Toyota Chief Again Knocks On Electric Cars


Sounds squishy on hydrogen cars

The 2019 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) is in full swing in Detroit. Pretty much every automaker has an electric vehicle or two on its stand, of course. Infiniti is showing off its QX Inspiration crossover, Nissan has the IMs high-riding sedan, and even Chinese outfit GAC Motors is showing a fantastical Entranze concept. Meanwhile, at the Toyota display, the emphasis is solidly on its new Supra: a sportscar built on the bones of the BMW Z4. It is powered by gasoline, which appears to be just fine with North America president Jim Lentz, who believes the EV revolution is not really upon us.

According to The Detroit News, the executive said of battery-powered vehicles becoming a significant portion of the market,  “With EVs, I think it’s going to be a while. I think we’ve overstated our belief EVs will take over the world.” As the kids say, this should age well.

He is aware, of course, of the success of Tesla in the space but thinks it’s an exception. He pointed out that its Model 3 is the only offering ringing up over 10,000 sales per month. Meanwhile, of the other 94 “electrified” vehicles available, only half a dozen of those enjoy more than 2,000 units per month. The Toyota Prius Prime, second only to the Model 3 in sales, is one of those.

For electric vehicle advocates and potential customers, the seeming lack of awareness of the situation is frustrating. At the same time in history as Ford declares it will have an all-electric pickup truckPorsche has sold out its first year of Taycan production long before the first one rolls from the factory, and Volkswagen has invested many billions in batteries and EV factories, Toyota seems blissfully unaware and unprepared.

In the past, Toyota officials have countered inquiries about its outlook on EVs with discussions of the hydrogen fuel cell future, but even there Lentz now seems kind of squishy. Complaining that the Japanese automaker hadn’t racked up many sales of the Mirai (it’s cumulatively sold about 4,804 units over four years) and infrastructure remains thin on the ground, he suggested the company was shifting its focus from H2 passenger cars to commercial trucking. Said he,

“Maybe the best place to get hydrogen into the market is in commercial vehicles. Then, when we build an infrastructure, we bring on passenger cars.”

As electric vehicle technology continues to get cheaper and improves — think much faster charging times — and cities continue to set limits on internal combustion, Toyota may find itself the loser in a multi-billion dollar game of musical chairs. Perhaps sooner than later.

Source: The Detroit News

Categories: Toyota


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169 Comments on "Toyota Chief Again Knocks On Electric Cars"

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Make something compelling and priced right and people will buy it in droves.

Another Euro point of view

Agreed, Toyota only sold 10.4 million cars in 2018 which is an obvious sign that they understand nothing about what people want. Plus as Elon said (bless him), Toyota is not being very efficient at manufacturing cars. He proved it later by vastly surpassing their production engineering, with a highly automated line turning out cars with only air friction slowing them down.
Now seriously, probably Toyota is keeping a few EV prototypes on the side to benchmark their EV technology against best EVs out there and, as many here suggest, waiting for solid state batteries before coming out of the wood. They probably do not count in their customers so many well to do Californians nor Norwegians so probably it makes sense for them to wait a bit.

The air friction bit was legitimate. Well, it was more than air, but yes, rolling/dynamic friction is a limiter on battery production. Heat is another. Orbital gigafactory?

Headline Space – Tesla OmniCorp apologizes to the city of San Paolo for accidentally dropping 500 pallets of space to ground delivery of it newest batteries, they were meant to be caught by the flying GigaFactory 100 based out of Brasília. It encountered some headwinds and wasn’t able to catch the last part of the scheduled drop. Ever since Elon moved to Mars Tesla’s focus has been there…

LMAO, keep dreaming Tesla haters as you are whistling past the graveyard!

There’s no dreaming 2% is not a lot to dream about not many people are in demand for that ev

California is around 10% EV sales and that percentage is increasing each month. As California goes, so goes the nation.

The holding point is price, understanding, convenience, etc. The tipping point on those points is rapidly approaching. The legacy market is in for a big upset.

I use the TV market analogy a lot. It took several years for LCD and Plasma to gain traction, then pricing and performance of LCD hit a magic tipping point and snap, within 3 years the market had been turned upside down and companies were shuttering CRT factories and ending sales. Same is going to happen with the car market barring any major world political issues.

They are not sales constrained, just production constrained. That is being fixed.

I am excited by the opportunity to watch Toyota turn on a dime when EV availability starts to match the pent up demand. Oh, wait. That’s not gonna happen. So their strategy of “do nothing until we see customers demanding EVs” might be a piss poor one. It took Tesla years to create the battery supply capacity and the R&D for the efficiency benefits they have. Toyota is doing practically nothing in that regard, still touting the fuel cell strategy. Good luck!

“Toyota is doing practically nothing in that regard, still touting the fuel cell strategy. ”

Um, you do realize, I hope, that the first and second parts of that statement bear no relation to each other.

As I keep pointing out on this site, it would be stunning to find out that Toyota hasn’t already developed a Prius EV. I think that’s clearly the most logical next step for them, from both an engineering and a marketing approach.

Show us.

And I keep pointing out that if they are serious, they are not building a Prius EV, but rather a separate car on a dedicated platform.

