cell patent applications declined from 1860 in 2014 to under 500 in 2019.6 Table 3 shows the companies with the biggest portfolios of fuel-cell patents. FIGURE 2 Fuel-cell patent applications 10000 9000 8000 7000 6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Sources: Data from lphlytics; FCHO Observatory.
434 CASES TO CONTEMPORARY STRATEGY ANALYSIS TABLE 3 The leading holders of fuel-cell patents, 2019 Company Number of patents Toyota Motor Corp. 17,011 Nissan Motor Co. 5852 Honda Motor Co. 5583 Hyundai 4409 Panasonic 2365 Ford Motor Co. 2209 General Motors Corp. 1832 Denso Corp. 1768 Samsung Electronics 1387 Kia Motors Corp. 1376 Source: Data from The patent race for fuel cell vehicles, IPlytics GmbH -IP ana-lytics https://www.iam-media.com/patent -race-fuel-eel I-vehicles. Toyota’s Fuel-Cell Strategy Toyota’s strategy is characterized by its commitment to long-term development. This development embraces continuous improvement (kaizen), quality, and growth. The quest for continuous improvement and quality is embodied in the Toyota Production System-the philosophy and techniques of manufacturing excellence that have dis-seminated globally under the labels of “lean production,” “total quality management,” and “six-sigma.” Toyota’s commitment to growth is manifest in the company’s transfor-mation from being a supplier of a single model of car and two models of trnck to its domestic market in 1954, to supplying models in almost every segment of the automo-bile market throughout the world. Toyota’s commitment to long-term development is also apparent in its emphasis on innovation. In 2007, then-CEO, Katsuaki Watanabe, was asked about his vision for the future: I want Toyota to come up with the dream car-a vehicle that can make the air cleaner than it is, a vehicle that cannot injure people, a vehicle that prevents accidents from happening, a vehicle that can make people healthier the longer they drive it, a vehicle that can excite, entertain, and evoke the emotions of its occupants, a vehicle that can drive around the world on just one tank of gas.7 Realizing Toyota’s vision for the future involves a heavy commitment to research and development. In the financial year 2019-2020, Toyota spent ´1110.0 billion ($101.8 billion) on R&D, more than any other automaker except Volkswagen. Toyota operates a global network of R&D facilities. In Japan, these include basic research at Toyota Central R&D, autonomous driving at TRI-AD (Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development), and product development at the Toyota Technical Center. In the United States, they include research into energy and environment, safety, mobility infrastructure,
CASE 9 TOYOTA: SEEKING A FUTURE IN HYDROGEN 435 and artificial intelligence by Toyota Research Institute, Inc. At the beginning of 2021, Toyota owned more patents than any other automaker. However, despite Toyota’s technological strengths, its approach to product inno-vation is cautious. Toyota follows an incremental rather than a radical approach and prioritizes customer acceptability over technological ambition. This conservatism is especially evident in its approach to EVs. Toyota and Electric Vehicles Toyota’s skepticism over batte1y-powered, plug-in EVs stemmed from its recognition of the limitations of lithium-ion battery technology with regard to range, safety, cost, and recharging time. While building its base of expertise and proprietary technology in EVs, it was conservative in bringing this technology to market. Its preference between 1995 and 2020 was to emphasize hybrid technology: cars powered by both internal combustion engines and electric motors-the former generating power to be stored in a battery. The Toyota Prius was the result of a project begun in 1993 to develop a car for the 21st century with radically improved fuel performance. When launched in 1997, the Prius was the first mass-produced hybrid automobile and for the next two decades accounted for the majority of the world’s hybrid cars. Yet, despite dominating the market for hybrid EVs, Toyota was reluctant to take the subsequent steps toward full electrification. The plug-in, hybrid Prius was launched in 2012-two years after other manufacturers had introduced plug-in hybrids. Toyota was even more tentative over plug-in, battery EVs. Despite amassing more patents related to batteries than any other automaker during 2000-2018, Toyota did not introduce a mass-produced, battery EV until 2021. However, by 2020 it had 10 battery EV models under development and