Toyota Chairman: “Tesla Is Not Our Enemy And Not Our Role Model”



Tesla Model 3 - not Toyota competitor

Tesla Model 3: ~500,000 paid reservations isn’t enough to convince Toyota

Toyota chairman says electric cars are not ready for mass production just yet due to long charging times and expense.

Takeshi Uchiyamada’s comment to German publication, Der Spiegel, comes as no surprise. This has been the automaker’s stance for some time now. Further, his reasons are not something that we don’t already know. Yes, EVs take awhile to charge and they’re more expensive than their ICE counterparts, but these factors are changing somewhat quickly. Waiting too long could prove a substantial disadvantage for some automakers. Nonetheless, Uchiyamada said:

Toyota Prius Prime

The Prius Prime (Plug-in hybrid) is as electric as it gets for Toyota, at least for now, and it’s widely successful.

“Battery-powered cars with a long range are very expensive and it takes a long time to charge them. Such cars do not fit in our program.”

Toyota is well aware of the need to be on top of the technology so as to be prepared for the time to come. An automaker can’t develop the battery-electric model, secure suppliers, and retool factories overnight.

Just a few months ago, Toyota announced a new partnership with Mazda to ready EV technology. Mazda is even less invested in the future platform. Neither company offers a pure-electric vehicle, however, Toyota has found success with its Prius Prime (PHEV).

Toyota just announced that it will also partner with Suzuki to sell electric vehicles in India starting around 2020.

Toyota is still investing in hydrogen fuel-cell technology and has now moved forward with work on solid-state batteries. The automaker is banking on that development to solve the problem of longer range and shorter charging time. Uchiyamada shared:

“This technology will be a big development step. But that will still take time. We expect mass production in four to five years.”

In terms of competitors and Toyota’s feelings about other EV makers, Uchiyamada doesn’t agree with Tesla’s model at this point. However, though he says his company won’t look to Tesla as a role model, it’s also not an enemy. This is probably because he doesn’t see Tesla as a direct competitor. Uchiyamada concluded:

“Tesla is not our enemy and not our role model. I think it’s the German manufacturers that rather see Tesla as a competitor.”

Source: Reuters

Categories: Tesla, Toyota

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

139 Comments on "Toyota Chairman: “Tesla Is Not Our Enemy And Not Our Role Model”"

newest oldest most voted
Warren M

Even the Honda Clarity with its 47 mile range in a nice mid-size sedan is going to steal away sales from the Toyota. I sat in the Clarity, very nice quality interior materials and design.


The Honda Clarity interior design is the worst. It’s wide bulging center console is absolutely terrible. It rubs against the the right knee, when your right leg isn’t anything but perfectly straight.

It won’t matter after three years time anyway. The Clarity terminates its lease, so as not to be used further, on its way to be recycled, by the Helpful Honda folks. It’s a “one and done” EV!

Warren M

I sat in it. Seemed fine. Though its the opposite of my i3 with no center console!


I have the BEV version and never noticed the console touching.

I just did a 90 mile run (mostly freeway driving) and had 30 miles range left. 5.8-6.0 miles/kWh, mix freeway and city.

Test out evgo fast charging and got 80% in 12 minutes. Took the car 60 miles more and had half the charge remaining.

EVGO BTC 50kW, 100amp DCFC
Forgot to measure
@70% 328 VDC, 99amp
@80% 335 VDC, 84amp

I’ll try to DCFC from 15% SOC.


I think Toyota’s thinking is that they shouldn’t invest billions in to design and build a car to salvage fifty thousand in unit sales per year. Not until it’s hundreds of thousands of profitable sales.

john Doe
I’m sure they have many electrical cars tested and studied in their development departments. I think they look at what works, and what they must build – and what they can buy from their part suppliers. I’ve not seen that much from japanese part suppliers (that Toyota use) yet. There are some development and patents going on. I think they’ll wait until the market is bigger, but that they will be quick to release an EV when the market is ready. I’m sure 90% of an EV platform is ready all ready. They don’t want to talk to much about it, to give hints and tips to the competition. I also believe they are waiting for solid state batteries before they enter the main marked with an EV. They must not be too late, as that can hurt the brand. At the same time, it is fairly cheap to buy EVs from competitiors and do reverse engineering, and make 3D models, calculations and so on. We see the Germans with their way of thinking, waiting for standards, waiting for infrastucture and regulations – and then make a volume platform shared between several sub brands. Shared components/modules. It all cut costs,… Read more »

Anything under 50K units isn’t worth it? That doesn’t bode well for these Toyota/Lexus/Scion cars that sold less than 50K units in 2016 (goodcarbadcar):

#101 Toyota Avalon 48,080
#117 Toyota Yaris 38,855
#119 Lexus IS 37,289
#143 Lexus GX 25,148
#156 Toyota Prius C 20,452
#178 Lexus GS 14,878
#188 Toyota Sequoia 12,771
#191 Lexus RC 11,165
#198 Scion tC 9,336
#204 Toyota 86/Scion FR-S 7,457
#237 Toyota Land Cruiser 3,705
#245 Scion xB 2,677

K A Cheah

You are spot on, Toyota will be No 12 dropping from No 1 from the world car markets where short sighted Toyota Chairman hasn’t woken up to what other Car makers having achieved going forward firstly Toyota hasn’t a compelling BEV they will be losing China Foreign BEV Market soon instead of working seriously to make compelling BEVs from their vast resources they are still pursuing fools’ cells where it would take more wasted energy and power to make hydrogen than to simply charge BEV batteries efficiently for 80% range in 30 minutes.