(Which they most likely are, according to other statements they made… Just trying to delay competitors while struggling to catch up.)

Tim you just sit back and wait ev car’s 2% is not enough to bid on think about it each year it’s not a sure thing

Yeah, you said that earlier in the thread. Thanks for the update. Tesla makes 100% evs.
What’s not a sure thing, evs, hardly.

English name but you don’t know how to write…hmmm. My troll radar is picking up something….

2% last year, 3% this year, 5% next year… There is a trend. A trend saying that a couple years from now, combustion cars will take a catastrophic hit to sales; and within a decade, they will be dead.

“Agreed, Toyota only sold 10.4 million cars in 2018 which is an obvious sign that they understand nothing about what people want.”

You could be CEO of Nokia or Kodak!

Another Euro point of view

The only car manufacturer that I know which was about of have its Kodak moment in 2018 is Tesla when Elon admitted that they were a matter of weeks away from bankruptcy when ramping up Model 3. Now we will see in 2019 while having the Luxury EV market almost all by them self if they are so profitable as the resident choir here is anticipating it . I would be Toyota and addressing a much lower priced part of the car market that candid disclosure from Elon himself could indeed make me delay my electrification plans by a year of two if I would have no regulatory pressure in my markets.

They will be late to the party if they don’t have an EV for sale by 2020.

A Kodak moment is not when a company takes a risk to stay relevant. It’s when a company fails to do so.

Ironically, investing in the hybrid platform to offer an affordable plug-in option later is taking a risk.

Julio that’s way more than 2% right..?

Except Toyota is King of the third world, which has no charger network…oh wait it has no electricty network. Just a small problem for electric cars. OK, exaggerated, but many places have lots of Toyotas and no electricty. Yes their strategy is backwards for the developed world (plus China), but there are lots of places where their strategy is 100%. They can afford to be a little slower on the uptake and wait for faster charging to appear. Trust me, they have stuff happening in the background, and will pull it out if they have to.

‘Trust me’…. Until you give us a valid reason please enlighten us as to why we should

These countries also tend to have the best solar resources — and consequently catching up on electrification real fast. Forget about grids.

(Also, good luck to Toyota trying to survive on such niche markets…)

That’s an ideal for an affordable PHEV offering. Lots of opportunity plugging available.

That’s way more then what tesla has sold plus 2% is not a lot and that’s each year!

Not really. Tesla sold more evs. That’s what this site is about evs and phevs. Toyota has the Prius Prime, which is doing well, it’s other sedan lines are losing share, and it’s luxury branch Lexus is getting hammered by Tesla.
This is all well known readily attainable information. Toyota is way behind in moving fully into the ev revolution.

You keep saying 2%. I don’t think you know what 2% means.

Things are changing very rapidly. Toyota WILL miss the bus if they don’t get moving.

The idea being not where the puck currently is, but where it’s going. You point out how many vehicles Toyota makes NOW. Extrapolate that into the future. The question isn’t regarding now, it’s regarding the future. You can use Toyota’s numbers to sling arrows at Tesla’s numbers of today, but methinks Tesla is likely thinking beyond this year or the next. Just a guess.

I don’t care if you think Toyota farts sunshine. Toyota is dead to me and thousands of others who actually care about the environment.

Toyota’s Prius was the last good thing Toyota did. And 22 years sitting on your laurels is pretty stupid.

A company can be wildly successful and still disappear overnight when they miss a technology shift. Remember Digital Equipment, the number 2 computer company in the world in the 70s and 80s, Ken Olson it’s founder famously said “why would anyone need a personal computer, just to balance their checkbook?”, they were gone by the mid 90s. Remember Kodak? They were photography for well over a hundred years, in the 80s and 90s there were one hour photo booths on every street corner in the world, then in a matter of a couple of years digital cameras killed Kodak. Remember Blackberry, everybody had a Blackberry or a Palm 15 years ago, then the iPhone came out and they were history. Toyota will be fine until the cost of batteries drops below a critical threshold, probably in the next few years, then they will be screwed because even if they’ve got BEVs ready to go they won’t have locked down the supplies they will need.

Quite absurd analogies. As the switch to EVs won’t fundamentally threaten their business model (unlike Kodak). It will just make building cars for them, temporarily, less profitable, until battery costs come down.

In 2004 there were about 150 million CRT displays sold worldwide. Within 2 or 3 years the market was almost entirely LCD. Did Sony understand what people wanted in 1990s? Yes, very much. Did they transition to LCD market smoothly? Were they still number 1? No and No. It is very common for an upheaval in the top companies through a disruption phase as people change what they want.

Nobody claimed Toyota don’t know what people want. You completely put those words in Jelloslug’s mouth. We’re obviously referring to EVs here. Yes, ICE vehicles are still selling well, but by not investing in the EV game now, they’ll be at a disadvantage when the mass transition comes into effect.

* and, to a certain extent, it has to be reasonable looking. So far the offerings from Toyota have been… lacking… in that department.

The Supra looks kind of good though. In a while there will be many after market kits for people who like to change their cars too.

