Toyota To Launch Cheap EV Sub Brand In China

NOV 6 2014 BY MARK KANE 45

GAC-Toyota Ranz Concept

GAC-Toyota Ranz Concept

Next year, China will probably get another electric car on the market as Toyota would like to establish a special brand there for “cheap EVs” as everyone wants to be a part of the new paradigm in the country.

“Toyota will launch a new sub-brand in China in 2015, it will be positioned under the Guangzhou-Toyota joint venture. The new sub-brand will be called Lingzhi (领志) in Chinese and Leahead in English. Leahead stands for ‘Leap Ahead’.”

Toyota already previewed a concept electric car at at the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show.

Production version is expected to debut in late 2015 at the Guangzhou Auto Show.

CarNewsChina.com suggests that it will be based on the Toyota Yaris L, which is already manufactured in China by Guangzhou-Toyota.

Source: CarNewsChina.com

Categories: Toyota

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45 Comments on "Toyota To Launch Cheap EV Sub Brand In China"

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Get Real

So they bash EVs in other markets as they promote Fool Cells but they are going to make an EV for China???

Good old Coyota!

Haha, good one. +2.

Coyota it is. The Trickster. And the stupid auto media stenograph whatever lie their talking heads spout (I guess ‘stupid’ is redundant in this sentence).

Hope the Tricksters trip over their own tricks.

What a silly comment! Unlike Musk, Toyota doesn’t ‘bash’ EVs. They simply produce what the market accepts or promotes. Or what they think is a viable option for long term. They are running a business. not a clown show.

Thomas J. Thias

See Through, I Do! LOL

Toyota Vice Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada may have said all that needs to be said about purely-electric vehicle when he stated :

“The current capabilities of electric vehicles do not meet society’s needs, whether it may be the distance the cars can run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge.”

What Toyota Vice Chairman Uchiyamada really meant…

“The current capabilities of OUR electric vehicles do not meet society’s needs, whether it may be the distance the cars can run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge.”

Well, Best, Pal! LOL

Ps, talking about clowns, this you?

http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/newsroom/img/mt/2014/10/twisty_the_clown/lead.png?nd8d6c

Thomas J. Thias

Twitter.Com/AmazingChevVolt

What a silly comment! Unlike Musk, Toyota doesn’t ‘bash’ EVs. They simply produce what the market accepts or promotes. Or what they think is a viable option for long term.
They are running a business. not a clown show.

Thomas J. Thias

See Through, I Do! I Do! LOL

Toyota Vice Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada may have said all that needs to be said about purely-electric vehicle when he stated :

“The current capabilities of electric vehicles do not meet society’s needs, whether it may be the distance the cars can run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge.”

What Toyota Vice Chairman Uchiyamada really meant…

“The current capabilities of OUR electric vehicles do not meet society’s needs, whether it may be the distance the cars can run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge.”

Well, Best, Pal! LOL

Ps, talking about clowns, this you?

http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/newsroom/img/mt/2014/10/twisty_the_clown/lead.png?nd8d6c

Thomas J. Thias

Twitter.Com/AmasingChevVolt

Anon

Cute city car! What is it called? I like the looks very much…

Her name is Cutesy. Don’t fall in love though. You will have to move to China to live with her.

Get Real

I meant to say “Good old Hypocritical Coyota!”

DaveMart

China is talking about making 30% of all Government vehicles purchases alternative fuel.
I don’t know how many that is, but the Government of over 1 billion people is going to mean lots of bureaucrats, probably as many as the total population of a medium size country like France.
With very large Chinese incentives on offer Toyota needs a made-in-China offering for that market.

Anon

They can easily convert illegal ivory into cash for a Tesla…

liberty

absolutely, but …. why keep telling people in the US no one is asking for bevs when they obviously have heard from customers in the US and china?

Certainly toyota can look at the spark ev, and think “we can do that with a yaris, and sell them in china”

QCO

Goes to show the FCV posturing is mainly a U.S. game driven by local CARB anomolies.

sven
SIvad

Probably because the petroleum lobby which is the main player in current production of hydrogen doesn’t have the same lobbying clout in China as they do in Japan, the US and Europe. Domestic energy production has more relevancy for China’s central government than a global hydrogen fuel market so they have basically declared that EVs are to be the alternative fuel vehicle of choice so the OEMs will comply.