James P Heartney

I’m old enough to remember the same head-in-the-sand attitude from Detroit back in the early 70s. It ended up biting them very hard when OPEC embargoes hit. That was the time Toyota and Honda first built US market share.


Both Prius, Prime, and Camry hybrid all use lithium battery cells. They use electric motors & controllers too. So, high-volume production growth is underway already.


Is the Prius (non plug-in) using lithium ion batteries, too? The last I had heard they were still using nickel metal hydride.


The ECO version uses LiOn while the “regular” Prius continues with NiMh.


That’s backwards. All but the one basic model uses lithium.


Right. An oil shock made large cars less profitable. How’s that similar to today?


The EV revolution doesn’t need any sudden shock to the system for gasmobile drivers to succeed in making gasmobiles obsolete. A steady erosion, with PEV (Plug-in EV) sales increasing at a more or less steady 25-35% per year, will eventually succeed.

Personally, as an EV advocate I keep hoping for a transformative breakthrough in battery tech, such as solid state batteries which can be recharged much more quickly and will rapidly fall in price. But even without any such quantum jump in battery tech, we’ll eventually get there.

If the PEV market penetration is currently 1.2%, and if it grows at 30% per year, then by 2032, PEV market share will be ~61%.

But the “S-curve” of disruptive tech revolution market penetration rather strongly indicates that it won’t be long before sales grow a lot faster than 30% per year. So I seriously doubt it’s going to take 15 years for PEV sales to reach 50%+ of the market. Hopefully that won’t take longer than 10 years, or possibly even less!

Patience, Grasshopper!


This is good business, not head in the sand. The money isn’t there yet for AFFORDABLE electric cars. Point blank. That’s what Toyota is in the business of. When they can make an electric car that satisfies not only their margins but their customers expectations then they will build one. Guaranteed.


So is there money for hydrogen car? When will they sell 50 000 of them, in 2100? :)))


If this comes from their CEO they must indeed be determined to become obsolete.

Even if solidstate will be THE final brick in the wall it will be too late for toyota who will be dead last in experience w electric cars by then.

OK, someone has to be at the end of the field, the former #1 just volunteered.


That’s comes from not understanding how Prime actually works. It’s remarkably efficient… more so then some currents EV offerings. That’s a big deal when moving up to dealing with cost issues from very large battery-packs.

Did you know Prime uses a VAPOR-INJECTED HEAT-PUMP for cabin warming? That is the industry’s leading technology for electric heating. It’s an advancement most people are totally unaware of.

Toyota is far from the claimed last in production feasibility too. They are prepping their hybrid offerings to include plug-in options. Camry, RAV4, CH-R, and that replacement for the Prius wagon are all being positioned for that. Think about spreading cost and the benefit from high-volume interest. Who else in the industry is taking those measures already?

Micke Larsson

So where are those plugin models?

Toyota are pushing against the EVs. They are even making commercials against EVs.

No matter how you look at it Toyota are behind and are a part of the problem rather than the solution.


Are you unaware of what it took to make Prius into Prime?

That hybrid to plug-in transformation was basically just adding a one-way clutch and increasing the size of the battery-pack.

Having other models of hybrid at the ready for the same thing puts them in an excellent position to offer affordable plug-ins for the masses.

What other automaker is preparing to provide a wide variety of choice in the near future like that?

Micke Larsson

If you think that was all it took then you are deluded. Also it is a hack-job. Since it was not prepared to be an EV they had to remove a seat.
Talk about a poor ICE-covert.

Plenty of companies are a lot better prepared. Volvo has half of their models coming with a plug and the most of the other half within the next year or two.
BMw, Mercedes has done a number of models. Hyundai/Kia are doing and preparing both hybrids, PHEVs and BEVs.
Volkswagen has platforms prepared for all and a number of models done.

Toyota need to step up. One poor convert will not give them a pass.


Making a serious effort to keep the design affordable is poor?

What other plug-in offerings can actually compete with traditional vehicles *TODAY* without tax-credit help?

Toyota did an exceptional job of containing cost.


PP relies on tax credits. Otherwise there’s no reason not just buy a regular Prius, which gives you more seats as well.

Prad Bitt

Hybrid perpetuate the ICE industrial life. If we want to stop the warming, EVs are a must. How come they make efficient Hybrids but can’t make efficient EVs?
No, battery prise is not an excuse. Mass production will take care of the battery price in a wink.

Prad Bitt

It is much less complex and costly to make EVs than hybrids.


If that really is an accurate description of the lack of effort they put into it, it certainly explains the poor performance.


Hybrid is US patent by GE.
Toyota just bought the patent and started producing. It is still mainly the same product as when GE came up with the idea.
Can’t give Toyota any cred for Hybrid at all.
Toyota may be a great producer with good quality but they are not good at inventing.


I test drove a Prime.
I do know:
-The seats have no back support.
-The fake leather is worse then cloth, hot in summer and don’t breath.
-The Prime has duffle bag storage, 1, because the battery takes up so much space.
-It’s range can only be achieved by turtle acceleration, vs. any EV being driven normally or fast does better mpgE numbers.
-It’s range is only good for warm climates because you’ll lose 40% of it in winter in northern states.

Incremental improvement is fine, but not this slow, at 7 year intervals.
The new Leaf kills any reason to get a Prime.


Ford has the Incremental Improvement of the Prime, in the C-Max, a model they are currently dropping.