I think Toyota have most EV models stripped to pieces in their labs. They have probably also several prototypes of drive units, power electronics and so on.
I think they’re waiting for some of the Japanese parts manufacturers to be ready before they bring a product to market. It will be a cooperation, and probably with shared development costs.

Toyota is large enough to develop, and make a single EV model (without thinking about platform development and so on), and make an EV that will sell. They need a will to do so, and they may be able to wait another 2-3 years before they release an EV. . but by then they should have an EV that can compete pretty OK on price and performance.

I think they have waited fairly long, since they are huge (and huge companies tend to be slow to change), and I would not be surpriced if they develop a new platform for several EVs.

Another Euro point of view

“I think Toyota have most EV models stripped to pieces in their labs. They have probably also several prototypes of drive units, power electronics and so on”

I think so too. VW is making announcements for many coming EVs probably partly because they need the PR because of diesel gate & partly because they are stuck with Europe’s regulatory pressure. Toyota could be about to launch a compelling EV in 2020 and still deny it all. Pretty sure they keep their options open.

VW does PR in order to ramp demand, since they know they will be in a good position soon to capitalise on that demand. Toyota on the other hand knows they are behind, and thus prefer sowing pessimism in the hope of delaying the inevitable…

That spin would actually be reasonable, if it were a different automaker. It doesn’t fit the profile of Toyota though, an automaker that says very little prior to rollouts.

Automakers *never* say much before roll-outs, if there is a danger of cannibalising sales of current models. VW (and a few other makers) are in an unusual situation here, since they are basically announcing a completely new product, hoping for conquest sales to outstrip cannibalisation. I bet Toyota would do the same, if they were in such a position.

Wow! Taking about being out of touch with GM. Their “over promise, under delivery” reputation is very well known.

I’m pretty sure I wasn’t talking about GM at any point in this discussion…

They have an EV group that is developing EV products now, it was announced at the end of 2016 and seems to be gearing up for intros in a few years. Toyota does not rush to market and is methodical about developing the entire process to design a build in a sustainable fashion. EVs require a new set of parts sourcing and supply chains to work a scale. My bet is they will focus on China first ad that is the largest overall market and the largest EV market. The US market is sort of a mess with large ICE vehicles dominating the market place.

Toyota have an SUV EV coming out in China either this year or in 2020 called the the Toyota ix4. It’s a car that is being produced by the Guangzhou Automobile Group and Toyota is basically just slapping it’s own logo on it. This is because in 2019, China will start implementing quotas which will scale upwards. Any car company that misses the quota will have to buy credits from companies that surpassed it. Toyota figured out that this is cheaper than buying those credits. However, that just buys them some time, as I doubt they will be big sellers. They need their own EV in China or they will lose money having to buy credits.

Maybe not in their own labs — but Munro stressed that it’s Japanese companies that are buying his Model 3 teardown report…

Toyota make the best cars in the world. They know what they’re doing.

Toyota will – likely with solid state batteries. But they’ll be later – unlike Nissan.

They aren’t waiting for solid state batteries. They already admitted these won’t come in time. If they waited that long, they’d be dead before solid state batteries materialise.

It is sad that Toyota is sitting on the sidelines. They could be doing a lot to drive EV adoption. I also have yet to hear anyone in the auto industry says that they will actively promote EVs to a similar degree as ICE cars. EV adoption would probably occur much quicker if the legacy auto companies spent a 250-2500$ dollars per car on advertising ( if they had anything to advertise).

It would be interesting to know if there is an internal struggle at Toyota to do something other than hybrids and fuel cell cars. Doing nothing seems like an incredible gamble.

Why sad, I find it refreshing, we need one of these to be crushed, and toyota is a pretty good candidate with obsolete non-plugin hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell cars, which are a joke, all of these are ugly and underpowered and way less efficient than any BEV.

How about Mazda instead? How many hybrids have they made?

None and there selling a lot of stuff

Mazda is small in a way that makes them irrelevant to start with.

Ugh, I’m torn on Mazda. They’ve done absolutely NOTHING to advance electrification, but I just kind of like them. Can we agree on a bloody nose that motivates them to mend their ways instead of a full crushing?

To be honest that’s we’re your wrong they have plug ins but ya not thinking 2 % right is that a lot of car’s..?

Xcel.. Picky, Picky.

At least Audi is advertising e-tron everywhere. They are the main sponsor of ski world cup and there’s always e-tron ads everywhere + the real car.

Possibly the least efficient EV ever. Jaguar is going to be laughing when people see what the e-tron burns.

Absolutely, I am not much of an Audi lover, but they advertise the E-Tron a lot. And advertisment for EVs are a good thing. Even a super bowl ad is coming.

I would bet almost anything that there’s a vigorous ongoing discussion inside Toyota about hybrids, fuel cells, EVs, etc. In any company that large there are ALWAYS such debates, sometimes very heated, when smart, dedicated people work for a company that’s facing big decisions.

How is selling 1.8m hybrids, per year, at profit – doing nothing? And how is having largest battery research program on earth doing nothing? They just dont need to lose money on EVs like Tesla does.

