The availability of the plug-in-hybrid SUV is an issue Toyota will have to fix.
Betting on a slow transition to electric cars, Toyota has championed hybrids. That would allow the company to develop a supply chain for when it decided to put a big battery pack on its vehicles. Tesla frustrated these plans by creating a demand for pure electric automobiles and supposedly became the most valuable carmaker in the world when its shares hit $1,000 last June 10. Bob Lutz called it "mass psychosis." Nonetheless, a video from Alex On Autos may show why that is probably not as crazy as it seems.
The purpose of the video was far from this. It was dedicated to technical aspects of the RAV4 Prime, such as what cools the batteries, towing capacity, etc. It's more to the end of the video that Alex Dykes mentions few RAV4 Primes will be sold in the US in 2020. Not because of lack of demand, but instead because Toyota will not deliver more than a few thousand units.
When you deliver fewer vehicles than people want to buy from you, they purchase them from someone else. Although there is a demand for BEVs, Toyota does not have a single one to sell unless you consider the Lexus UX300e sold in China as an example. Remember, it has air-cooled batteries, which shows how much Toyota needs to catch up in terms of technology.
Although some readers think PHEVs are a waste of time, they are the only way many people have to drive electric at least in urban areas, which already helps a lot. The lack of proper charging infrastructure in many countries is also an excellent reason to have them around. Many also do not have a way to charge at home.
That said, the RAV4 Prime could be a brilliant option for these customers. When they are told they will have to wait or to pay a premium to get their cars, that's disappointing.
Tesla currently has around 185.5 million shares. With shares at $1,000, that meant it reached a market cap of $185.5 billion. Toyota's current market cap is $183.4 billion, according to Finance Yahoo. Anyway, Bloomberg believes Toyota is worth $210 billion, including treasury shares. That is probably why Bob Lutz called Tesla share prices mass psychosis again, now including Nikola Motor Company's value as an example.
Regardless, when people want to buy PHEVs or EVs, and you have none to sell – or less than you should – that can be a good indication of what the future holds. Either you fix that as soon as possible, or you'll end up like Kodak, trying to sell films for digital cameras. That's the bullet all legacy automakers – including Toyota – have to dodge.
Source: Alex On Autos