“-It’s range can only be achieved by turtle acceleration, vs. any EV being driven normally or fast does better mpgE numbers.”

That is just plain not true.

I’ve got 18,000 miles of real-world data proving it too. Read reports from other owners. They routinely see EV range well above the 25-mile rating.

Heck, I’m see 23 miles of EV with temperatures below freezing, while using the heat-pump, on my commute to work driving along with the flow of traffic.

“…other owners…. routinely see EV range well above the 25-mile rating.” What he’s referring to is the fact (not opinion, but fact) that the Prime’s battery pack is too small to allow it to be a true switch-hitter like the Chevy Volt. With the Prime, as with other short-EV-range PHEVs, the battery pack can’t put out enough power to provide strong acceleration. So anytime you push the accelerator to the floor when the car is going ~35 MPH or faster, it has to kick in the gas motor to assist with acceleration or hill-climbing. Or, you know… not even all the way to the floor. Just most of the way will do it. Among PHEVs, only the Chevy Volt is engineered well enough (with a “Voltec” powertrain), and has a battery pack large enough, to allow it to be a true “switch-hitter”, performing equally well in either EV mode or gasmobile mode. Even a sizable battery pack is no guarantee that PHEV will be a true switch-hitter. According to a review of the Honda Clarity PHEV (see link below), which has nearly the Volt’s range with 47 miles of EPA rated EV range, it still sometimes kicks in the… Read more »

>> So anytime you push the accelerator to the floor when the car is going ~35 MPH or faster, it has to kick in the gas motor to assist with acceleration or hill-climbing. Or, you know… not even all the way to the floor. Just most of the way will do it.

That’s what it comes down to, expressing favor for Volt by spreading false information about Prime?

Thankfully, I have filmed some of my drives to squash such blatant attempts to mislead:


Hybrids will never be more economical to consumers than pure EVs due to redundant gasoline engine and added maintenance and operating costs. They were the right choice when there were no capable EVs. Now consumers will opt for a cheaper solution – which is EV.


Not now, years from today… basically, the next generation cycle.

Volume & Cost haven’t become competitive yet… hence Toyota’s stance for mass market sales.


“That’s comes from not understanding how Prime actually works. It’s remarkably efficient… more so then some currents EV offerings.”

You’re bragging about the efficiency of the Prius Prime? Seriously? When it has only 25 miles of EPA rated EV range?

When the Prime’s rather short EV range runs out and it has to run on gasoline, its fuel efficiency drops to 54 MPG. Compare that to, say, 128 MPGe for the Tesla Model 3, or 118 MPGe for the Chevy Bolt EV.

Now, if you want to compare the Prius Prime to mild hybrids, those without a plug, then yeah, it does pretty well at energy efficiency. But comparing the energy efficiency of the Prime to a long-range BEV is enormously embarrassing to the Toyota car.


Peer reviewed vapor injection heat pump journal article for you.

Bill Howland
Thanks Tom but I couldn’t pull up the article since I think you have to pay for it. Do you know of anyway to pull up the text of it without payment? I looked at the refrigerant loop, and it seems to work by raising the superheat of the condensed r410a, by shooting a little ‘hot gas’ into the ‘economizer’ where it is instantly condensed. Since the Condensing pressure was set in the Cabin of the Car, the superheated liquid is much HIGHER temperature than if 100% of the hot gas was sent to the cabin condenser. – But then the condensing pressure is lowered by virtue of the fact that only a fraction of the compressor capacity is sent to the cabin condenser in the first place. I notice that on Mitsubishi’s home ‘hyper heat’ models, they have a COP of 2 at 17 deg F (very impressive), but NONE of the Hyper Heat models are Energy Star rated. Apparently somewhat poor air conditioning performance (its still pretty good anyway) is traded for better cold weather performance. For the layman, it would be sufficient to say it has a ‘Cold Weather Heat Pump’. Back when Motorola made (or just… Read more »

When people here start recognizing there’s more to battery-capacity than just the estimated EV range in warm weather… that some systems are more efficient than others… much more in some cases.


john1701a said:

“When people here start recognizing there’s more to battery-capacity than just the estimated EV range in warm weather…”

You haven’t been here long, have you?

The effect of cold and/or hot weather on EV range has been a much-discussed issue, and was even before John Broder’s infamous rather clueless and error-filled 2013 article about the Tesla Model S and his problems with it in bitterly cold weather.

His lack of understanding of the issues did inspire some pretty good deep analysis of the issues, though:

InsideEVs has also run articles on the Volt’s battery cooling system, including attempts to figure out if it is more or less energy-efficient than Tesla’s battery cooling system.


The effect of heater use gets excluded from posts still on a regular basis.

Until that stops, the generalizations will continue to get called out.

Bill Howland

My understanding is the ‘Vapor injected Heat pump’ just allows better coefficient-of-performance (COP) down to 0 deg F. But for home use, this has been Mitsubishi’s field of expertise – wouldn’t surprise me if they are importing their technology wholesale especially since they have agreements with them.

But, while I certainly don’t want to be in a position to tell TOYOTA what to do (they seem to be quite profitable and successful without any unwanted advice), I do note that the BIG EXPLOSION into Fuel-Celled vehicles has been more of a whimper than a bang, at least in most places.

EV’s are being pursued by their competitors, like it or not.

I like the Prius Prime for what it is – I just wince a bit that this is the best that TOYOTA feels like doing at the moment.


I have a feeling Toyota will be ready when the time finally comes.