>> It is sad that Toyota is sitting on the sidelines… Doing nothing seems like an incredible gamble. Toyota is rolling out their next-gen RAV4 hybrid, an ideal platform to offer a plug. That AWD system offers substantial electric-motor power yearning for a larger battery-pack. It’s affordably priced ($28K) and offers impressive hybrid efficiency (39 MPG) for such a large, comfortable vehicle. Think about what that plug-ready system has for potential, especially while building loyalty & reputation in the meantime. Claiming that is nothing takes quite a bit of denial. It’s an undeniable effort to diversify offerings. Don’t forget the RAV4 model of the past that was an EV. It had a cost far beyond anything realistic for mainstream sales, but it did an excellent job of confirming Toyota’s preparation for the future with a plug. So what if they aren’t moving as fast as enthusiasts would like? They aren’t the ones who provided sustainable profit. They just test the waters… which everyone appreciates… but they don’t represent ordinary consumers. In fact, most don’t actually know much about the automotive business. Their technical expertise often distracts from the challenging reality of low-margin, high-volume sales. Toyota is very much in the… Read more »

Cant say im surprised. Wonder how far behind Toyota want to be.. brings Kodak to memory
Remember some discussions a few years back when Elon dismissed the hydrogen car due to inifficiency.. see how that turned out
Hope Toyota survive, time will tell. In the mean time i enjoy a superior car.. its a bev by the way, and iam never going back

Exactly…Kodak is what I was thinking about as well. So many of those in charge back in the day are now thinking coulda, woulda, shoulda.

It isn’t so much that the hydrogen car isn’t efficient… it’s isolating Hydrogen and then getting it to the car is so bad .

The Detroit Auto Show is in part a mausoleum, a museum, for the ICE and on display there you can find both examples of the vehicles themselves and those that purvey them, fossils. selling fossils. Accentuating the success of Tesla, despite all the efforts to curtail them, is not a convincing argument as to why the ev revolution is supposedly not taking off. It’s underway but it’s still early for some, getting later all the time for others. It’s not taking off fully yet because legacy auto seems incapable, or unwilling to make evs that are competitive with Tesla’s products. Some will be coming soon but not at high volumes. The rest of the world is just playing catch-up, to Tesla’s increasing lead, but being the spokesman for Toyota and president of NA operations, I don’t suppose I would have great confidence in the success of a hunt that I don’t even have a dog in. I imagine I would be cheering for the fox. What Ho, look at that blighter run, he still has some life left in him. Actually some of the greatest ice of all time will probably roll off the line within the next few years,… Read more »

Tesla is Making American Great Again.
Detriot makers are not.
Toyota doesn’t compute.

Guess you don’t pay attention since Detroit is investing heavily in EV.

“Toyota Chief Again Knocks On Electric Cars”

Reminds me of a line from “Troops”, a 1997 mockumentary spoof of “Star Wars”:

“It’s unfortunate, but it was almost expected with these people.”

Actually, by now, it’s not merely “almost” expected, this head-buried-in-the-sand attitude is expected from Toyota spokesmen.

Hey, Toyota! How’s that fool cell car doing for you, hmmm?
😆 😆 😆

I loved Troops… Now Baru, how many times have we been out here…

From article Toyota North America president Jim Lentz said:

“With EVs, I think it’s going to be a while. I think we’ve overstated our belief EVs will take over the world.”

Lol… will be great fun to pull up that quote from Toyota in 10 years.

2007 – “Apple will sell a few to its fans, but the iPhone won’t make a long-term mark on the industry.” — Matthew Lynn, Bloomberg

Yeah, Oh so many people laughed when Apple said it’s goal was 10 million phones a year and now those same people complain when Apple only sells only 40 million in a quarter…

And here’s a quote from Toyota from 2017 (and there are many others like this):

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

Here’s a quote from 2007, note this is when the Leaf and Volt were being developed:
Toyota’s Justin Ward – “Lithium ion is not ready for the automotive market”

So Bloomberg’s been writing clickbait since at least 2007?

Do Not Read Between The Lines


Hey Jim, remember when the Prius dominated hybrid sales? Why was that?

When they were the only 3 or 4 on the market? Sure. Now look at the PiP… best selling PHEV, but even Honda removed the stick of their butt about EVs.

Because they have 10 hybrid models now, from Camry to RAV4 and Avalon and multiple Lexus models. With new RAV4 and Corolla, about 30% of their sales will be hybrid.

Toyota seems to have developed a culture of self delusion around EVs. Hydrogen hasn’t take off for cars well news flash Toyota, $16/kg hydrogen doesn’t work any better for commercial vehicles than it does for cars so that’s not going to be the trailblazer you seem to have mistaken it for, that’s just more self delusion.

On the upside, of the 2 largest carmakers at least one seems to have gotten the message that change is unavoidable so I’ll be looking at VW while wishing Toyota happy times in fantasy land.

Yea, I‘d get it if they were just ignoring Tesla, but when VW says they will aim at selling millions of EVs per year, maybe Toyota should start looking at those, too.

VW made the mistake of betting on diesel, instead of hybrids. Now it looks like Toyota is betting on the wrong horse…

This guy doesn’t matter at all. There are bigger manufacturers as units sold like VW and RNM, which are going to deploy volumes of BEVs, from premium to mass market, and they are not alone at all. Meanwhile the hydrogen car dream of Toyota is a clear evidence they have no clue about the transition at all.

