Toyota Chairman Thinks We Still Need A Battery Breakthrough For EVs To Take Off – Video

SEP 10 2017 BY MARK KANE 103

Toyota chairman says battery breakthroughs key for electric cars from CNBC.

Toyota Takeshi Uchiyamada doesn’t expect any rapid shift to fully-electric cars, as there are apparently still yet two or three more technological breakthroughs needed.

Toyota Prius Plug-In at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show

If true, and if the top Toyota execs really do doubt the market perspective for electric vehicles in the near term, they will probably hold off plug-in investment decisions as long as they can, meaning we will likely not see many long range electric Toyotas in the near term…other than vehicles that are of course legally mandated for compliance reasons.

And that is a shame, especially consideration how well the Toyota Prius Prime (aka Plug-In) sells.

If any automaker had set itself up to succeed if electric vehicles – it was Toyota due to their hybrid history, unfortunately it seems they are dropping the ball when it comes to the transition.

Takeshi Uchiyamada said that batteries for long-range EVs brings drawbacks:

“I must say up front that we’re not against electric vehicles. But in order for electric vehicles to cover long distances, they currently need to be loaded with a lot of batteries that take a considerable amount of time to charge. There’s also the issue of battery life,”

Toyota will introduce BEVs… when it will be forced to do so:

“But as laws and regulations (that encourage the development of electric vehicles) come into effect in places like China and the U.S., car makers will have no choice but to roll out electric vehicles or risk going out of business,” he said. “Toyota is no exception, but we’re skeptical there would be a rapid shift to pure electric vehicles, given questions over user convenience.”

source: CNBC

Categories: Battery Tech, Toyota


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103 Comments on "Toyota Chairman Thinks We Still Need A Battery Breakthrough For EVs To Take Off – Video"

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The cheap always comes out expensive.

They are going to pay for it dearly.

If they wait for EVs to be practical in all segments and for all customers’ needs before they decide to go all in they will be locked out.

Contract agreements for supply lines to raw materials will all be locked in as well as battery factories that take half a decade at least to build will be already be built and making cells dedicated to specific automakers through partnerships or even through sole ownership by certain automakers.

I’m sure Toyota can throw a lot of money at the problem and eventually overcome these barriers but not after huge market loss and a long recovery period for all the capital they will hemorrhage getting back to the front.

They are already throwing much more money than anybody else at the problem. They have hundreds of researchers working on post-lithium batteries for many years.

No other company I’m aware of matches it. Tesla just recently funded single Dr. Dahn’s lab and that is all.

Producing some luxury niche products for 1% greenwashers at loss despite wasting all the subsidies may make you famous right now, but it is dead end approach.

“They are already throwing much more money than anybody else at the problem.”

I’m sure that will come as a great surprise to Panasonic, Samsung, BYD, and hundreds of battery tech startups and university research teams.

“Tesla just recently funded single Dr. Dahn’s lab and that is all.”

Only a serial Tesla basher would use this comment discussion to bash Tesla with yet more FUD. Tesla partnered with Panasonic precisely because it’s Panasonic which has the expertise in making, and improving, li-ion batteries. Tesla doesn’t need to compete with its own partner. I realize that a win-win situation may be a hard concept for a FUDster like you to grasp.

“Producing some luxury niche products for 1% greenwashers at loss…”

Yeah, Toyota certainly does deserve that criticism for making “fool cell” cars! …what, that’s not the auto maker you meant? Well it certainly fits Toyota!

You do realize that Toyota also partners with Panasonic? They have a jointly owned battery company called PrimeEarth formed in 1996.

Big oil shill and serial anti-Tesla troll zzzzz is sure unoriginal and repetitive in saying the same lies over and over.

400,000 Model 3s ordered with hundreds of thousands more to follow when they show up everywhere and vastly more people become aware is certainly NOT greenwashing.

Greenwashing is actually what zzzzz is all about as he constantly touts the completely uneconomic/practical fool cells fantasy.

But after all, the same Big Oil companies he shills for would dominate the centralized H2 fueling they fantasize about.

The only response worth typing is “Get back under your bridge!”