planned to equip these models with solid-state batteries “early in the decade”-a development that it anticipates will be a “game-changer.”8 Central to Toyota’s EV strategy was a reluctance to commit to any single technology or design configuration. While committing to a goal of EVs representing 40% of all new models by 2025 and 70% by 2030, these would include a mix of battery EVs, plug-in hybrids, traditional hybrids, and hydrogen fuel-cell models. Toyota believed that there was no single dominant technology: different customers and different mar-kets would favor different solutions. According to the head of Toyota’s North American sales, Toyota would become “the Macy’s department store of powertrains.”9 Toyota and Fuel Cells During 2018-2021, expectations concerning the future of the automobile have con-verged around batte1y technology. Led by the remarkable success of Tesla-both in the automobile market and in the stock market-investments by automakers in new bat-tery models have been greeted by a wave of enthusiasm from investors, environmental groups, and politicians. Yet, Toyota observes that notably absent from these enthusi-asts are customers. In 2020, EVs represented a mere 4.6% of global automobile sales; for the United States, the figure was 2.4%. In every country where EVs had secured a major market share, the government offered subsidies for EVs and levied penalties on petroleum-fueled vehicles. Consumer hesitancy over EVs was the major factor in Toyota’s delayed introduction of plug-in battery EVs. In 2019, the head of Toyota North America sales declared that, on EVs, the industry was ahead of the consumer: “We are continuously working on EV entries. But right now, there’s no demand.”10
436 CASES TO CONTEMPORARY STRATEGY ANALYSIS Hence, Toyota’s investment in fuel cells is not a choice of hydrogen power over bat-tery power, it is a recognition that both are developing technologies and it is as yet too early to pick a winner. Toyota’s approach to fuel cells has been similar to its approach in batteries: it is investing heavily in R&D, but in terms of major commitments of capital investment, it is holding back on the multibillion investments required to launch mass-produced global models. Toyota began developing fuel-cell EVs in 1992. Its first fuel-cell car was displayed in 1996. The six subsequent versions of the car between 1996 and 2008 featured improve-ments to its proprietary fuel-cell stack, to its high-pressure on-board hydrogen tanks, and to overall system configuration. From December 2002, some fuel cars were also made available through leasing to selected public sector and commercial customers in Japan and California. The Mirai, the world’s first mass-produced fuel-cell vehicle, was launched in Japan in December 2014 and in California and Europe the following year. Also in 2015, Toyota launched its Sora fuel-cell bus. Between 2015 and 2020, about 15,000 Mirais were sold worldwide-one of Toyota’s lowest-selling models. However, with the launch of the 2021 version of the Mirai-with new styling, greater power and range, and a lower weight and price-Toyota expects a tenfold increase in those sales. Also in 2021, demonstration versions of Toyota’s first fuel-cell electric truck will become available. The 25-tonne truck is being developed with Toyota’s commercial vehicle subsidiary, Hino. A major part of Toyota’s development efforts in fuel-cell EVs have gone into improving the design and performance of the fuel-cell stack. These include: ¥ reducing weight and size ¥ simplifying the design-including eliminating the need for an external humidifier ¥ enhancing the performance of the electrode catalyst ¥ improving fuel economy ¥ strengthening the high-pressure hydrogen tanks using carbon fiber.11 Diffusing Fuel-Cell Technology In developing its fuel-cell EVs, Toyota has collaborated with governments, research institutes, and other companies. Toyota’s 2013 collaboration agreement with BMW included a joint commitment to develop fuel-cell systems. At the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Toyota took its biggest initiative to disseminate fuel-cell technology by announcing: Toyota believes it is important to give priority to spurring more widespread use of FCVs [fuel cell vehicles] at the initial introduction stage, and therefore believes con-certed initiatives with energy companies that are looking to expand hydrogen station infrastructure, and automobile manufacturers that are looking to move fo1ward with FCV development and market introduction, will be vital. Toyota will allow royalty-free use of its FCV patent licenses by those manufacturing and selling FCVs through the initial market introduction period, which is anticipated to continue until about 2020. This initiative will include patents that are critical to the development and production of FCVs, such as those relating to fuel cell stacks (approx. 1,970 patent licenses), high-pressure hydrogen tanks (approx. 290 patent licenses), and fuel cell system control technology (approx. 3,350 patent licenses).12