Because they’re investing hundreds of millions into R&D instead of billions into unprofitable vehicle production.


I guess Tesla did not get that memo.


Notice how many EV announcements from other automakers are also given “not ready” status by stating they will rolled out in 3 to 5 years?

Notice how none actually state the intended volume for those rollouts or their potential for profitability?

Toyota is being up front, setting realistic expectations. Others are being vague to stir hype. There’s a big difference most don’t seem to notice. Remember all the “over promise, under deliver” we got from GM. Pointing that out isn’t anti-GM. It’s simply an attempt to get others to be realistic.

In other words, this is a matter of acknowledging challenges still faced from the true competition: TRADITIONAL VEHICLES


Sounds just like the reasoning Eastman Kodak execs used to explain their delay in developing and marketing digital cameras. “Oh, we’ll wait until they’re truly competitive with film cameras, and then we’ll start making and selling them!”

How did that work out for Kodak, hmmm?

D Small

Having grown up in Rochester and living through the collapse of film it is important to give Kodak credit for developing digital. My neighbor who was an engineer at Kodak used to say that his work on digital would kill the company because film was their cash cow. He was right. Same thing is happening in the auto industry but it is taking longer because there are still not the clear economic and convenience advantages to BEV over ICE. Toyota has a point and it will take more technical advances for BEV to clearly seperate itself from ICE


The only way an incumbent succeeds is to go all out to actually put their old line out of business.
Because, if they don’t, someone else will.

Apple is an example.
Initial sales of iPads did hit their computer line, but, they made up for it in iPads and iPhones.

Tesla, is putting out some much investment to be the car equivalent. BMW, MB can’t get shareholder buy in, and buyer buy-in, that becomes a problem.

Toyota can’t get CEO buy-in.

We’ll see how this plays out….

Bill Howland

Yeah Pushi always uses the Kodak Digital analogy for everything, but I thought the real thing that killed KODAK (besides arrogant managers) was FUJI FILM.

Better quality and lower price. KODAK just didn’t feel threatened enough until it was too late.

“They can’t do that to us – WE’RE KODAK!” – And other such nonsense.


No analogy is perfect, and I have no doubt you could pick apart any one if you examined it closely enough, Bill.

Humans don’t deal well with complex situations with multiple variables. Analogies help us understand things by simplifying complex situations. The danger there is of course the possibility of oversimplifying, and it may be a useful subject of debate to ask whether or not using the Eastman Kodak bankruptcy of 2012, at the end of the digital camera revolution, is a useful analogy for the much slower-moving EV revolution.

But I submit it’s not useful to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Peter G.

Nope, Fuji film is just as dead as Kodak film.


Typical Toyota. It’s always “just 5 years away”. Meanwhile the rest of us are driving EVs.

Toyota’s efforts have always been, and will continue to be, “too little, too late”..



EV’s will eat Toyota’s market. Tesla from the top and soon BYD from the bottom.

Micke Larsson

You do know that BYD is in the upper medium performance segment?

One of their best sellers the BYD Tang costs more than the long range premium package Model 3 being offered today.

Both Tesla and BYD are going with the long range top down approach.


You’re confusing high price with high quality. BYD has reportedly taken large strides to improve their shockingly low build quality** in the past few years, but it’s a pretty safe bet that when BYD does make a serious attempt to enter first-world markets, it will be at the bottom end rather than the top end of the market.

**Shockingly low as compared to American-make and European-make cars, not as compared to other Chinese-make cars of equally low quality… or worse.

Micke Larsson

Your one encounter with a soon decade old car doesn’t count.

On the contrary they are beating many western/first world models and companies at quality.

It’s time for you to update your sinophobic point of view.

Bill Howland
Yeah, all you have to do is look at the problems the almost 10 year old Tesla Roadster is having with its Power equipment module (basically the inverter, and battery charger – using the same parts for each before lawsuits prevented doing so), on Tesla Motors Club articles. High priced, not so reliable repairs for $8500 to $10000 so much so that some european roadster owners are looking for after-market inverters or repair shops to continue to maintain the vehicle since Tesla will not provide new units – besides (like many other things Tesla), the design was pushed quite hard, and the thing apparently self-destructs – although I bet easy driving and slow charging make the thing last a bit longer. But picking on a decade old BYD is a bit unfair, especially if you are living in a glass house. And Pushi apparently is wrong for another reason – cities wouldn’t be buying BYD busses if they were totally junk. There must be some saving graces about the vehicles. Another example would be the lowly Volt and BOlt. Yeah, they’re cheap cars, but the VOlt at least has been proven to last several hundred thousands of miles. GM should… Read more »
I don’t make the mistake of confusing large commercial vehicles, such as buses, with passenger vehicles. Nor do I ignore the large differences in those markets. BYD’s EV buses are sold to municipalities and fleet owners, not to private citizens. I also don’t make the mistake of confusing the pretty stiff safety requirements for passenger vehicles sold in first-world countries, with the much less stringent safety requirements for buses. Yes, BYD has done very well at selling EV buses. Good for them. They have also repeatedly announced intentions of selling BEV or PHEV passenger cars in Europe, and they even tried to test market the e6 here in the USA several years ago. If you doubt this is true, just Google [byd to sell car in europe] and note all the different dates of articles on the subject. I take note of the fact that BYD has failed to follow through with plans to sell passenger cars in first-world countries; plans announced several times over the past several years. You apparently, Bill, would rather make excuses for them rather than face the reality that their build quality for street-legal passenger cars simply isn’t good enough to compete outside of third-world… Read more »

Anyone you uses EV charging time to justify not billing them simply don’t understand EVs. The fact is uf you can get a full 200 miles overnight is all you need! for most of your daily activities., anything more is icing on the cake


I do nicely with my 70-100 mile Leaf EV range. Most people do not know how little they drive each day and how long their cars sits at home/work/school. EV’s are so cheap to run the transportation budget shrinks dramatically!!


