Toyota Won’t Make A Proper EV Because Dealers Say It Won’t Sell


Toyota comes clean about why it’s not producing all-electric vehicles.

Toyota has been at the pinnacle of “electrified” offerings for a number of years. Of course, this comes in the way of traditional (no-plug) hybrids that InsideEVs doesn’t cover. More recently, the automaker brought forth its Prius Prime plug-in hybrid, which isn’t the company’s first Prius plug-in, but surely its most successful on our shores. Toyota has focused on hydrogen fuel cell cars for a time (and still is to a degree), and set all-electric cars aside. Now, the automaker says it isn’t yet offering a BEV, simply because dealers can’t sell them.

We can either congratulate Toyota for sizing the market and waiting patiently or reprimand the automaker for holding out and essentially slowing EV adoption. Those that follow the segment know that while major rival Honda has released the Clarity BEV in the U.S., it’s only available for lease in a small market, and production levels are extremely low. Hyundai and Kia continue to come forth with all-new BEV entrants, but again, they are made in small batches for the U.S. market and only available in limited areas.

So, this plan by Toyota is not new. In fact, it’s that course that seems to be followed by nearly every foreign automaker when it comes to offering all-electric cars in the United States. General manager of Toyota Motor North America Jack Hollis shared at the recent LA Auto Show (via :

If our dealers, and we just met with our national dealer council two weeks ago, if our dealers felt like there was a significant demand (for EVs) we would have already had fully electric and electric vehicles already on the road today.

Having that technology, which you’ll remember if you go back the electric RAV4 was one of the first electric offerings in the marketplace in the US, period. So the technology there and what we can offer is available, but like any good demand and supply economy, if the demand is low, do you really want to supply?

For those unaware, Toyota previously offered a RAV4 EV, which was discontinued in the U.S. Still, Hollis confirms that Toyota is not stepping away from new powertrain technology. He assures:

But I will say at the exact same time, there is daily investment going into fuel cell technology, BEV technology, plug-in technology and hybrid technology. And all four are part of our electrification strategy, so I do not believe that our dealers, and they would agree, that we should not go down just with an electric offering but we should with an electrification offering where we have a wider range of products, a wide range of energy sources and uses available. And that’s really what were pursuing, a wider range. And then as we go over time well be able to see where the marketplace moves. But at this point, there is no reason to race that to market.

We shall see if Toyota and other automakers see the potential in EV sales in the U.S. and not only come forth with new offerings, but also make them widely available. They may be surprised at the results if these cars are priced right and readily available. However, the only way to know is to take the plunge. Fortunately, most of these OEMs have the financial situation to do so without concern. Sadly, it all comes down to the mighty dollar, so we’ll see …

Source: Autoguide

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218 Comments on "Toyota Won’t Make A Proper EV Because Dealers Say It Won’t Sell"

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Circular reasoning. A common logical fallacy among hierarchical organizations.
They need to be more like the little train that could, than the big steam locomotive that can’t

“Circular reasoning.” Sorry, but you are wrong. Business executives are trained (typically in MBA courses) to listen to their customers and solve customer needs. Clayton Christensen explains this dilemma in great detail in his disruptive technology books and research: by listening to customers, the company misses out on disruptive technologies. I recall him explaining how when Sears was at its height / zenith in the retail market, a small discount store opened in Arkansas and that small retail store became the retail giant known as Walmart. (At the time, no one knew Walmart would grow into the giant today; it helped that Walmart got its start by killing off small mom & pop stores in “rural areas”). Sears got to its position by “listening to its customers”. Toyota got to its dominant position by “listening to its customers.” Obviously, Toyota was doing something right. What Professor Christensen came up with is not listen your customers but ask what what problems does my services or products solve. For example, what problems does my car solve was different in 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010, etc. Today, customers are very concerned about global warming and prefer BEV’s to hybrids. For Toyota to switch… Read more »

I think the comparison between Sears and Toyota is a good glimpse into the future of Toyota, when you look at Sears in the last decade.

@Nix. Hindsight is 20/20. You are probably the smartest guy using hindsight.