DaveMart

‘because the petroleum lobby which is the main player in current production of hydrogen’

I suppose actually providing any evidence for your hypothesis is entirely out of the question?

SIvad
I should have been more clear.The petroleum industry uses hydrogen for the refinement process and that hydrogen is usually produced from natural gas. There is an existing industry that produces hydrogen from natural gas that is intertwined with the refinement of petroleum so it’s not unusual to assume that this existing multi-billion dollar established industry would be the ones producing hydrogen for hydrogen transportation as well. Wikipedia: “In 2006, the United States was estimated to have a production capacity of 11 million tonnes of hydrogen. 5 million tonnes of hydrogen were consumed on-site in oil refining, and in the production of ammonia (Haber process) and methanol (reduction of carbon monoxide). 0.4 million tonnes were an incidental by-product of the chlor-alkali process.[1] Hydrogen production is an estimated $100 billion industry.[2]” Apart from arguing the details on which multi -billion dollar energy industry produces hydrogen my point was to point out that China being a centralized government can choose to ignore the free global market at their own benefit or peril in instances that suit them unlike democracies that depend on relatively free markets. However, when it comes to transportation and heating fuel China can’t. Currently like everyone else they must buy… Read more »
DaveMart

The renewables industry is also a very big player in the drive to hydrogen, as that is how they plan to store electricity to provide year round power in Germany, and renewables are mandated to provide 33% of transport hydrogen in California.

The single biggest customer of the gas industry is electricity generation, which by the time generation and transmission losses are included uses in the same ball park per mile as hydrogen production.

Companies like Toyota have no money in oil and they are certainly influential in the move to hydrogen in transport, so things are not so simple in interest groups as you depict, although if there are hydrogen filling stations to be sure there are plenty of people interested in supplying them.

Spec9

“The single biggest customer of the gas industry is electricity generation, which by the time generation and transmission losses are included uses in the same ball park per mile as hydrogen production.”

No, that is just not true. If it was, FCVs might make some sense. But when you consider all the loses in conversion from methane to hydrogen, energy required for pressurization, energy required for transport/distribution . . . it is much more efficient to burn the natural gas in a combined-cycle power plant and charge up EVs than to do the natural gas->hydrogen->fuel cell shuffle.

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2014/09/20140924-onrl.html

Spec9

LOL, that article is filled with your hand-waving rationalization comments. Reality may break through to you eventually.

ffbj

Ouch! Well I wish they would do something with all the nat gas that they flare off. I would not even care if they converted it to hydrogen, though that is probably not economical. Just the current methods are so wasteful.

DaveMart
Did you actually read your link? Look at the chart. It shows way up far more efficient than ICE, and in the same ball park as PHEVs, even ones using natural gas and a battery. They then showed as lower but not massively so, EVs using electricity at the US grid mix, and both a lot higher if the electricity was from coal, and grids using just CNG and also mixes of 25% and 50% renewables, which were obviously quite a bit lower. The funny thing is though,the only figure for H2 in fuel cells was using hydrogen just from natural gas. That is not going to happen, not even right at the start, as in California 33% of transport hydrogen is mandated to come from renewables. Try knocking a third off the bar for fuel cells using h2, and see what it looks like. All this dancing on a pin to try to knock up something or other to favour your pet means of locomotion simply distracts from the main point, the vast benefits of getting off oil, using means which are all loads better financially, for energy security, for the environment and for health. If you actually looked… Read more »
DaveMart

BTW looking at the source study:
http://ac.els-cdn.com/S0360544214008573/1-s2.0-S0360544214008573-main.pdf?_tid=ec9d8280-6617-11e4-8901-00000aab0f6c&acdnat=1415321546_b74d3fdcafcab521f8703cf5f13baa3f

On page 7 table 3 they give the mpgge as 38.5 for the fuel cell hydrogen vehicle.
The Lord knows what they have dug up to show that, as every fuel cell vehicle I am aware of gets over 60 mpgge, with the extensively tested small SUV Toyota Highlander FCEV getting 68mpgge:
http://www.nrel.gov/hydrogen/pdfs/toyota_fchv-adv_range_verification.pdf

Adjust their results to match that and even not counting that a third will be from renewables the results will be very different.