I need an EV that has more range than what I need , I don’t want to be forced to charge every night. I ‘ d like the be able to go 2 or 3 nights without charging. Just in case.

David Cary

Your post was a great case of confusing need vs want.


Between Tesla and the rest of the emerging EV field coming soon in 2020, it looks like Toyota is going to stick with what they know, and continue to play it safe and profitable. Probably not even a PHEV RAV-4, for the US, until 2020.

Sweden (“Uniti”) has just revealed their commuter concept (22kWh) EV, the “Uniti One”. An obvious (BMW i3 & Smart EV) competitor, coming soon in 2019, to a Large European electronics retailer (MediaMarket) near you, in either Stockholm or Malmo.


The hits keep rolling from Toyota Execs. It still blows my mind that they managed to be so far ahead of the pack with the original Prius, and then they just stopped innovating! They still haven’t equaled what the Volt offered in 2010, never mind offering an EV of their own.


$27,100 MSRP is not being innovative?

Not able to see that the challenge of making the plug-in choice affordable is a problem Toyota has taken quite seriously.

Despite the use of carbon-fiber for the back hatch for weight reduction and waved glass for aerodynamic improvement, they delivered.

It’s a remarkable efficient vehicle, in addition to being affordable. That’s innovation.


Plus thier mainstream abd the #1 automaker in the world. They know what they are doing


Not when it doesn’t even qualify for the full tax credit because the battery is so small, or when its acceleration is so slow that it can’t get out of its own way. Also, price and innovation are very different things. Otherwise some chinese POS that costs $10k could be considered innovative.

Toyota wasted a bunch of money and effort on fool cells. Now they’re making sub-par PHEVs. Maybe they think they can kill EVs all on their own?


Why not just get a Toyota Corolla for $10,000 less? And it has more seating room.
The PP is another fail.


“It still blows my mind that they [Toyota execs] managed to be so far ahead of the pack with the original Prius, and then they just stopped innovating!”

Indeed. I’ve compared Toyota to Eastman Kodak, but a better analogy is BlackBerry, which marketed the first smartphones, but failed to aggressively improve them. When Apple started selling the touchscreen-driven iPhone, BlackBerry’s response was so limp that they lost nearly all of their market. BlackBerry didn’t go bankrupt, like Kodak did — not quite — but the company has been reduced to a pale shadow of its former glory, serving only minor niche markets.

Is Toyota headed for the same fate?


More like Tesla if their Model 3 California Wait List shrinks to 0 at any time earlier than Dec 2018


Why is it that Tesla haters feel the need to drag every conversation off-topic toward their hatred of Tesla?

I feel sorry for you. Not only are you an idiot troll kl?wn, you’re a LOSER both socially and financially!


Keep looking in the mirror Stuart, with those ridiculous sinophobic pompoms, and blindfolds in yr dark cave.

Bill Howland

Don’t worry about Pushi – he has none of his own money in the game, legally cannot drive ANY kind of car, and has no EV experience.

If he’s wrong he just changes his mind. Not so easy for the rest of us who have to live with our decisions.

Bill Howland

Plus for a 63 year old he crys and attacks like a kindergartner. I don’t get why he can constantly defame everyone – and call them names – consistently violating Terms-of-Service every day of the week for years, when people with proven competence get thrown out of here.


You don’t get a lot of things, Bill. That is a result of your preference for conspiracy theories, and other wishful thinking, in favor of cold hard reality.

And I don’t see any point to arguing about EV engineering with a closet EV hater who actually cited a thoroughly discredited and wildly counter-factual fake science “study” which pretended to “prove” that gasmobiles are really less polluting and more energy-efficient than BEVs. That someone being you.

And if anyone doubts Bill really did cite that thoroughly discredited “study” funded by Big Oil, cited it in a manner indicating he actually believes it’s true, here’s his comment posted to InsideEVs:


Bill *Who*?? 😉

Bill Howland

The guy is just a jerk and really delusional. Anyone who purchases 5 ev’s with my own money doesn’t hate them.

As far as ‘negative’ articles, there have been plenty that the authors here have put in because they were newsworthy. He is just ineptly grasping at straws.

Bill Howland

The only thing I don’t understand is, WHY ARE YOU HERE?

To practice your typing skills or something?

You don’t know anything about engineering, other than what you’ve gleened from Wikipedia.

Not that there isn’t plenty of room for generalists here, but you can’t comport yourself as a teenager, let alone an adult.

And it is your know-it-all attitude that is particularly un-nerving. If you knew anything at all, I could tolerate it.

But why you can’t let other people express their opinions – most of whom know more about what they’re talking about than you do, that is what is demeaning to others, and this website in general.


And ironically a major chunk of their revenue these days comes from their software which is used as the operating system in many modern vehicles. Bullet proof security plus rock solid stability. QNX is the subsidiary which does this and also has been picked by Delphi to be the brains of self driving vehicles.


The Prime is currently beating the Volt in 2017 sales…Prime is a larger segment than the Volt and gets far better MPG…The prime also includes standard ACC and active safety features…You have to pay $40K to get that in the Volt…


If only it could go 40 miles in EV mode or do 0-60 in a reasonable time.