CASE 9 TOYOTA: SEEKING A FUTURE IN HYDROGEN 437 In 2020, Toyota announced a number of collaboration agreements aimed at expand-ing the deployment of fuel cells: ¥ Collaboration with Hitachi, Japan Railway East to develop railway locomotives powered by fuel cells and storage batteries. ¥ Joint development of maritime hydrogen fuel-cell systems with Corvus Energy, the Norwegian supplier of fuel-cell systems for ships. ¥ Establishment of United Fuel Cell System R&D, a joint venture with Beijing Automobile Group, China FAW Corporation, Beijing SinoHytec Company, Dongfeng Motor Corporation, and Guangzhou Automobile Group, to develop fuel-cell systems for commercial vehicles in China (2020). ¥ Establishment of a Brussels-based Fuel Cell Business Group to collaborate with companies, governments, and research organizations to encourage applications of hydrogen fuel-cell technology to cars, trucks, urban bus fleets, forklifts, gen-erators, boats, and trains. ¥ Collaboration with Fenix Marine Services, Kenworth Truck, and the Port of Los Angeles to develop a fuel-cell truck to move containers from the terminal to dis-tribution centers in the Los Angeles area. ¥ Collaboration with Denyo Company, a supplier of mobile power generators, to equip Toyota’s Dyna light-duty trucks with its Mirai fuel-cell system, not just to power the truck but also to provide off-grid electricity supply to outdoor enter-tainment sites and disaster areas. Toyota’s goal with these collaborations is both to provide greater momentum to the adoption of fuel-cell technology and to expand the market for its own products. In particular, Toyota is seeking to expand its role as a supplier of its Mirai fuel-cell system to other vehicle manufacturers. In February 2021, Toyota announced the availability of its fuel-cell modules: “The new module will be easily utilized by companies that are developing and manufacturing FC products for a wide variety of applications, including mobility such as trucks, buses, trains and ships, as well as stationary generators.”13 The fuel-cell modules are available in vertical and horizontal configurations and with 60 kW or 80 kW generating capacity. This “Toyota inside” strategy has been likened to the “Intel inside” strategy adopted by Intel in building its domination of the market for microprocessors for personal computers.14 Fuel Cells versus Batteries Fuel cells and plug-in batteries are distinct alternatives in the quest to supersede petroleum-fueled road vehicles. During 2021, battery power was clearly in the lead: among all road vehicles (including buses and trucks). At the end of 2020 there were less than 25,000 fuel-cell vehicles on the world’s roads compared to over 10 million plug-in EVs (excluding two-wheeled vehicles). Among the world’s major automobile producers, only Toyota, Hyundai, and Honda were producing fuel-cell cars in 2021; all had launched, or were developing, plug-in batte1y models. The situation was summed up by former editor of Green Car Reports, John Voelcker: Despite more than half a century of development, starting in 1966 with GM’s Elec-trovan, hydrogen fuel-cell cars remain low in volume, expensive to produce, and restricted to sales in the few countries or regions that have built hydrogen fueling stations.15
438 CASES TO CONTEMPORARY STRATEGY ANALYSIS Yet, in 2021, it was hardly “game over” for fuel cells. Despite production models from only Toyota, Hyundai, and Honda, other manufacturers were developing new models of fuel-cell cars including Audi, SAIC, and Grove Hydrogen Automotive, a Chinese start-up. However, it was clear that the lead market for fuel-cell road vehicles would be trucks and buses, where the weight, range, and recharging time of currently available batteries were a major handicap. Thus, General Motors had agreements to supply its Hydrotec fuel-cell system to Navistar and start-up truck-maker, Nikola; Audi planned to introduce its fuel cells into heavy trucks prior to developing its own fuel-cell SUV; and, in China, eight companies were