“I’m sure Toyota can throw a lot of money at the problem and eventually overcome these barriers but not after huge market loss…”

The way Eastman Kodak did? The way BlackBerry did?

Given how highly competitive the new car market is, it’s a much better bet that Toyota will be one of the auto makers which fail as the EV revolution triumphs.

Like Kodak they don’t want to devalue their IP.

But in this case it wouldn’t entirely be like Kodak. Kodak invented the digital camera and made billions of dollars from the patent.

Toyota doesn’t have anything special in EV, so it’s resisting the move while trying to find an edge.

so,in 10 years nissan will buy toyota

Maybe somebody should point out to him 400,000 people have already paid $1000 for one (plus more than 1000 new reservations a day). Now if he’s waiting until they are profitable, best of luck with that strategy.

Electric car market share is a rounding error worldwide. They have, at least, surpassed natura gas cars AFAICT.

Nope, I’m wrong. As of 2015, 2.4 million natural gas vehicles were sold worldwide.

There are 3.5 million nat gas cars in Iran alone. You are a weee bit low.

I was low too. Quote from the wiki:

“Worldwide, there were 24.452 million NGVs by 2016, led by China (5.0 million), Iran (4.00 million), India (3.045 million), Pakistan (3.0 million), Argentina (2.295 million), Brazil (1.781 million), and Italy (1.001 million).[3] The Asia-Pacific region leads the world with 6.8 million vehicles, followed by Latin America with 4.2 million.[4] In Latin America, almost 90% of NGVs have bi-fuel engines, allowing these vehicles to run on either gasoline or CNG.[5] In Pakistan, almost every vehicle converted to (or manufactured for) alternative fuel use typically retains the capability of running on gasoline.”

Pakistan phasing out CNG vehicles due to thousands of deaths from exploding CNG cylinders. Throughout the rest of the world, easy CNG conversions of traditional ICE vehicles inflate the numbers; many of these are bi-fuel vehicles that can use CNG or gasoline. Iran’s numbers are high as they saw CNG as a way to dodge sanctions. With sanctions being lifted, many of these CNG vehicles will go back to gasoline.

Bottom line is that CNG isn’t going to save us from carbon emissions in the transportation sector. Only way to do that is vehicle electrification plus greener electric grid.

They’re a rounding error this year, but not next.

Really? Where can I get an electric car for a mere $1000? That’s an amazing price!

How about one with an MSRP of $499? Well optioned for $859.

It just shows that his heart really isn’t in it, doesn’t it?

I think a better translation of his BS is that we at Coyota are going to slow walk the inevitable transition to PEVs so we can protect and milk out massive investments in our outworn ICE technologies.

Actually, the big story so far in EV’s has been how just incremental changes in current battery technology is quickly adding up.

He’s right. There’s a reason EV sales are only like 1% of all auto sales right now. 2 or 3 big leaps in battery tech means we’ll have 300 miles ranges and 5 to 10 minute charges for under $25k (without tax incentives) and that’s exactly what it’s going to take for EVs to go mainstream.

No, it’s now only about cost. Rapid recharging really isn’t a big deal.

Maybe it’s not a big deal to you, but it is to most car buyers. There’s a good reason why 55% percent of plug-in EV owners say they have never used an EV fast-charger.

I doubt we’ll see more than 10-15% market penetration, at most, until BEVs get down to a 10 minute charge to 80%, or better.

I’m not sure it’s that important. A lot of people never drive their cars long distances. I’d guess the number of people who actually go on long distance road trips are a distinct minority.

Self-selection due to short range of the cars would be a large part of the reason so few have used fast charging.

Long-range BEVs, which are becoming the norm, cover a higher percentage of household miles, and charge faster. So they significantly reduce the number of trips where you’d need to stop, and reduce the number of stops on each journey, reducing additional journey time.

To add to that, multi-vehicle households can still choose to avoid DCFC while getting much greater utility from a long-range BEV.

Access to home charging is a far bigger barrier, and even that’s not important right now since there’s still plenty of room for growth.