Toyota had an RAV4 EV and I think it had a range of 75 miles with battery pack made by Tesla. So it wasn’t like Toyota didn’t try the EV approach.

Separately, we never hear from the start-ups that don’t make it.

The RAV4 EV with Tesla pack had 103 miles range. And a lot of people liked it, but issues it had was:
1) It wasn’t made to be an EV, it was a gas car with EV parts put in. Toyota even ignored Tesla when Tesla offered to make improvements to it.
2) It was available in CA only
3) Toyota treated it like crap and even threatened people if they drove the car out of CA.

To say they tried the EV approach would be an overstatement.

You sound like you regard the Rav4 EV as a failure. Its marketing was as limited as Toyota’s commitment. It was sold, when lithium ion was at least 5X as expensive. You have this “they tried that” perspective, as if nothing is changing. Good luck.

Toyota decided (and announced) the exact number of RAV4 EV’s they would build before they even built the first one. They even built and held onto old gliders just for the EV version of the RAV4, while they moved the ICE version to a new generation because right from the beginning they had no intention of selling any more of them than they needed for compliance.

Toyota didn’t “try” to make the RAV4 EV work in the market. They instead built a fixed number of them and marketed them only for CARB credits. To imply that the RAV4 EV represented a true “try” at a pure EV as if Toyota was ever going to sell more than their planned 2,600 units over 3 years, is revisionist history.

The thing about hindsight being 20/20 is that first you have to actually know the real history.

Toyota has a terrible case of Innovator’s Dilemma. That is why they are getting left behind with plug-ins being the disruptive technology that they are.

It was a half baked compliance car. Nothing more.

That RAV4 EV was simply a compliance car for the California market so that Toyota could claim the ZEV credits.

Yup, theres even a documentary which revises this issue called “Who killed the electric car?”. Automakers didnt attempt to market the product and had the vehicles destroyed once California backed down.

For whatever reason, Toyota decided to sever its relationship with Tesla and dumped their Tesla stock for a tidy profit. I’m guessing Toyota isn’t crazy about the current Li-ion battery. They still limit the use of Li-ion in their hybrids.

The company losing sales to Tesla always has an excuse.
Excuses aren’t profits.

They use lithhium ion is their plugin hybrids and their hydrogen cars too.

Not to mention they chose a pretty terrible time to sell the Tesla stock. They can’t seem to get anything right these days.

I wanted the Tesla/Toyota Rav4EV… but Toyota dealer scum made it infinitely clear that they didn’t want to sell any everytime I asked them. The companies blew it by not including DC Quick charging… Toyota engineers apparently were too moribund to handle the Tesla gonzo design school. The Rav was designed to keep folks from wanting it. Kind of a 1.5 roadster. Great to drive… very fun, cheapest tesla you could get… some folks even added CHAdeMO… but nowadays Model 3 is so much better for the 50k. Toyota is a backwards thinking auto maker. Tiny increments of change in predictable ways. Toyota is old oil all the way. I can’t wait to see them wake up like VW.

Toyota owned 3% of Tesla. It sold it off in 2014 and 2016. Yes they made a tidy profit, but their stock would now be worth another billion dollars if they held onto it.

Exactly. Toyota RAV 4 EV was an outstanding success.
Toyota REFUSED to meet National American demand.

If Toyota checked the internet they might notice that Tesla is selling an EV by the hundreds of thousands that has a greater range than 75 miles.

Toyota tried the “EV approach” back when Tesla had just started selling the luxury class Model S and cell prices were 5× what they are now.

Time to take their head out of the sand and look around again. Truth is of course they are aware but are simply waiting for the sales spreadsheet to start to show some real sales losses before they slowly wake up and get of the couch.

“…we never hear from the start-ups that don’t make it.”

On the contrary, over the last decade we’ve “heard” a lot from Aptera, Fisker, (Project) Better Place, CODA, Th!nk, Faraday Future, and now Nikola. (I’m anticipating slightly regarding Nikola’s coming failure, but it has red flags quite similar to those of Better Place, only worse.)