If there was a way to commercially economically make H2 without using fossil fuel, say solar and desalination of sea water, maybe… then find ways to transport and store the liquid H2 everywhere… then have stations everywhere… oh I see what you’re saying now.

Another Euro point of view

Just read the comments above and think many here do spend too much time in an echo chamber. Toyota is a global car manufacturer and as such do take measure of global demand. Just an example, for Christmas holidays I went to spend one week in Iran (Isfahan, Shiraz, lovely people, leaders not so much probably). When they buy a new car there they spend max around USD 12k. Their USD 8k average cars are doing just fine for what they need. One taxi had 350k miles on it (a rebadged Kia called Pride) and was doing just fine. It’s a 80 mio population. Turkey next door is about just the same. World is full of places like that. Toyota is attending their needs in a pragmatical way. The north American or northern European “bohemian bourgeois” can probably wait a bit in their eyes. They might be wrong but I would tend to give them a bit of credit.

Sure, that‘s where their future lies: producing USD 8k cars.
Good luck with that.

Hauer. I should have read one comment further before I posted. Well said.

Yes to “Another Euro point of view”, I agree with that in principle, and I’m sure the market for petrol/diesel in such as Iran will continue for a good while to come. But Toyota (or any manufacturer) shouldn’t just be complacently resting, and surely abandoning the future US/European market isn’t a good long term strategy?

Toyota would have said “ah! but we’re developing the hydrogen car!”, but if battery EVs may not take off in such as Iran for a good few years to come, then does anyone seriously think hydrogen cars will do well in such countries?

Another Euro point of view

There might be indeed on behalf of Toyota a part of bad faith, having a hard time to admit they were wrong on EVs versus fuel cell. Now one can be a successful global car maker, successfully addressing demand for like 98% of present demand on markets they are on and wait that prices come down on batteries. I mean the way battery industry is ramping up right now I am not sure that when demand for EVs become somewhat significant the world will be short of batteries, and the Japanese know one thing or two about electronics. I am sure they are open and curious about new tech as they should. They tested Tesla tech back then (when subcontracting power train of rav 4) and am sure they follow it all very closely and sorted out that there is nothing they can’t do in there.

@Another Euro point of view said:

“…Iran …they buy a new car there they spend max around USD 12k…Turkey next door is about just the same. World is full of places like that… Toyota is attending their needs in a pragmatical way…”

Yup… same as Nokia & Motorola continued to supply those economically developing markets flip-phones long after iPhone became the new standard in North America, Western Europe, & China.

I’m not suggesting that Toyota should today abandon supplying the flip-phone markets low cost ICE cars but it certainly should not be reason Toyota sidelines itself from EV innovation & EV transition in the more economically developed markets.

Yeah, toyota is offering hydrogen cars for 8k to 12k… for Iran and Turkey… which basically flies directly in the face of your argument. Toyota was big? VW and Renault Nissan Mitsu are bigger as sales and they are going EV.

Another Euro point of view

Xcel. here my reply
1/ VW is admitting that it will cost them an arm and a leg to address that market now but they have little choice because of their exposure to European market (big fines coming from European commission if not producing car below a certain CO2 emission level. Toyota does not have that problem as present hybrid technology is good enough for regulatory purposes).
2/ Nissan & Renault are barely selling EVs at all as compared to their global production. A few thousand Nissan Leafs per year based on a outdated chassis with minimal development costs is probably much less of an electrification effort as compared to what Toyota is doing now with complete range of hybrids.

This doesn’t matter much. They are consistently proven wrong with their Dream of fuel cell cars by both newcomers like Tesla and established incumbents some larger than them as sales. The sales of lexus are down, the non-plugin prius is dying like a street dog. VW alone will simply destroy their sales with BEVs, and this will be a beautiful knockout to watch.

Another Euro point of view
I also think fuel cell cars are a bad idea although I would not count Tesla to be such a wonderful inspiration for car makers such as Toyota. It is very difficult to evaluate why people from wealthy countries do buy such or such expensive car as these population specialized themselves in buying things they do not really need. Take for example the ford F150 truck success in the US which is always a hugely puzzling situation to observe from far away (what the heck are they doing with those huge trucks ?!?). Most probably the vast majority of US citizens buying a Ford F150 do it not because they need it but because they like it, out of 100s of reasons for liking those I bet some are pretty romantic. Like hoping that a bit of the Marlboro cowboy aura will rub off on them while they are holding a 9 to 5 clerk job. With Tesla you probably also have a brand aura that is very difficult to replicate. I own a car made which design is inspired by Elon Musk, the guy that lands rockets on barges. Would Toyota do same product at same price point sell… Read more »

@Another Euro point of view said:

“…hugely puzzling …the vast majority of US citizens buying a Ford F150 do it not because they need it but because they like it…”

Is buying something because you like it and not because you need it considered odd behavior in your part of Europe?