“To add to that, multi-vehicle households can still choose to avoid DCFC while getting much greater utility from a long-range BEV.”

That’s right, a lot of families who own BEVs have a “hybrid garage”, with one gasmobile and one BEV.

Do you think that can push PEV (Plug-in EV) ownership past 15% of the market?

I personally think advances in EV tech will precede wider adoption… that’s how tech revolutions work. They don’t proceed past the early adopter stage until the tech has been improved.

(I have an aging expensive laserdisc player, and a bunch of deteriorating laserdics, that illustrate the truth of this rule of thumb! Videodisc tech had to advance to the DVD format before it became mainstream.)

It’s not that it’s physically or economically impossible for PEV adoption to expand faster than significant improvements in EV tech occur; it’s that, historically, that isn’t how disruptive tech revolutions proceed.

It makes no sense using a fast charger in a short range BEV.

Why sould i hold during my travel to fast charge when my home is always 20-30 miles away???

These statistics are highly skewed due to the way BEVs are today.

Not everyone sees things the way you do. A study several years ago found Volt drivers were stopping to recharge en-route more often than Leaf owners. Possibly that study used data which was skewed in some fashion, but nonetheless that’s what that particular data set indicated.


He isn’t wrong. Charge times still suck. Especially for those that don’t have access to the SC network. And even those that do… the charge time sucks.
I just watched a vid yesterday (I wanted to research buying a CPO) where an 250 mile trip on the east coast took nine hours. NINE HOURS! Nine hours to do what a gas car could have done in less than four. And the Tesla OS kept freezing on them.
Which of course brought up recommendations that showed how people are still buying brand new Model Ses that are still constantly in the shop to get problems fixed.
I just wish Tesla would get this stuff figured out so I can comfortably stand behind them and consider buying their product.

I will add that the nine hour trip started with 37 miles on the battery. They were heading back home. They had an SC ten minutes away that they had to go to for initial charge.

Ok. The story still makes no sense. If I had to drive 250 miles, I would not leave with 37 miles, I would leave with 235. I have a 2.5 yo 70D that is 240 epa. Then I would stop for 10 minutes and get a bump en route, ideally close to destination. So the 4 hour trip would take 4 hours and 10 minutes.

I have 42k miles. I have been to the service center one time to tighten a loose arm rest. The car went there without me after I hit a deer to check alignment. I do reboot once a month. Means I go without music for about 1 minute.

9 hours? Makes no sense at all.

Sounds more like bad planning than anything else. They should have seen to it that the car was charging up overnight or while they were at their destination.

That being said, planning is more important with an EV. With a gas car if you fail to gas up, you can rectify that problem very quickly. The playing field is currently not level when it comes to road trips, even with Tesla’s SC network.

No Gas in Gas Station for Miles Around, as when a Hurricane MIGHT hit, can be as bad, or Worse, than a Slowly Charging Tesla.

“…the Tesla OS kept freezing on them.”

And gasmobiles sometimes break down during long trips, too. But who would point to such a rare case and claim this shows gasmobiles are not suitable for long trips?

I don’t know if you really intended to write a biased and rather pointless EV bashing post, but that’s certainly what you’ve done.

If that’s the same vid I’ve seen, the Tesla was a used model they bought, which had a bad OS that kept crashing. They were also pretty clueless about charging.

The story does point up something I’ve said for a while about current lithium-ion batteries: they are good enough to work practically when managed intelligently. However, the average consumer does not have the skills/knowledge to manage a battery pack intelligently, so you get these horror stories.

I do think really widespread adoption of EV drivetrains will take more drops in battery pricing plus improvement of charging times (for long trips/forgetful owners). In the meantime, current EVs are good enough for early adopters. Wild card: it remains to be seen how vehicle autonomy+EV drivetrain plays out in marketplace.

It’s just heart deadening to see greats like Toyota and Mazda (and Honda but who cares) sit on their hands and succumb to ruining their reputation by rejecting and continually doubting EV technology in the face of a number of consecutive battery improvements by many of its competitors.

It won’t be long until we see their struggle to compete.