The largest problem with BEV adoption is lack of maintenance. Dealers generate a large amount of their revenue through service and if that stops then they are in trouble. The revenues on new car sales is next to nothing compared to pre-internet sales. Selling BEVs for a dealer is like pounding nails into their own coffins.

most consumers dont view lack of maintenance as a problem

Exactly. During the lease agreement signings for my last two BEVs, I was asked if I would like to purchase an unlimited/discount oil change program. It was nice to let them know I wouldn’t seem them until I turn the car in.

Your last sentence is pure hyperbole.

There is the issue of EVs theoretically requiring less service than ICE vehicles, and in some cases that is true.

But some of the better articles that I have seen on this subject refer to a simple solution. Which is that since service cost is non-negotiable, whilst the price of the vehicles are negotiable, fix the price of the vehicles at MSRP/sticker price.

This may not be that feasible right now, since EVs cost more than comparable ICE vehicles, but it would certainly be feasible after cost of cells/batteries comes down.

This comment makes no sense at all. Traditional dealerships can only exist because the price isn’t fixed — it’s negotiable — and they use professional negotiators (along with underhanded or even illegal tactics) to get as much money as possible from each customer.

It’s true that a traditional dealership makes most of its money from service rather than sales, but merely moving to a “no haggle” selling price won’t change that in any way. Look at what GM did with the Saturn brand. Yes, they moved to a no-haggle pricing structure… and just like Tesla, they also moved to using sales reps paid a fixed wage, rather than commission sales.

The traditional dealership model was (and is) based on the idea that the customer can’t know exactly what the dealership paid for a car, so he’s in an inferior position in negotiating the price. But anybody can look that info up on the internet these days. The traditional dealership model can’t long survive, and in fact I’m amazed that it’s lasted this long in the Information Age.

Right. The question is who is Toyota’s customer – dealers or the end users? Dealers are never going to”want” to sell EV’s, because most of their profit is in service/parts/warranty, which is drastically reduced with EVs.

Dealers are worse than useless middlemen. There is no legitimate need for their customer services. Their main purpose is to let manufacturers offload their mediocre inventories to big lots that the middlemen own. Gets the crap off their books. I can’t wait until the Tesla Model of selling takes over and wins.

That’s true from the auto dealers’ perspective, yes. But from the auto manufacturer’s perspective, lower maintenance cost under warranty is better.

Toyota needs to revamp its dealership agreements to move into the 21st century. Volkswagen is doing that for its European dealers, and reports are that they will soon do the same with their American dealers. I don’t know if their new business model will work, but at least they are trying something new.

The traditional business model of the auto dealer won’t survive the EV revolution.

Automotive companies used to be run by engineers. An engineer can easily ace an MBA degree but the average business major struggles to understand basic science and gets fooled into thinking hydrogen fuel cells are the way forward.

@PeaBrain, I was a bond analyst on the buyside and I never recalled a CEO who was trained as an engineer who was great at running any of the Big 3. The metric for great would be like Steve Job taking over Apple for the second time and then look at Apple’s market cap over time.

I may not be as smart as Elon Musk, but I know the supply of hydrogen is vast but the supply of lithium is finite. Theory is great for clinical studies, but reality has to set in due to law of diminishing returns.

It’s not like we can create lithium out of thin air like hydrogen from water. The world we live in practically runs on lithium but that supply of lithium is limited. We have a concept called “peak oil” and oil was abundant for a long time. The law of diminishing return is a beetch.

What is a beetch for you and the other shorter ship of fools in “financial analysis” (and I use that term loosely since a dartboard is often more accurate then these idiots) is that the economics of H2 runs up hard against the never changing physics.

Lithium is one of the most abundant elements and many other alternative battery chemistries are being worked on as we speak.

Meanwhile fool cells are and will continue to be only 1/3 energy efficient as battery cars and therein lies the economic truth about the future of at least light duty transportation.

Go back to Seeking Shorters and stay there troll.

The fallacy of your example is that lithium isn’t consumed like oil is. It can be reused and repurposed indefinitely. While oil is burned, it is momentary and it is costly.