The Prime is a mildly improved Prius. It’s capturing former Prius owners who haven’t bothered to do their research. If they did do their research, they would find that the Volt can be had at the same price out-the-door after all discouting and tax credits are taken into account. And, on top of the out-the-door price being the same, it’s a better PHEV (really EREV).


With the huge Prius fan-base, the PiP and the PP should have done a lot better. I would have expected 4x what they are selling now. Instead, not only did PiP sales flop, PP are not meeting expectations, meanwhile gasser Prius sales are also plummeting. I think Toyota misread the market, and their catch-up game is gain TLTL (too little too late).

Bill Howland

Not trying to make a brief for TOYOTA here, but in my area of the country most people could care less about electric cars – although most seem to have a flighting curiousity about them.

When and if gasoline rises in price, then seemingly EVERYONE wants a hybrid, Prius, or electric car.


When that happens, people will become more educated/exposed to the technology, at a much more rapid pace. It’s happening now, just not at break-neck speeds. This has a lot to do with how long cars last compared to say a cell phone, and how much more they cost. People are less risky to try that “new EV-thang”, when they are spending 10’s of thousands. But when the Jones start driving one, their ears may perk up. Know one knows when the bend in the curve will occur (in the US that is, we’ve seen in Norway), but if I was a Chairman on the board of an auto company, I wouldn’t sit idly by waiting, or even coming out with half-hearted attempts. I would make sure I had product to cover my bases, and years of testing behind it.


My 2012 Toyota RAV4EV begs to differ.


A Toyota/Tesla production run of 2,489 RAV4 EV units were sold between 2012-15. You’re among more than a few owners, of EVs that got Tesla ramped up into early EV production, just before the Model S grew into what is now obviously a huge success.

Toyota is still kind of stuck in the proverbial ICE ………… (Chevy Volt) “HOLD Mode”!!!!!!!!!


Believing that means a total disregard for the full EV experience delivered by Prime.

That’s my commute on Monday, a sloppy & cold mess after a winter storm. Notice the all-electric drive?

Big Solar

do you plug in at work?


Yes. There are 6 chargers and an 85 kWh solar-array.

The proposal for the replacement of that ramp next year is to install 40 dual-chargers. That’s 80 spots to plug on.


Toyota “Still kind of stuck” looking/needing a charger, in your Prius with a plug, if you want to drive on 100 % electrons for any considerable distance. At least the Volt has decent EV range, getting almost twice the EV miles before needing to recharge.

Bill Howland


I’ll give the Prius Prime one winning feature:

Its dinky battery than go further than that joke of a car – the overly-Complex expensive Cadillac CT6, that regardless of its listed 31 mile all-electric-range, no test drivers can get at much as 22 miles in it, and that is with the same-sized battery as the new VOLT which most people get 60-70 miles aer in.

I always work that comparison into the discussion since I hate that EV-hater DeNysschen being head of Cadillac. I remember him saying while at Audi:

“Electric cars are dumb. People should drive “Clean Diesels” instead.

Children having trouble breathing in London and Paris would disagree. And the only people who ultimately like those kinds of cars are all the lawyers filing claims against VW.


I guess you don’t have to worry about spinning the tires on ice/snow with as little power as it has.


“My 2012 Toyota RAV4EV begs to differ.”

You mean, that California compliance vehicle which Toyota hired Tesla to build the EV powertrain for? The compliance vehicle which Toyota made in only small numbers, losing money on every one, and eventually stopped making?

I’m glad you like your RAV4 EV, but that is very far from showing any commitment on the part of Toyota to developing compelling and commercially competitive BEVs.

I hope you don’t really think that building compliance cars with outsourced EV powertrains is Toyota’s path to success as the EV revolution continues!


You mean your Tesla Rav4 EV, right?


This is a pure act of denial by Takeshi. He is lying straight to your face, feeding you bologna and telling you it is steak.

He implies that Tesla isn’t a Toyota/Lexus competitor, but there are companies like Polk who track this stuff. Let’s see what Polk has to say:

“The pure conquest data show that the Model S is conquesting owners of Toyota vehicles more frequently than owners of any other brand,” said Polk Automotive analyst Tom Libby. “The Prius is at the top of that list, with the Toyota Highlander SUV and Sienna minivan ranking fifth and sixth overall.”

And this is for Model S sales!! He is trying to create the false perception that Toyota owners shouldn’t look at Tesla’s, when he absolutely knows about these conquest sales numbers. That Toyota owners should wait for their future cars instead (and meanwhile buy another Toyota gasser).

I’m sure there will be Toyota owners who fall for it. Meanwhile Polk will just keep documenting all the conquest sales from Toyota owners.


Conquest sales are low-hanging fruit, sales to enthusiasts.

Try selling a plug-in to my Mom. That’s far greater of a challenge. Ordinary consumers simply are not swayed by EV yet.


We EV enthusiasts are well aware that currently, PEVs (Plug-in EVs) are only 1-2% of the market. You don’t need to keep reminding us.

We’re also aware that the international market for PEV sales is growing at something like 30% per year, far faster than gasmobile sales. Eventually that exponential growth is going to become too big for even the most fervent, die-hard gearhead to ignore.

BEVs are going to make gasmobiles obsolete. That fate cannot be seriously questioned any longer. The only real question is just how long that will take to happen.


john, thanks for reminding us that even among EV enthusiasts there are chronic short-term thinkers. I think longer term.