That is aside from the rather tricky issue of filtering the electricity from your plug to use only that from NG not coal.

Priusmaniac

That is not a tricky issue at all because you can switch to a green electricity contract. You can also produce your own electricity with photovoltaic.
The more producing non fossil electricity is already massively present with hydro power, wind power, wave power, solar plants and geothermal. It is not the case at all the elusive renewable Hydrogen that would have to be established from scratch. In more such production would likely vampire on green electricity production which would end up in a worse then present situation.

DaveMart

That is not using natural gas, but trying to use wind etc, so that relates to the CO2 emissions shown for higher usage of renewables in the grid.

If you use more renewables to produce hydrogen you reduce CO2, although for reasons best known to themselves the authors do not show these comparable figures.

BTW it looks as though they kludged up their 38.5 mpgge by assuming the same as for their weird CNG fuel cell vehicle with on board reforming, a purely hypothetical car, when they could have used any of several on the road fuel cell hydrogen cars and got a far higher mpgge.

One can only assume that that did not fit their agenda of showing that it is more efficient to use natural gas for electricity than reforming it and using it in a fuel cell, as if you use any real fuel cell vehicle, it ain’t.

Lou Grinzo

I don’t have the time to do much digging right now, but I did turn up this:

“Currently, global hydrogen production is 48% from natural gas, 30% from oil, and 18% from coal; water electrolysis accounts for only 4%.”

[This is from the somewhat dated Wikipedia article on “Hydrogen economy”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_economy#Current_hydrogen_market ]

It will take an immense effort to scale up non-fossil fuel-based hydrogen production in the short run. And even then, the total amount of energy used per mile driven on hydrogen is three times what it is for an EV. (Google Ulf Bossel’s famous E21 paper on hydrogen for the full well-to-wheels analysis. It’s a must read paper for anyone interested in the topic.)

Hydrogen fueled cars (whether H-ICE or HFCV) is a beautiful theory hammered by several ugly facts. Barring some sort of miraculous breakthrough, hydrogen will quickly go the way of New Coke as car batteries continue to improve in both absolute and cost/performance terms.

DaveMart

It seems odd then that the DOE and the big car companies who certainly have had plenty of time to do ‘some digging around’ have not managed to arrive at the same insight that you have managed in five minutes.

BTW 33% of Californian hydrogen for transport is mandated to come from renewables, and there are plenty of ways of doing that.

SIvad

Yes but we are talking about China not hypotheticals in California. Just because something could be done doesn’t mean a giant country with billions of people and a giant economy run by a centralized government has the will or want to set up a giant renewable hydrogen economy.

The easiest path for them is to produce electricity however they can including a slowly growing renewable portfolio that will run a slowly ever growing EV fleet on that ever changing portfolio of electricity. production.

DaveMart

China has a massive renewables program, and also a very large DME program producing cleaner fuel for vehicles, so it is erroneous to assume that they are not interested in the environment.

They also have nothing like the US’s reserves of NG, so presumably will be interested in other means of generating hydrogen.

In any case, China is going to do whatever it is going to do, and none of us are going to stop it by telling them they ought to be using batteries not fuel cells.

It is non experts in the field assuming that they have all the answers and that organisations like Toyota are half-wits or lying about their intentions that gets me.

There are lots of ways forward, and none of us are in a position to rule out things we don’t happen to fancy.

I have not got an opinion myself, I just go along with the most expert opinion I can find, which tends to be far less definitive about the best way forward than the certainties of unqualified bloggers.