developing fuel-cell buses or trucks. In terms of the prevailing technologies in 2021, neither fuel cell nor battery EVs offered clear superiority (see Table 4); the critical difference was that batte1y EVs were much further ahead in terms of commercialization, market acceptance, and infrastruc-ture development. Looking ahead, it was unclear whether the promise of the hydrogen economy would remain a promise rather than a reality. In several areas of application, it seemed that fuel cells would be favored in situations where grid recharging was not available, such as ships. However, the wider application of fuel cells to road vehicles would depend upon the technology’s ability to develop sufficient momentum to encourage the necessary investments in hydrogen production, hydrogen distribution, and vehicle development. Bloomberg NEF’s forecast was that by 2040, fuel-cell vehicles would represent just under 1 % of the global passenger vehicle fleet-and this would be dependent on a dramatic reduction in the cost of producing green hydrogen. However, in trucks and buses, fuel-cell adoption would be greater, accounting for 1.5% of medium-duty truck sales, 3.9% of heavy-duty truck sales, and 6.5% of municipal bus sales by 2040. These global averages obscure a geographical difference: fuel-cell adoption will be greatest in California, China, parts of Europe, Japan, and South Korea. 16 TABLE 4 Comparing fuel cells and plug-in battery EVs Criterion Fuel cell Fuel cost Vehicle cost Range Speed of refueling Refueling locations Dependence upon scarce raw materials Life-cycle CO2 emissions Plug-in Comments Hydrogen costs three to four times the cost of electricity to cover an equivalent distance. Fuel-cell EVs cost 50-100% more than plug-in EVs to produce, but the gap will narrow with economies of scale and learning. Toyota Mirai 402 miles;Tesla Model 3 (Long Range) 360 miles. Fuel cell EV: 4 minutes. Plug-in EV: 30 minutes-6 hours. Hydrogen fueling stations: 432 worldwide; battery recharging stations:> 1 million. With current technologies, fuel cells require platinum, batteries require nickel and cobalt. But fuel cells require only tiny amounts of platinum: 10-20 g per vehicle. Fuel cell and plug-in EVs have a similar range. For each, the range is broad depending on fuel source (i.e., mode of hydrogen production and mode of electricity production).
CASE 9 TOYOTA: SEEKING A FUTURE IN HYDROGEN 439 For Toyota, the key questions were whether it should continue to invest at all in fuel-cell R&D and, if so, at what level, with what degree of collaboration with other companies and organizations, whether to focus on research or on development, and whether its commercialization efforts should focus on supplying fuel-cell modules or final products? 1. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-12-10/ toyota-bets-on-a-hydrogen-future-with-new-fuel-cell-car, accessed April 7, 2021. 2. Ibid. 3. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-07 / saudi-arabia-s-plan-to-rule-700-billion-hydrogen-market, accessed May 9, 2021. 4. “Will Australia’s ‘Hydrogen Road’ to Japan Cut Emissions?” Financial Times (November 29, 2020). 5. Office of Fossil Fuels, Hydrogen Strategy: Enabling a Low Carbon Economy (Department of Energy, Washington DC, July 2020): 3. 6. “Toyota Makes Fuel Cell Patents Free for Other Manufac-turers to Use,” japan Times (Janua,y 6, 2015). 7. T. A. Stewart and A. P. Raman, “Lessons from Toyota’s Long Drive,” Harvard Business Review (July-August 2007). 8. https://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2021/02/toyota-adding-two-all-electric-vehicles-in-2022-but-says-hybrids-plug-ins-remain-part-of-the-solution/, accessed April 8, 2021. 9. https://www.autonews.com/mobility-report/toyota-banks-plug-ins-rivals-push-bevs, accessed April 8, 2021. 10. https:/ /electrek.co/2019/11/25/interview-toyotas-sales-and-marketing-chief-says-theres-no-demand-for-evs/, accessed April 8, 2021. 11. https://www.greencarcongress.com/2016/04/20160419-toyota.html, accessed April 9, 2021. 12. https://global.toyota/en/detail/4663648, accessed April 9, 2021. 13. https:/ / global. toyota/ en/newsroom/ corpora te/34799439. html, accessed April 10, 2021. 14. https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/ Automobiles/Toyota-Inside-strategy-kicks-off-in-China-with-fuel-cells, accessed April 9, 2021. 15. https://www.thedrive.com/tech/33408/why-we-still-cant-deliver-on-the-promise-of-hydrogen-cars, accessed April 9, 2021. 16. Bloomberg ew Energy Finance, “Electric Vehicle Outlook 2020.”