Huh? Prius Prime delivers 25 miles (rated) of EV already. That’s a platform to build upon when the cost/energy improvements to battery tech come about. How is that not preparing for the take off?

The Prius is by far the best-selling non-plug-in hybrid EV, at least outside China; and it has been for some years.

Despite Toyota’s early lead in EV tech, GM snatched that lead in late 2010 with the Volt. And here it is 2017, yet Toyota still doesn’t have a PHEV with a range equal to the 35 miles the Volt had in 2011!

Toyota has, sadly, fallen far behind in the EV revolution. It has failed to make anything more than a half-hearted attempt to improve the tech, just like BlackBerry after the iPhone was introduced.

And I think we all know what happened to BlackBerry, don’t we? Maybe Toyota can avoid BlackBerry’s fate. But I wouldn’t bet on it!

Toyota sold 30k Primes in first half of the year where GM sold half as many Volts.

So who is making more for “electric miles driven”?

GM Also Sold BOLT EV’s, And have a few ELR’s going to customers still, and the new PHEV Cadi is coming, as well.

With Toyota – you have ONE Choice for a Vehicle with a Plug, so – you either buy it – or you don’t! With GM – you have Choices in PHEV’s, And a BEV! Does Toyota have any BEV’s in Japan? In Europe? In North America?

Forget Tesla alone, Look at what BMW and Mercedes are investing in More PHEV’s and BEV’s! And – VW, and their Family! What is Toyota going to do – Surprise us all with a 350 Mile Range BEV SUV in 2020, with a 10-15 Minute Charge Time, and steal away all other Customers?

Not a large chance of that happening, but you Could Say it might happen, if you were really optimistic!

I expect in 2018 that Toyota will ramp up production of the Prime and twins with different names in other markets. After that ramp and mass sales prove successful then Toyota will rapidly add plug-in options to other hybrids. Probably starting in 2019.

They are a huge company that expects to make almost $17 billion in profit this year. They aren’t going to bet the farm on plug-ins, but they are moving forward. The pricing on the Prime tells me that they are serious about mass volume sales of that car, which is a really important thing to consider.

True, but consider that they have only one model and they are ahead of Chevrolet with only that one model (in units sold).

Even if they are not right away on the BEV wagon, believe me they will own PHEV market in the coming years.

Meantime, while GM ‘snatched the lead’ in electrification with the Volt in late 2010 … Toyota merrily went about its business selling more than 500,000 hybrids that year, and growing to more than 1.4 million hybrids sold in 2016.

I.e. Toyota sold more hybrids in 2010 than GM has sold Volts since the car was introduced that year.

I think a lot of people are mistaken about Toyota supposedly falling behind. They made it clear they weren’t interested in putting a lot of money into a low-selling niche vehicle. Now that batteries are cheaper they have a very competitive plug-in Prius available that is priced to sell in high volume.

>> Despite Toyota’s early lead in EV tech, GM snatched that lead in late 2010 with the Volt. And here it is 2017, yet Toyota still doesn’t have a PHEV with a range equal to the 35 miles the Volt had in 2011!

Overlook all the technological advancements and focus solely on battery capacity? Really! Talking about misplaced priorities.

I see that needa is still a concern troll.

I could see your point if there was any exaggeration whatsoever in my post. As a matter of fact… find any post i have made with exaggeration or lies.
I still see that you are too much of a fanboy to be honest with yourself and others.

I don’t know 9 hours is quite the exaggeration.

9 Hours! I know! I drove a ICE Kia Soul from Toronto To Oshkosh, and a Friend drove a Model S 60 from Brampton to Oshkosh, he saw me there and called me over! We Talked! His Driving time was the same, or less, than mine! Done! I’m In!

A Base Model 3 has MORE Range than his Base Model S 40 – Upgraded to the Full 60 + Supercharger Access! (220 Miles for Model 3 Base versus 208 Miles for the Model S 60!)

And – 310 (to 314) Miles Range for the Long Range Model 3 – More than a Tesla Model S 90D! And that is with Just ONE Motor!