We can pick up on this conversation when the Model 3 and Model Y are both in full production.


I got to see a Model 3 on Thursday. Beautiful car! It should do extremely well. It doesn’t target everyone though. Despite such compelling characteristics, the price is far too high. This is why Nissan stands such a strong chance with gen-2 Leaf. It targets mainstream buyers much better.


Tesla doesn’t have any other type of sales other than conquest sales. They are a new auto company. DUH!

And if your grandma was going to buy a Lexus, and now she’s buying a Tesla, then Toyota should be worried. The ES & IS both sell over 5K/month. If all those sales go to Tesla, what will be Toyota’s response. “Don’t worry guys. Just wait another 5 years and we’ll have these super-sweet EVs. You’ll see. Meanwhile, you should check out this fuel cell contraption we call the Mirai.”


Yup. I know several current Prius owners who are very interested in Tesla 3 (in fact, all Prius owners I know). I also know few Lexus / Infinity drivers ready to switch to Tesla.

Anecdotal, so take it for what it is. But from what I see, Toyota’s image is surpassed by Tesla, and many are ready to jump ship as soon as Tesla can produce enough of them.


This is what happens when your company is run by accounts. It is sometimes cheaper to skip a technology and go straight to the next thing. Waiting for Solid State EVs suggests the new battery is close to commercialisation.


“Tesla is not our enemy and not our role model.”

Translation: We are going to continue to ignore the handwriting on the wall and continue swimming against the tide for the foreseeable future.

I certainly hope that Toyota’s R&D department is working hard on developing BEV tech and prototypes behind the scenes, despite the denial of Toyota’s PR department. If Toyota isn’t doing that, then it’s a sure-fire bet to be one of the first legacy auto makers to fail as the EV revolution advances.

Which current market leaders are going to be the Eastman Kodaks or the BlackBerries of the EV revolution? Right now it looks like Toyota is a top contender!


Better look at other automakers for a reality check.


I’m not the one who needs a reality check. I’m also not the ostrich with his head buried in the sand, busily burrowing deeper with every reality-denying post!


Insult not accepted.

Vague claims are not either.


But, to deny the Pushi insults, in their affronting Toyotallity, is to become Primarily a Prius Pontificator.

The Teslarati need your faithful ICE OEM PHEVs “Smug”, for their next altar sacrifices.


Just because Honda, Mazda, VW, and a few others are trying to play catch-up, doesn’t excuse Toyota’s lame efforts.

Why the pivot? Why not just discuss Toyota?


Together with Madza and Fiat 🙂


Yeah, if I were to place a bet, I’d bet on Fiat going bankrupt far sooner than Toyota. With Toyota I can at least have some hope they they’re quietly working behind the scenes to develop compelling, competitive BEVs. That is, I can have some hope that what Toyota’s chairman says, as quoted in this article, is desperate spin, and that he actually knows what he’s saying isn’t true. At least, I hope he’s not so clueless as to believe his own lies!

Fiat… not so much. They clearly are not directing any R&D toward developing competitive plug-in EVs, and will almost certainly be out of business within a few years.


Tesla is the one swimming against the tide. They are doing a brilliant job innovating, but don’t forget Toyota is the biggest and best automaker in the world, and has sold millions of cars with electric propulsion. Probably over 10 million hybrids sold now or close to it.

Takechi is just talking his book by downplaying Tesla’s threat. I’m sure he’s well aware of that Tesla does poach potential Toyota sales.


No, Tesla’s with the tide. It’s just coming in quite slowly right now.

So, while Toyota and Honda don’t have anything special in the market right now, they still have time.


That completely misses the point.

Mainstream is common… ordinary… not special.

The masses (high-volume profitable sales) have the priority of buying an affordable, reliable, practical choice… not what many here claim is vital.


BenG said:

“Tesla is the one swimming against the tide.”

Well, I’m the one who first used the “swimming against the tide” analogy, but I think for Tesla the better analogy is that Tesla is blazing a trail, because other auto makers are following Tesla’s lead. They’re following it reluctantly and mostly slowly, but they are following — not leading!

“…but don’t forget Toyota is the biggest and best automaker in the world, and has sold millions of cars with electric propulsion.”

Does Toyota really outsell GM?

Regardless, I also don’t forget that Eastman Kodak and BlackBerry were once the market leaders with their respective technologies… now obsolete technologies. I don’t think there is any question that gasmobiles will become just as obsolete (outside some small niche markets) as the film camera and the BlackBerry smartphone. The only question is how many years that will take to happen.

The thing about disruptive tech revolutions is… they really are disruptive to the former market leaders.

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.


Toyota is not stupid and likely has ready agreements with cost-efficient OEMs to undercut Tesla Model 3 (which will likely never be profitable at a mythical $35k). Germany already has their own advanced battery mfgr well underweigh, meanwhile TSLA has Gigafactory Model 3 pack mfgr problems and poor fit & finish issues. They better not blow their brand reputation because that is a lot of what they are all about, other than smoke & Mirrors dog&pony misdirection shows like roadster2.0 and semi.


“Toyota is not stupid…”

If not, then they should be able to attract defenders who are not Tesla-hating idiot troll losers like you.


You are so dumb!
Toyota, Panasonic to hold news conference at 1.30 a.m. ET


Does Toyota really outsell GM?




They’re on target for 50,000 worldwide sales of Prime this year.


GM is on track to sell more EVs than that.