SIvad
I didn’t say they weren’t interested in the environment but that EVs allow them to use whatever portfolio of energy available to them as things evolve. I was especially talking about renewables. “They also have nothing like the US’s reserves of NG, so presumably will be interested in other means of generating hydrogen.” What makes you think they will be interested in producing hydrogen? They haven’t shown any interest yet. “China is going to do whatever it is going to do, and none of us are going to stop it by telling them they ought to be using batteries not fuel cells.” But they are using batteries and not fuel cells and no one told them to do that but themselves. “It is non experts in the field assuming that they have all the answers and that organisations like Toyota are half-wits or lying about their intentions that gets me.” I don’t claim to have all the answers but I am simply observing that Toyota is offering only an EV in China while now offering only FCVs in other countries. Clearly Toyota is offering what they believe will be the most lucrative powertrain in each future market rather than what… Read more »
DaveMart

Slvad:

My comment about non-experts having a false notion of their capabilities did not refer to you, and I enjoy thinking about the points you bring up.

As for China and hydrogen, they are still very much in catch up mode, and hydrogen cars are very much in development phase, with serious production not due until after 2020.

Nick

Still does not get away from the fact that using renewable energy to make hydrogen is massively wasteful. A FCEV powered by renewables uses five times as much energy per mile vs using the electricity directly in an EV.

liberty

why are they selling them in japan and europe? well they aren’t. They have not sold a single fcv to an individual customer.
they have some demo vehicles.

Japan is the most likely market to test. The Government is giving a package of about $50,000/likely vehicle throudh direct subsidies and indirect like fueling infrastructure. Toyota has some of the best lobbyists in the world.

ffbj

Completely reasonable.

Lad

Toyota is playing to the politics of the countries; in the U.S. the oil companies own the politicians and thus run the country, so Toyota’s PR is slanted to support their interest. Believe me when I tell you Toyota could introduce an EV in the U.S. when the time is right and the politics favor the move.

sven

“. . . in the U.S. the oil companies own the politicians and thus run the country. . . .”

Then why did the Obama administration issue new rules that require automakers to nearly double the average fuel economy of new cars and trucks by 2025? That would severely curtail oil consumption in the US to the detriment of oil companies. Maybe, your conspiracy theory doesn’t hold water, and the oil companies don’t run the country.

Priusmaniac

Because that is detrimental to foreign oil companies but not to us fracking.

sven

“. . . in the U.S. the oil companies own the politicians and thus run the country. . . .”

Then why did the Obama administration issue new rules that require automakers to nearly double the average fuel economy of new cars and trucks by 2025? That would severely curtail oil consumption in the US to the detriment of oil companies. Maybe, your conspiracy theory doesn’t hold water, and the oil companies don’t run the country.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/29/business/energy-environment/obama-unveils-tighter-fuel-efficiency-standards.html?_r=0

Toyota: “No One Is Coming To Our Door Asking Us To Build A New Electric Car”

Except I guess China?

GeorgeS

Noel would probably say Toyota Schmoyota.

A hat for every season…way to go kdawg.

pete g

A $20,000 Yaris with a few NiCi Batteries and 10 miles of range. Not even going to put the Toyota name on it, that should tell you how much faith Toyota has in this car.

Your comment shows, you are clueless about how the joint ventures and incentives work in China.

DaveMart

If it is a PHEV and not a BEV, it will almost certainly have 50 miles AER on the NEDC cycle, as that is when cars in China are classified as ZEV for cities.

That may be why Toyota is producing this, as they have nothing in their line up other than the FCEV which is compliant, and that is not ready for large scale production.

Lensman

The auto safety standards in China are far lower than they are in the USA, the EU and British Commonwealth countries… which is one reason why Chinese make cars have yet to penetrate those markets. If Toyota is going to make a cheap car specifically aimed at the China market, likely it will be made with the same low safety standards, so it can compete on cost.

Given that reality, it would be surprising if a major auto maker did -not- create a new brand for a low-quality product. Toyota won’t want the flimsy, cheap cars sold under that brand to reflect on the Toyota brand. This will be the exact opposite of Toyota’s Lexus brand. Lexus is reserved for Toyota’s high end cars; the Lingzhi / Leahead brand would be used for Toyota’s low end.

In both cases, the re-branding is entirely reasonable, and market-savvy.

+1. Well said.