We Expect Great things from Tesla in Efficiency using Dual Motors, so – I can See a Model 3D with Long Range Battery Delivering Not Less than 325 Miles Range, but Possibly even 340+ Miles Range – LA to SF Distance – No Supercharger Needed – just go direct!

I bet if I fished around I could find a anecdotal story by an owner of any luxury vehicle that tells of horror stories about how their vehicle didn’t perform as it should have.

I’m sure you can find someone that has a Merc of BMW that had to go into a shop twice during a long trip because it kept breaking down. That doesn’t mean we should all wait for BMW and Mercedes to work all this out before we buy one.

If you are waiting for 100% perfection by any automaker you might as well start walking.

You can even go in with the analogy regaring legs/walking, then it become even more clear how stupid the idea is to wait for 100% perfection:

I heard there are people that go to a doctor once a week to get their legs fixed, we all should use wheelchairs until these doctors find out how to fixed them.

If it looks like a troll, waddles like a troll, and whines like a troll… it’s probably a troll, regardless of what it claims to be.

And this one certainly does whine like one.

And everyone else can see that you have nothing but insults to bring to the discussion, as usual.

I don’t mind charging times…I couldn’t charge an EV at all. This is not California.

As a Tesla owner I have to agree. Charging time is a big drawback even with superchargers.

What I want to know is what Porsche has done on the Mission e to solve the problem. I don’t know of any battery chemistry right now that fixes the charging issue without creating another issue instead. Yes there’s LTO but then you pay a penalty in energy density.

Me guesses that Porsche is waiting for a break thru to get the super fast charging times they are bragging about on Mission e…..but who knows. Maybe if price is no object then there IS a battery solution NOW.

If any of you know what it is. I’m all ears.

Just answered my own question… I know why they morphed the Mission e into a compromise people hauler with a semi big back seat.

…they want room for batteries. You can sort of kill the charging problem with a big battery and a very efficient car which I’m sure the Mission e will be.

Maybe they will just sacrifice some cycle life and charge at 1.5 C instead of Tesla at 1.

Doubtful they could get much better than Tesla’s 126 MPGe but with 1.5 C rate they could bump charging speed by 50%.

So you could easily get 255 miles in 30 minutes (170X 1.5). Then bump the Voltage to keep the charging current down and costs on wiring.

“Maybe they will just sacrifice some cycle life and charge at 1.5 C instead of Tesla at 1.”

Unfortunately, I do think it’s most likely that the way they would achieve such a rapid charging ability is by enabling a C rate that’s so high that charging would prematurely age the battery pack.

However, a discussion on the Tesla Motors Club forum indicates that Tesla Supercharging can start at a (maximum) 1.4 C rate, but tapers off. According to one post: “It’s also true that the maximum charge rate only occurs when the battery is at less than 30% of capacity. By 50% capacity, the charge rate is less than 1C and declines steadily until the battery is as full as Tesla allows.”

You could do it with a PHEV chemistry in a BEV application. But your adding cost, mass, and limiting range. If you really want to charge fast use a power cell from a HEV application, they can run 10c all day.

Charging time obviously an issue but a relatively minor one day to day. I have done several road trips and charging is not always convenient but gets easier every year.

It all takes some planning but the pros outweigh the cons. I think for the average driver, time overall is still saved over gas. Improve the number of chargers so that meals can be timed up better and that inconvenience is lessened. Day to day plugging in is more convenient than buying gas.

Yeah, People just don’t get that most of the time you just unplug in the morning, do your driving, and then plug in at night.

The only time it is really an issue is long trips. But they are rare and can be handled with superchargers.

Someone should tell him that he could add 7 kWh of batteries and a plug to all his hybrid models easily at a low cost and with only added user convenience.

That would be an amazing step forward and make them the plug-in leader by a mile.

It should not be that hard….

Or maybe he should just drop d…hmm…retire.

Or – add 7 kWh to the Toyota Brands, and 9.5 kWh to the Lexus Brands (Gotta make them better, you know)!

He is in fact right. Batteries are almost at the price of the raw materials now and that is likely to go up with increased demand. If we want to see $20k cars (without subsidies!) with full range we need a much better battery with much higher energy density. For a truly mass market car we need a solid state battery.