MGT510 – 30556
Critical Thinking Assignment – Module 8
Management of Innovation and Vertical Integration
Student ID: 220000111
Name: Sulaiman Almaiman
Submission Date: 21/05/2023
SCOPE OF THE MODERN COMPANY
CASE 9 Toyota: Seeking a Future in Hydrogen
The Toyota Motors has gained a strong brand and has a well-known reputation, in a highly competitive industry among other well-known vehicle company’s .With the various competition e.g. General Motors, Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen, below is a case study aimed at focusing on the Toyota Company and what strategy they have utilized, in comparison to other companies.
1. Strategy of Toyota Motors in electric vehicles and its competitors.
Toyota Motors Company has high efficiency of capital use and little need for large debts, in comparison to other companies gaining an upper hand. Through focusing on cost control the company has gained high profitability. The company has also taken the initiative of conserving the environment, through coming up with production of electrical vehicles that have little to no harm to it. This has made the company to get more preferred by e.g. the U.S environmentalist’s and Eco conscious consumers through some of their fuel efficient vehicles they produce. Differentiation assumes the dominance of quality over cost, hence Toyota Company has created a differentiation strategy through entering the EV market, through coming up with unique products and different varieties, such as the introduction of luxury models e.g. Camry available in hybrid version and recreating a new improved type of Prius, that way they are able to capture all kinds of different buyers. This shows that customers will develop high loyalty to the company, as they will value the distinct quality of the new product.
The company is also making use of its strategic advantage of investments in R&D. Through Toyota Research and development, they have goals of: focusing on vehicle design and development, supplier engineering development, mobility, safety and advanced research, all this with the main aim on creating a future where everyone has freedom to move. Through this they have become a success, as with their ever open-mindedness to researching and incorporating use of innovative technology and ideas, to make their products the best, they stay in lead of competitors. . The company uses the low cost strategy as well as a market scope that targets different clients interested in purchase of an automobile. The company also uses promotional strategies to sell their brand all over the world through: sales and promotion, personal selling, public relations, digital marketing and advertising.
Some of Toyotas competitors, Tesla, INC is known as one of the giants in the automobile industry, uses the strategy on focusing on its main strength which entail: attractive designs, battery and unique driving techniques. Tesla has come up with the use of online configurator, where one can order their products directly from the factory, this is favorable for all clients including those with social anxieties. Tesla uses the strategy of controlling their entire value chain, this is from the process of design, production and sales, hence they use a vertically integrated business model which allows for increased profits. The company has also used unique innovations e.g. the use of the A1 capabilities of powering its self-driving technology as well as introducing low costs on their batteries, this unique ideas have drawn in a wide range of customers worldwide. Volkswagen also use a customer centricity strategy where they focus on the customers’ needs by initiating economic measures and pricing in the products and services. The BMW also uses the differentiation strategy through use of unique technical functioning of their products as well as creating fair prices for all purchasers
2. Probability that hydrogen-powered fuel cells will become a commercially viable technology for propelling EVs
Yes, there is a high probability chance that hydrogen powered fuel cells will become a commercially viable technology for propelling EVs , as they create the possibility of reducing emissions while also promoting sustainable mobility. The fuel cell electric vehicles are said to be good for the environment as they only emit water vapor and warm air unlike the engine vehicles which produce tailpipe emissions. Due to the constant demand for clean power sources in vehicle related technology from the ever growing pollution from vehicles, research is done on the effectiveness of hydrogen powered fuel cells. While this has been an envisioned plan to incorporate hydrogen in use of electric cars as it has many favorable advantages e.g. flexibility in installation and operations, reduced demand for foreign oil, high reliability and development of renewable energy resources etc. It is still clear that battery electric vehicles are in a high range of use and have also come up with environmentally friendly alternatives that have worked well. It’s d however hydrogen is a highly explosive gas, with evidence where a chemical plant producing hydrogen in Santa Clara exploded. A refueling station in Sandvika, Norway also went up in flames. Despite measures taken to prevent this explosion in cars which are Kevlar lined, this reduced the popular interest that had been built about them. Still there is a chance for the use of hydrogen powered fuel cells in EVs through proper research and checking on safety considerations, access control and automation system will be effective.