Hydrogen may be abundant but it is difficult to get into a pure form. It is very reactive and binds with just about everything. To get power out of it we must first put power into it to release its bonds with, in your example, oxygen. It is also very difficult to work with. The atom is small and it is very difficult to contain. It literally leaks through the containing material. It isn’t as simple as you seem to think. It must be made locally because of its leakiness. Although I have heard of possibly using vinegar as a transportation medium and then strip the hydrogen at the point of sale. Batteries make more sense in general.

It is very easy and cheap to get hydrogen out of water or methane. Just apply certain amount of energy and you have it. No rare elements of limited availability with highly polluting mining & ore processing are necessary. Obviously law of conservation of energy still applies, just like it applies everywhere on Earth and beyond. No free lunch.

Industry is doing it at mass scale for hundred of years already and suggestion about mythical difficulties and magic molecule is just laughable. Town gas (half hydrogen) was in use in every house in Europe 50 years ago. It is well researched and done already, and taught in schools for those who want to learn.

Seriously, your post is just riddled with fallacies. The energy cost to covert water or methane to hydrogen is enormously inefficient. If your assertion were true, there would be tons of hydrogen processors and components that used hydrogen for energy. Reality shows us those do not exist.

I drive by a hydrogen refueling station every single day. It’s next to the Toyota regional parts distribution center. They pay for it. A lot.

“cost to covert water or methane to hydrogen is enormously inefficient.”

Inefficient cost? I doubt you understand what it means, you just lump keywords from popular talking points to one phrase.

There are “tons” of “hydrogen processors”, or whatever you are calling them. You won’t see them in virtual reality brogrammer world though.
But fertilizer production and oil industry uses well over 50,000,000 tons of hydrogen each year. It is $100+ billion market and growing.

Air Liquide just recently announced new plant in Western US for fuel grade hydrogen specifically, 30 tons daily, 11,000 tons yearly.

it is not cheap or easy to get hydrogen out of water. It is much easier to get it from methane, which you get from fracking natural gas…highly polluting and destructive to the environment.

I suggest you take Physics 101 and Chemistry 101 before you make any more stupid statements.

This is a good point for ALL MBA’s. Also take Statistics 101. Then you’ll understand when a technology is a statical outlier, and has no chance of adoption.

Aside from the fact that hydrogen stations cost 2 Million Dollars to build and setup. Who’s going to roll out a nation network of hydrogen stations.

Nikola plans to roll one out.

…and Nikola’s claim to be able to profitably sell commercial H2 at $2/kg is the main reason we can be absolutely certain that Nikola’s claims are not based in reality. Nikola doesn’t have that magically improved H2 molecule, either.

Nikola is also ignoring the very high construction cost for a high-volume H2 dispensing station.

I have studied physics long enough and never had “101” course 😉 You better get out of repeating last decade talking points and check where costs are now, what are cost / scale dynamics, and where things are going.

If solar & wind is too expensive in some region to compete with natural gas as energy source, it is not hydrogen’s fault, and burning the same natural gas or coal in power plants will not make the outcome better. You are confusing cause and effect here.
If you are stuck with natural gas as energy source, hydrogen production is cleaner and more efficient option than just burning it for lousy thermal-electric conversion.

You have pure CO2 stream after steam reforming that can be easily captured and sequestered unlike gas turbine exhaust.

Or you do pyrolysis and get solid carbon and hydrogen – cost is similar to steam reforming with carbon tax.

There are many different ways, take “Chemistry 101” really beyond Elektrek propaganda. All these options to produce hydrogen avoiding CO2 emissions are way cheaper and cleaner then destroying Earth by mining and ore processing for Li Ion giga-batteries.

Buy a Tesla, install solar on your roof and you have NO INPUTS to pay for. No Hydrogen stations needed. You charge every day at your home.

That’s a Huge Luxury advantage.