As much crap as everyone want to give the guy I agree he is right. Most people don’t want to pay $35k for a slightly larger Sonic. The incentives help but they won’t be there forever, nor should they.

The cars need to compete on their own and for the most part they just don’t. Many people don’t look at the cost over 10 years and never will so until EVs get cheaper, can go a decent distance, and recharge quickly I don’t seem them becoming mainstream.

It will likely happen but they definitely need a breakthrough or two in the battery side.

As much as the people who check out this site believe they are part of the masses in reality they aren’t.

I don’t think we need battery breakthroughs per se, but we need to keep the momentum going on the incremental improvements that we have had.
I do see EVs slowly going mainstream without big breakthroughs. It just may not be as quickly as some people may want. I seem to remember from studying history that ICE vehicles didn’t instantly take over the world from the horse and buggy. It probably felt like forever to them, but we look back and see it as not taking long at all. It will be similar with EVs. those of us living through it will feel like it is taking forever and future generations will see it much more quickly.

Yep, incremental improvements provide “breakthrough” increases in energy density, it just takes a while. We’ve seen incremental improvements amounting to about 7% better energy density per year looking back 30 years or more.

That doubles energy density in ~10 years. Breakthrough!

“Someone out there” said:

“Batteries are almost at the price of the raw materials now and that is likely to go up with increased demand.”

This is factually incorrect. If you actually look into those prices, you quickly find in most cases it’s the price for processed materials… not raw materials.

As the production of li-ion batteries grows rapidly and exponentially over the next couple of decades, we can expect the economy of scale to reduce the materials processing cost significantly. Batteries have dropped in price precipitously over the last few years, largely due to economy of scale, and this trend will continue for some time.

Anyone who tries to convince you otherwise is likely trying to sell you some speculative mineral exploration stocks, or repeating the FUD shoveled out by those who are.

Renault has already a battery price of 80$/kWh accoriding to their electric components manager. I think this is very close to Material cost.

But they can still probably save a lot of money for the packaging.

$80/kWh is a price so low as to be startling.

If this is really the price for practical EV batteries, then I’d greatly appreciate seeing a citation for the figure.

Googling [Renault batteries $80 kwh], I see lots of predictions about battery prices dropping that far not long after 2020, but no claims that this is a current price.

Wow, lots of “concern trolls” posting here: needa. DJ, some troll out there, 4E, etc.

The good news is that batteries are perfectly good right now and will only get better/cheaper, mainly through incremental improvements.

These mythical “battery breakthroughs” are NOT required but will eventually happen and even if it doesn’t ICE is a dead man walking because of the MANY inherent advantages in BEVs.

It is also apparent that the laggard OEMs want to slow-walk the transition and are desperately trying to make sure that any PEVs they make do not compete/cannibalize their ICE lines and therein lies a big part of the problem.

So there is a full sized or mid sized SUV that middle class families can afford?

Sounds like someone needs to take heir name to heart and pull their head outta the sand.

Sure the EVs of today are fine for the people willing to put up with their many short comings. Just like how a family could live in a 500 sq ft house, or eat vegan, or not fly to Hawaii for vacation, or … oh you get the point. The facts however are that people for the most part don’t want to. So before EVs go mainstream there are some big things that need to improve. Despite what a huge minority thinks.

LMFAO, DJ (inadvertently of course) makes my point.

Yes lets ask GM where is there scaled up Voltec midsize/full size SUV???

That is right, if they did this it would be SUPERIOR to their ICE models and thus cannibalize that core business.

I predict they will not develop/release anything in this market or the truck market UNTIL Tesla does because that is the kind of people we are dealing with.

To make matters worse, they will probably make and sell more PEVs in China then the US because the Chinese have the balls to really push forward the necessary transition.

Yep. It’s troll central these days, and they support their hero Toyota. What a joke.

Evs aren’t ready, but FCV are? I don’t think so, that garbage went over like a lead balloon, though Toyota tried so hard to say it was the future, even calling it the Murai, the future.