Toyota sells. Doesn’t mean it’s good from an environmental or development viewpoint.

euro, so Toyota should focus on 8-12$k USD cars in places like Iran and Turkey, or go after the Chinese, American, and European markets??? Which alternative sounds more profitable and sustainable in the future?

It’s a matter of timing, and whilst I do think the future lies with BEVs, it’s not going to happen overnight. It therefore follows that (OK, unfortunately) ICE cars and hybrids are going to make up a decreasing majority for a number of years to come. Exactly what the figures will be varying hugely from region to region. So he may be right that at least one more generation of ICE vehicles will add to their profits, but if they are still not starting to think seriously about battery electric, it’s very foolish. I find the most revealing part of that article his remarks about hydrogen cars – the closest I’ve heard to any of the pro-hydrogen camp admitting that the Emperor has no clothes on. With the comments about “more suitable for trucking” he’s not quite saying such…… but hardly words to inspire confidence amongst anyone thinking of buying a fuel cell car. Toyotas problem is admitting they had got it wrong, and the loss of face such would involve, so expect a gradual backing away. (As this seems to be the start of.) As far as trucking goes, then let’s see what happens in the next year, and… Read more »

Nikola, the maker of hydrogen trucks, says it will be creating the largest hydrogen network in the world that will initially cover over 2,000 miles and include 16 stations. By 2028 they plan to have more than 700 hydrogen stations across the USA and Canada. They will provide free hydrogen for up to 1 million miles to its truck buyers. They will allow all hydrogen vehicles to fill at their stations.

So who knows, maybe hydrogen does have a viable future after all.

And maybe the Earth really is flat, too! 🙄

Keep drinking Nikola’s koolaid!

Tid – Nikola may SAY that – whether or not it happens is another matter! 😉

As things stand, it’s impossible to see how they are going to do what they say, at the price they say it. The technology is believable enough, but not at the prices they say, and offering 1 million miles worth of hydrogen.

The ols adage is that if something looks too good to be true, it probably is. I’m always reminded of that by Nikola.

It just boggles my mind that anyone could seriously believe there is a future for using hydrogen to power heavy freight trucks. The trucking industry is highly sensitive to the cost of fuel; how could a fuel that costs about twice as much per mile ever possibly displace diesel? And that’s not even considering the almost insanely high cost per vehicle served for building a H2 fueling station.

Hydrogen-powered FCEVs are completely impractical as passenger cars, and that goes double for the freight trucking industry. But clearly there are some people that buy into this fantasy, since Nikola has actually gotten people to invest in their fool cell semi truck company!

Hydrogen is super expensive so I laugh every time I hear someone say hydrogen fuel cells make more sense in larger vehicles.

Yes, Hydrogen is pretty much “Super Expensive”. But, have you EVer priced in securing a volatile commodity, like liquid petroleum, in the most resource rich politically destabilized M.E. region of the world?

There is a saying, sometimes you get what you pay for.

Toyota is already building electric cars all what they need is to replace the fuel-cell tank with a more battery, of course they need like anybody else to build a skate board platform and secure more battery delivery.

Indeed. Toyota will be able to enter the BEV market easily when batteries improve and become much cheaper.

Because nobody else will have committed to buying the supply already?

Because nobody noticed Toyota investing 1.5 trillion yen ($13.9 billion) in its battery business.

Let’s hope Toyota will have a better return on that that investment (if true) than they did on all the money they threw away developing and building fool cell cars.

Of course, a todler would know that long range and very fast charging is a necessity to keep millions and millions of cars rolling. There is just a limited amount of energy that can be carried over a wire. BEVs will never ever be able to reach present day car practicality. Ain’t gonna happen, period. We would need chargers well in excess of 1 to 2 megawatt to get anywhere close to gas filling speeds and the energy density that goes with it.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

No. Just need two things:
1) More available home charging. Charge it where you park it.
2) Slightly more fast charger plugs than there are now gas pump nozzles.
Neither of those is a technical problem.

Spoiler alert: “Never” is a really freakin’ long time, and statements such as your are festooned with assumptions, at least some of which will turn out to be wrong.

I remember quite clearly the early days of the PCs and people who swore that the mainframe + terminal model for the overwhelming portion of computing would “never” be replaced by PCs. It took a while, but we see how that turned out.


“BEVs will never ever be able to reach present day car practicality. Ain’t gonna happen, period.”

There ought to be a place we can preserve statements like this, so we can look back on them in 10 years and laugh. Some kind of “hall of infamy” for bellicose yet clueless predictions.

“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” — Lord Kelvin, 1895

I have an old-style plug in Prius, and it’s pretty good for local journeys on just electricity. I wonder if the average emissions of Toyota cars is so low, lower than for example BMW, that they can avoid spending the money on EVs right now and pile in later when they are cheaper to make. That is to say that they could meet more stringent emissions standards for a few more years with their current petrol cars.

Meeting emissions standard only allows you to sell your cars. You still have to convince the buyers to buy what you are offering. Thankfully Toyota has a solid reputation they can rely on. But when the Camary and Moodel 3 have the same total cost of ownership, what’s the market going to choose?

The only good thing about this is they seem to be admitting that the HFCV is a failure in the car market. Of course, they still think it has a future ‘when the infrastructure is there’. Ugh.