3 a. Toyotas EV strategy in hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fuel cells
Toyota is highly in favor of hybrid technology. Where we see that in an effort to promote hybrid vehicles, they will offer automakers free license to its patent on vehicle electrification. With Prius as their first hybrid vehicle achieving success and has contributed to more than 13 hybrid vehicles sold over the years, this has further encouraged Toyota to advance use of hybrid vehicles around different areas. Despite other companies not taking to the hybrid company, Toyota company have strongly stated that they have well mastered the technology as well as its complicated design and have learned how to build it towards a successful growth rate.
Toyota Company has also introduced the plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, which combine battery electric driving with full hybrid technology. This strategy of this innovation is to attract more customers as it has an advantage to it, as drivers can enjoy zero-emission driving and take longer journeys free of range of anxiety. Toyota and Lexus plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, both combined create the best services e.g. high efficient full hybrid power and true EV capability.
Toyota strategy seems intent on bringing the use of fuel cells into the forefront of people around the world. The main purpose is that Toyota strongly believes that fuel cells are a more promising future technology, while hybrid vehicles are the transitional technology. The company made a public statement saying they believed that fully electrical, battery vehicles had not reached a period of success, and that they lacked all the necessity a client would require.
3b (I) Should Toyota emphasize the development of fuel cell cars (such as the Mirai) or the development of fuel-cell power units to supply other vehicle makers?
Yes Toyota should continue to elaborate until they get their point across, to why their technology idea is meaningful. In an effort to also encourage other industries, the Toyota and air Liquide S.A. has also set up the hydrogen council. Toyota has long been a big believer in fuel cell cars an often offer promotions to clients to draw potential buyer, towards the purchase of fuel cell cars. Toyota Company is currently selling the second generation Mirai, which produces water as its emission, a fuel cell electrical vehicle that uses compressed hydrogen gas in a tank to power a fuel cell, which then powers an electrical cell. The Toyota has been seen to already emphasize the making of the fuel cell cars in society and to other vehicle brands through e.g. we see that the Toyota’s president Akio Toyoda participated in a race using a blue and yellow GR corolla race car, powered by a hydrogen combustion engine.
(II) To what extent should Toyota collaborate with other companies in developing and commercializing fuel cells, and with whom should it partner?
As stated by the Toyota Company that they don’t intend on letting go of the fuel cell car vision towards the future anytime soon, then they should fully commit to collaborating with other companies in developing and commercializing fuel cells, to bring their vision closer to its destination. Toyota should partner which industries that have similar views. Toyota and BMW have been working together for a decade, and have accomplished inventions such as the production of the Supra and Z4.It is known that the two companies have future plans, with intentions of mass producing and selling jointly developed hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as soon as 2025.Toyota is also in collaboration with ENEOS Corporation and have signed a joint agreement to explore CO2 – free hydrogen production and usage at woven city, the prototype city of the future that Toyota has started to develop in Susono City, Shizuoka prefecture, Japan.
4. Should Toyota continue to invest in fuel cells even if batteries are likely to become the dominant EV technology?
Yes Toyota should continue to invest in fuel cells, despite the fact that batteries are likely to become the dominant EV technology, as they are already accustomed to the working of this fuel cell vehicles, hence they are already aware of the pros and cons of taking up that part of the projects. Fuel cell electrical vehicles, which are powered by hydrogen play a major role in decarbonization of transport and economy sustainability. They deliver zero emission to different paths of roads, from cars e.g. the Mirai, to vans, trucks and buses.
Fuel cell vehicles have along with them advantages, despite lack of enough acceptance among other automobile industry. Toyota began the development of hydrogen FCEVs since 1994 throughout this period, to this current time, they have proceeded to improve their vehicles to ensure customers need are met. With the continuous pollution of the environment, Toyotas vehicles limit this problem. With collaboration from other industries, enhancement of this fuel cell vehicles could eventually exceed the battery used vehicles.
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