So for years Toyota has been saying batteries are not ready.
More like Toyota is not ready. It’s a real problem with hierarchical structures, especially if the guy at the top is full of crap, and especially in Japan, where you just do what you’re told, don’t rock the boat, and follow the company line.

What legacy automaker is actually committing to high-volume production right away?

Notice how GM is curiously silent about increases, despite Volt and Bolt?

Nissan is making a valiant effort. Kudos!

Hyundai stands potential in a few years. The same can be said for Honda. With Ford, who knows.

VW and BMW have plans in the works, but are also years away.

In the meantime, Toyota continues to refine their hardware & software with Prime, awaiting the opportunity to exploit the next-gen battery and building plug-in reputation in the meantime.

So… what’s the problem?

I’d argue that BMW is the leader in many ways among traditional high volume manufacturers. They are 2nd in worldwide EV sales, have rolled out a plug on nearly every model, and 5% of their worldwide sales are plugged cars. That’s the highest penetration of any high volume vehicle manufacturer.

VW may surprise you. It was reported a few weeks back that VW had put a battery order in with LG Chem which dwarf’s GM’s order for the Bolt EV.

It may be a couple of years before we see those new PEV (Plug-in EV) models from VW, but if that report is true then they are definitely in development and almost certainly coming in 2 years or less.

Three companies have been serious about EV/PHEV development for the last past 7+ years: Tesla, GM, and Nissan. BMW has been serious about if for the last several years. We may not like their pace or marketing choices, but they’ve actually been selling mainstream cars nationwide, not just compliance cars.

Everyone else has been hopeing EVs would fail and now has a lot of catching up to do, including Toyota.

Why doesn’t the shift from NiMH to Lithium for Prius count?

That’s high-volume production of cells for electrification. In fact, some are used in Prime. How is that not serious?

Think about the worldwide rollout of Prime. Several major markets are getting that new plug-in all within the same year.

In 2017, a PHEV with only 25 miles of range isn’t a serious plug-in EV.

GM’s Volt had 35 miles of range on its introduction in 2011, and now it’s up to 53 miles. That is a serious PHEV!

Over a million hybrids sold per year, that is serious.

The Volt is great, but only selling 40,000 per year the impact is limited.

The Prime has double the global sales of the Volt so far this year, and that gap is likely to grow as Toyota is finally building inventory in the US.

>> In 2017, a PHEV with only 25 miles of range isn’t a serious plug-in EV.
GM’s Volt had 35 miles of range on its introduction in 2011, and now it’s up to 53 miles. That is a serious PHEV!

Again, misplaced priorities.

It’s hard to believe anyone so well informed would overlook the efficiency gains and cost reductions in favor of offering more battery.

A PHEV Prius V, with 50 Miles AER (All Electric Range) – would be a Better Option to add to the Fleet, and still up Toyota’s Alley, but if they gave it a BEV Proportion Range of just 25 Miles AER, they would be short changing Each Buyer, just to get the Price Down, so as to get More Buyers!

They have already Stated, that is their thinking, not to make the Best PHEV, but to make one that is ‘Good Enough’ to sell more of them, so as to reduce overall Fuel Consumption (So more Fuel is Available for their Large SUV’s and Pickups’s, I presume!).

Well at least that explains Toyotas half-ass efforts

If people would only think about the true cost of ICE cars. The planet is dying but hey they can’t take time out of their busy schedule to charge for a half hour. Just pass the cost onto future generations just like we do for everything else. Good luck with that, kids.

Lets think about what happened to NOKIA

Toyota is continuing to send conflicting messages. I thought having the reorg a while back, with the CEO heading the EV division, was notable… But they’re keeping making announcements like this, and talking up hydrogen FCEVs.

If they don’t make a concerted EV effort in 2 years (including multi-billion battery investments), they’re toast as a company inside 10 years.

No matter what they believe internally, they’re not smart PR-wise.

They are investing in lithium battery production & use and electric motor production & use already.

What “effort” would you expect to actually make a difference… some token gesture as we’ve seen from other automakers?

That “take off” is with respect to ordinary consumers making a decision without tax-credit help in direct competition with traditional vehicles.