The failure of HFCV actually has enormous impact on them, as investments, view towards the future, pride. Big fail and waiting for them to admit it is easy, but not for them.

Since there has not been a Supra for many years, debuting a Supra EV would have made a big statement. This halo car could have easily been an impressive performance EV. Supras are not cheap, the cost of batteries could have been easier to be built into the price of the car.

Absolutely, an EV Supra would have been awesome, a badge engineered BWM is a joke ( and ugly).

Toyota sells it’s cars in every country.

In which country will Toyota see it’s marketshare decline first?

Will that be in China?

In Neverland 😉

LMAO at shill for fool cells and Coyota.

The only “Neverland” is the one full of Fool Cell cars!

Hey zzzzzzzzz! How are those oft-repeated fool cell fanboy predictions and beliefs of yours doing these days?
😆 😆 😆

Down in the US, China, Europe too.

Note that Toyota will be selling a BEV in China called the Toyota ix4. I’m not sure if it’s this year or next year they will be rolling it out. It’s an SUV EV that will be produced by Guangzhou Automobile Group and Toyota will be slapping it’s logo. This is to avoid the upcoming quotas in China that begin this year.

Isn’t the Supra just a Z4 with some Toy parts on top?

A jointly developed vehicle that uses BMW engines (I-4 and I-6). BMW version a roadster, Toyota version a coupe. Exterior sheetmetal unique to each manufacturer.

And both built by Magna in Austria IIRC.

Mirai are leased at a huge discount not sold to anyone.

Nope. They are also sold as well.

Relax everyone what he is saying is and it’s very much and very well true everyone is going crazy over ev car’s taking over!! 2% each year is not a lot of car’s so let’s ask your self this gm and ford did the ev car’s right and it did nothing for them but pretty much hurt them I actually knew that the volt and the c max wasn’t gonna make it now if you pay close attention in 1999 the rumors was the world was coming to a end y2k right..? But that never happened everyone went and cleaned the stores out..telsa is another Sterling remember that car brand it was over in United States from 86 to 92 then it went away but just think if everyone actually invested billions in the ev car’s right now like vw there taking a risk a huge one now just think about it billions of dollars is a lot of money that everyone might be losing!!

So Charles is just the latest carpet-bombing anti-EV username to come here and repetitively spread his backwards-looking anti-EV FUD.

As battery costs keep coming down the economics of EVs will easily win over LICE and in fact we already in the early S curve takeoff period.

You think doing it right is putting expensive technology in cheap cars with questionable styling? Doing it right is starting from the top an working your way down. Pretty much every successful new technology has followed this approach. Why did GM/Ford think they could do it differently.

At 2% and doubling every year. At what point does ICE demand plummet? 4-5 years is all they have until EV demand exceed ICE.

“2% each year is not a lot of car’s…”

Clearly math is not your forte. Any measurable percentage at all, increasing at the rate of 1.4x or better per year, is going to be an awful lot of cars within just a few years!

Most experts believe Toyota currently leads in solid state technology. They have a running prototype, something that few others can claim.

Really, can you please post some links of these “experts” statements here so we can evaluate them?

Thanks, that first link is a great article.

“Currently, the best prototype with solid-state batteries is only powerful enough to propel a one-person vehicle across a Toyota Motor Corp. parking lot near Japan’s Mount Fuji. “

Yes, that is where the technology is right now. If it was more advanced you would get it in your iPhone or laptop by now. But they have the most patents as well. Who else have a car running on solid state batteries?

Audi has an electric supercar, the PB18 e-tron, that uses solid-state batteries. They are even bringing it into low volume production.

No they don’t. This will have regular batteries, like what Porsche is using tor Tucson.

Also, the consensus is maybe in 10 years, Solid State will become available for mass adoption in EVs.

Meantime, current LION tech is rapidly scaling up in capacity and down in price because the world doesn’t have 10 years to wait for the transition to sustainable transportation.

I’m sure that if and when Solid State becomes competitive we will transition from LION to SS in our electrified and sustainable transportation economy that is rapidly building up right now.

The experts are the folks writing Toyota press releases.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

Toyota has running prototype HFCVs.

Audi already has a supercar prototype, the PB18 e-tron, with solid-state batteries. They are even bringing it into low volume production.

“Most experts believe Toyota currently leads in solid state technology.”

Anyone who actually qualifies as an expert in the field of high-tech batteries would know better than to make such a baseless assertion.

Nope. The VW Group actually has a solid state technology, so one of VW Group, Audi will bring it into limited production with its hypersupercar. This may mean that VW Group and Toyota lead in solid state technology. I would like to see Toyota push them into the public before VW Group, but I highly doubt it.

He didn’t “knock” EVs. He just said it’s “going to be a while”. And he also doesn’t believe they will “take over the world”. While he could yet be wrong, it’s not an unreasonable stance considering EVs are at 1-2% of the market and half of the car-buying public cannot afford any unsubsidized EV with 200 miles of range.

Did you read what you wrote? Potential today is for 50% of the market.

How do you explain Musk’s assessment that electric cars being cost competitive with ICE cars “is an extremely difficult challenge”?

