The headlines say Toyota is grooming its upcoming fuel cell vehicle to poach Model S buyers. Let’s examine. Toyota’s fuel cell vehicle went into the oven in 1996, long before Tesla existed. The vehicle is devoid of emotion, per normal for Toyota. It has zero performance credentials. Apparently it was styled after amphibious vehicles from WWII. This is a Tesla rival simply because the price tucks in just below the Model S base price? No, it’s Toyota’s take on zero-emissions motoring and nothing more. It envisions a future without plug-in wires, but definitely with big jowls and massive overhangs. It’s not a Model S competitor. Fuel cell technology is a slowly — very slowly — emerging EV competitor on a broader scale. That’s all anyone can really say at this point.
But never mind the vehicle. Look at the anonymous engineer/spokesman in Toyota’s fuel cell video. He’s a Rent-A-Musk. Similar age. Similar appearance. Similar dress. And he’s sporting the scruffy facial hair that Musk used to employ but wisely abandoned. So maybe Toyota is indeed going after Tesla.