Yeah, I don’t think the Prime is quite there yet. At the current retail price, they need to reclaim that 5th seat in back, at minimum, and bump performance a bit so it’s not such a slug. It’s an awesome car in a lot of ways, but still too many sacrifices in seating and interior space.

Yeah, those fuel cells of yours are gonna save the day. Sure. You keep thinking that.

They have way more chance to save the day some decades later than luxury electron guzzling toys with oversized batteries, defeating whole environmental purpose.

We already had luxury battery electric toys in 1900s, and have them now. It changed nothing that matters.

Gosh yes, the “hydrogen economy” is going to save us by using electricity to generate, compress, dispense, and re-compress hydrogen fuel while throwing away about 75-80% of the energy in that electricity… instead of using far less of that same electricity to directly charge batteries in BEVs.

And the Earth is flat, too! It’s amazing what you can believe when you’re a science denier like you, zzzzzzzzzz.

* * * * *

“If only the world weren’t governed by the unfair and cruel laws of thermodynamics and economics, the hydrogen economy could rule the world.” — HVACman, comment at, July 8, 2015

That’s really amazing.

Goodbye and thanks for all the fish.

Toyota Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada said: “I must say up front that we’re not against electric vehicles.” Make up your mind, dude. It wasn’t that long ago that you yourself were saying: “The reason why Toyota doesn’t introduce any major [pure electric vehicle] is because we do not believe there is a market to accept it.” (source below) Another quote from you, from this article: “But in order for electric vehicles to cover long distances, they currently need to be loaded with a lot of batteries that take a considerable amount of time to charge. I do agree that BEVs need a breakthru in faster charging batteries to become fully competitive with gasmobiles. But PHEVs don’t! And that’s only one needed breakthrough, which may well have already been achieved with solid state batteries. Maybe it’s merely a matter of commercializing technology which already has been demonstrated. “There’s also the issue of battery life…” Nope. All indications are that for Tesla’s cars, at least, the battery packs should last the expected lifetime of the car. GM’s battery packs also seem to be lasting quite well. If your battery packs are inferior… well, get out of the way, dinosaur, or get run over!… Read more »

“…we’re skeptical there would be a rapid shift to pure electric vehicles, given questions over user convenience.” Yup! He Must have missed how Tesla, Going from about 65,000 – 80,000 Vehicles in the Model S & X, will be going to 400,000 – 500,000 Model 3’s! And they have JUST ONE FACTORY in THE WORLD! Toyota has – How Many More!

I expect that Toyota is a bit shocked at Tesla’s success selling into the sport-luxury market, seizing sizable market share in the $80k+ sedan and SUV markets.

Toyota competes in those markets through their Lexus brand, and I’m sure in retrospect they wish they had the equivalent of Model S and X expanding their presence on the high end at the expense of BMW, Audi, and Mercedes.

But those $80k+ vehicles are only a tiny fraction of Lexus’s sales, much less Toyota’s. Meanwhile their hybrid sales are enormous and they have hit the ground running with the Prime as a sales leader among plug-ins.

Toyota is one company that looks set to seriously compete with Tesla by selling a plug-in vehicle in high volume in 2018.

The Prime is positioned to sell very well over the next several years, especially if Toyota could deliver a mild upgrade for 2019 that restores the 5th seat to the car and bumps up electric power and performance.

He’s sadly mistaken.

Translated this is: We missed the train. But now we are doing our best to miss the next one too.

Congrats to ruining a great company.

We haven’t even used up the tax-credits yet. That’s just early adopter buyers. The game has only just begun.

The Samurai are starving yet they continue to use toothpicks.

Yes Toyota. How about 200,000 miles on a battery with only 10% degradation?

Whoops. Tesla has already done it !

I guess the question we will have to wait and see answered is how well the various EV batteries fare after 10-15 years in the car. Li-ion batteries degrade with time as well as with use.

A modern ICE vehicle from a dependable manufacturer has a 15-20 lifespan before major repairs might be expected. I hope that Tesla and GM manage to pass that bar with their batteries. It seems apparent that the Nissan missed the mark with the Leaf, especially early ones.