Currently at 44K, and GM only sells in USA/Canada. Never mind the closed market of Japan.

Toyota PP sales in the US are only 18.5K

Paul de Wit

Toyota are a typical legacy automaker so what do we expect.
They make lots of money on parts. I remember reading in an MX magazine back in the nineties that a Honda cr125 Mx bike cost 3x as much in parts as when bought assembled from the stealer, due to markup!

Toyota sells over 10.000.000 cars annually. As the global EV market still has to break 2%. They won’t be doing a Kodak for at least another decade. Such is their momentum.
I bet that they will be ready when they think they have to be ready.

That is not to say that I didn’t whish they took a role at the forefront with electrifying the car. They could greatly contribute by lowering the costs by means of economies of scale.


Toyota makes 8 Hybrid models and any of them can be made into a plug-in relatively quickly. I’m sure they have pure electrics designed and will be ready to go when market conditions dictate. Toyota sold more Camrys this year than all the plug-ins from every manufacturers sold in the last 2 years. They have a loyal following and make quality products. They are very far from being Kodak.


Spin said:

“Toyota makes 8 Hybrid models and any of them can be made into a plug-in relatively quickly.”

The way Toyota made the Prius into the first-generation Prius PHEV? By putting in a small auxiliary battery pack which, quite literally, gave the car no bigger EV range than what was already available using conversion kits from third-party aftermarket suppliers? An EV range of zero-to-11 miles?

Color me unimpressed. Very unimpressed!

“They are very far from being Kodak.”

And Kodak was very far from being bankrupt in, say, 2002. They didn’t go bankrupt until 2012.


Maybe you were unimpressed but they sold a bunch of them. The Prime is selling in respectable numbers as well. It is naïve to think Toyota will not be ready with EVs when market conditions dictate. Even though 9 of the 25 models they offer are Hybrid or FCV, they are a minor percentage of their total sales at this point. They will produce an EVs when they think they will be cost effective for their customers and profitable for the company.


It’s not a simple task of just turning a hybrid into a PHEV. When it’s tried, usually there’s compromises and you end up with a subpar product.

We need clean sheet designs.

The problem with Toyota’s hybrid sales is that they have innovator’s dilemma.


Recently drove the Prius as a rental. The experience was lackluster at best. Terrible visibility. Horrible interface. Acceleration was abismal. It was quiet though.

It was so bad, I almost took it back to the rental center, but that seemed like such hassle that I just kept the car parked for the week and rode with coworkers.

I would never buy a Prius.


Buh-bye Toyota. Your arrrogance is going to be your downfall.

David Murray

This is no surprise to hear them say this, however I do not think they actually believe it. It’s just a business move. We’re at a point where EVs are no longer a theoretical future. They are here now. Since Toyota doesn’t have any product they can sell for that market today, it is better to bad mouth the technology. However, you can bet they are working hard on an EV of their own. As soon as it becomes available, suddenly they will reverse their stance on it. The Prius Prime is a perfect example. Before it came out, they didn’t believe in Plug in Hybrids either.


Maybe you’re right and they’re working on some secret EV. In the meantime other manufacturers are gaining insights into high volume production of electric drivelines, skilled labour and of course valuable feedback from costumers. It’s sure sounds like a risky business move to me.


Big companies rise and fall. It’s all about fully embracing the future or not.


Interesting to watch the legacy car makers come up with all kinds of rationalized reasons why EVs can’t be built when even the most casual observer knows they could built them if they wanted to. The truth is they are delaying as long as possible milking their cash cow, the obsolete, dirty smoggy internal explosion engine.


Boring is the nature of the bulk of automotive busy. Only a tiny fraction has stood out over the decades.

Thinking EV offerings will change that is horribly misguided. Most people simply don’t care. Look around at what’s in your nearest parking lot.


You’re speaking as a Toyota customer.


GM SUV owners have not expressed interest in Volt or Bolt. Small hatchbacks & wagons do not appeal to them. Their priorities are quite different.

This is why the “it’s worth it” approach failed for GM and simply doesn’t apply to Tesla.

Know your audience.


You are speaking for yourself when you say cars should be bland/boring. I believe you are a part of a small minority. Just because you subjectively feel cars are boring, doesn’t mean others do. Even Toyota markets its products with “Oh what a feeling”. Look at the crazy-fugly design of the PP. They weren’t going for “boring”. They even tried to make it “sportier” by giving it more pep than the PiP, but still fell way short. Better luck next time.


If they were going for boring with the Prime, they achieved it. 0-60 in 12.2 seconds… hard to believe it’s even legal to make a car that underpowered.

Here’s that quote you love from Car and Driver:

“Everywhere else, the Volt is the clear ­winner. It doesn’t require any sacrifices in driving pleasure or performance in the name of economy. Its styling doesn’t make an anti-car ­statement, and it certainly doesn’t have a large back seat, but it’s a more mature plug-in hybrid and a more satisfying car. The Volt quali­fies for a federal tax credit that’s $3000 more than the Prius Prime’s ($7500 compared with $4502). That narrows but doesn’t close the Toyota’s price lead. We’d be happy to pay the extra money for the Volt. It’s worth it.”


Short sighted enthusiast responses declaring “it’s worth it” is the perfect confirmation of the problem.


Luckily they were comparing MSRPs when they wrote that article. In the real world the out-the-door price of the Volt and Prime are about the same.

So, not only is the Volt better, but it can be had at the same price!

Hopefully Toyota will realize they need to move into the 21st century and start offering some good PHEVs/EVs soon.