This guy needs to take a step outside of North American Headquarters and look around for a bit – there is a Tesla storefront, a Tesla service center, and Tesla supercharger station almost next door!

There are new Teslas driving all over their local city of Plano! He needs to get his head out of the sand.

“Model 3 is the only offering ringing up over 10,000 sales per month. Meanwhile, of the other 94 “electrified” vehicles available, only half a dozen of those enjoy more than 2,000 units per month” There you go, right there. Because there are only a few available, therefore there is no demand, therefore we don’t really need to worry about this. This is the epic failure thinking we see with these executives. Carlos Ghosn had a similar comment about EV range, it was like people only wanted 86mi range, but the fact was people could only get 86mi range. Fast forward and now people can get 300mi range how many 86mi range cars are in demand? While I’ve no doubt Toyota will be working on EV’s and trying to time it right, some people make these claims that Toyota will just be able to buy the batteries when that time is right. I think that is wrong. Tesla has clearly shown the way with their Giga factory, and VW has also shown that is the way by securing $bil’s in battery supply (I have no doubt that investment and timing is due to their battery suppliers building more capacity). Right here… Read more »

“…could result in a few Seppuku, if such things still take place!”
Please live-stream them. I would love seeing the face of the stubborn bitter shameful japanese guys committing seppuku

All the cars I’ve owned in my life were Toyotas (3) or Hondas (2). Yesterday I brought home a brand new Chevy Bolt EV. There is little brand loyalty in this transition to EVs. Toyota had better be careful.

There is no sense of loyal from early-adopters. They understand the technology and have the means of taking advantage of the generous tax-credit. So, the jump on the opportunity regardless of who is providing it. The true measure of demand doesn’t emerge until the subsidy is gone and there is actual competition. This is the painful lesson learned from Volt. A large portion of sales/leases were the conquest type. When other choices came along, those owners jumped ship. Toyota was smart enough to avoid that loss GM is now having to deal with. Toyota couldn’t care less about enthusiast’s online comments, a teeny-tiny fraction compared to their over 10 million customers each year. In other words, what’s the rush? There’s very little substance, if any, to the “knocking” in this current market. In fact, they seem to be playing negatives, exploiting attention stirred by a hungry media by poking the “now” crowd with in-the-moment comments. Know your audience. In the meantime, Toyota just quietly pushes along refining their electric system in hybrid & fuel-cell vehicles, waiting for the time to offer a vehicle with a large battery-pack to the masses at a cost directly competitive to traditional vehicles.
Donald Trump Himself No For Real This Time

What an idiot.

You get first prize for being succinct. 🙂

Either Toyota are making a big mistake here and missing an entry into the game, OR they’re being clever. By keeping hush hush about any secret EVs they may have in the works until the last minute, they don’t undermine sales of their existing combustion vehicles in the meantime.

It’s a classic marketing trick. If you announce something like an EV, it’s like announcing a shiny new model. People hold off ordering the current one and wait a bit longer for the newer one.

But I think I’m giving Toyota too much credit here.

Yeah, I think that’s giving Toyota too much credit. I was hoping that Ford, likewise, was quietly working behind the scenes to come up with some compelling plug-in EVs. But considering their recent deal with Volkswagen, it seems pretty clear they weren’t.

Man o Man Toyota, you took so damn long to develop the return of the Supra that while I was mildly interested in the idea when it was first discussed a decade ago, I have absolutely no interest in a dinosaur ICE sports car now. I hope you don’t privatly believe the BS you keep spouting in the media, but if you do you are going to face the same rude awakening that most of the current ICE producers will encounter.

You will never know until it happens. Toyota may be well along in the development of several new battery electric models. Why tell the competition what your new product is before you have it ready to sell.

Standard FUD, if you don’t have it they don’t need it.

Toyota lead the hybrid market with the Prius. Why can’t they lead the EV market with an affordable BEV? I know he is running a business and looking at it from the balance sheet. But the way I see his answer is “I’d rather make a lot more money polluting our atmosphere and contributing to global warming then be a part of the solution to save the planet.”
Wonder how all of these ICE car sales would do if the ads required a Surgeon General style warning label on them stating how bad they are for the environment?

Anyone notice that Toyota is selling a 2019 HYBRID CAMRY, the best-selling car for about 20 years running? Think they don’t have an all-electric Camry on the drawing board, and a date in mind to start selling it? Of course they do! The rest of their model line is being redesigned also. Bet on it. Would YOU convert your entire car line to electric, and start selling TEN MILLION electric cars a year, without being sure of the parts availability and price stability to get it done? You can bet Toyota knows exactly what they are doing. Running a business is about capital, and investor returns, and supply chains, and a lot of other things, and Toyota going out of business or underperforming would not help anything. Toyota is moving as fast as the pace of technology and markets will allow, and 80% of all vehicles sold five years from now will hybrid or all-electric vehicles. Besides all that, SOLAR energy just became cheaper than everything else except wind, and is on a course to drop EXPONENTIALLY, in coming years, with INSTALLATIONS DOUBLING every 18 months. California has mandated every new roof will have solar panels starting in 2020. Smart… Read more »