Hydrogen Summary of Failure Hydrogen stations make excellent explosive terrorist targets. Hydrogen stations are very expensive, cost per station: $1.5 Million, who is going to be forced to pay for this? Hydrogen stations not pumping at the 10,000 psi required, you’re only getting Half Charges! Difficult to make hydrogen and store it.   Hydrogen isn’t a source of energy, you can’t mine it, you can convert something else to hydrogen, like methane, but then you lose energy in the process.   Hydrogen from water( in a global drought? ), is extremely inefficient.   Hydrogen from methane gives you No Help with global warming, it actually makes things worse.  As methane wells typically leak like sieves Hydrogen must be supercooled and compressed to 10,000 psi to store sufficient energy, which requires lots of energy. Burning it as a fuel is less than 50% efficient. The energy to do all this could be used to directly run an EV from a battery, and get you Twice as far. Hydrogen likes to leak. Hydrogen has a general problem of metal embrittlement, so you need special tanks. – Hydrogen tanks only certified for 15 years??? Hydrogen leaks as an invisible gas. Hydrogen is extremely… Read more »

“Just apply certain amount of energy and you have it.”

It’s the”amount of energy” that’s concerning, and then the byproducts on the other side.

“Industry is doing it at mass scale for hundred of years already and suggestion about mythical difficulties and magic molecule is just laughable.”

Sadly, the wishful thinking of fuel cell fanboys has not survived contact with the real world. Contrary to your repeated claims that building out more H2 fueling stations would lead to lower pump costs for H2 fuel, the pump price of H2 fuel in California has only gone up as more stations have been built. And there’s now a chronic short supply of H2, due to the difficulties and impracticalities of producing commercial H2; difficulties that you pretend don’t exist.

The “magic molecule” would be magically transforming the hydrogen molecule so it’s not so pernicious or so difficult, expensive, and energy-wasting to deal with. That’s what you fool cell fanboys seem to think will happen someday.

You actually can get lithium from water. Ocean water has lithium in it after all.

But you are comparing non-equals. Lithium is a resource that is only used one time for the creation of the battery. And very little of it is actually used. Things like Oil and Hydrogen are constantly consumed.

To make your hydrogen car work, you need fuel cells with require platinum. And platinum is WAY more rare than lithium. So rare is platinum, it isn’t native to earth. All platinum on earth came from outerspace.

I guess you are one of those people who say “Copper is rare, so lets replace all wiring with pure gold” while not realizing gold is way rarer.

Amount of platinum required for PEM fuel cells is constantly reduced. It went from hundreds of grams per car last decade to something like 30 in Mirai designed few years ago, to 10 grams in current lab cells. Market price is $30/gram. Even that may be completely eliminated as multiple good enough noble-metal free catalysts are discovered in labs recently.

It is for low temperature PEM fuel cells only. Platinum was never needed for mainstream alkaline eletrolizers or high temperature solid oxide fuel cells.

This talking point about platinum stems from moldy last decade advocacy talking point lists. You need to recycle them, it is getting ridiculous in 2018.

It isn’t necessary to “consume” hydrogen. It just gets in to water and flows back into ocean. Closed system. Typically it isn’t primary source of energy, you get energy some other way, just like for everything else in economy. Gas, coal, solar/wind, whatever. If you think solar/wind is too valuable to produce hydrogen, contra-argument is that it will go just nowhere until it gets cheaper and less “valuable”, so it is moot point.

Since almost all commercial H2 comes from steam reforming of fracked methane one could accurately refer to vehicles that use H2 as “Fossil Fuel Cell Vehicles”.

We like to call commercially produced H2 “frackogen”, due to its most common source.

And yes, it’s a fossil fuel. Commercial production of hydrogen involves wasting large amounts of energy and money to convert fossil fuel from a rather useful form (natural gas) to a form which is far less useful and far more expensive.

I will remind you Mirai fuel cell can’t be shut off or it will brick permanently, so it is hard to say if that decrease is real or simply something to make a limited production car work.

Platinum has a rarity of 0.003 ppm on earth, lithium has a rarity of 20 ppm. Aka, it is 6,666X less abundant than lithium. Lithium also costs only 2 cents per gram.

Look, I’ll I’m pointing out is if you think BEVs are too hard to produce and fuel cell cars are much easier, you are barking up the wrong tree. Because of the fact that fuel cell cars have more rare metals than BEVs.

TheWay said:
“I will remind you Mirai fuel cell can’t be shut off or it will brick permanently…”

🙄 That is flat out wrong. A Mirai fuel cell does shut off, and shutting off doesn’t brick the fuel cell. Stop making stuff up and spreading Fake News. 🤦🏻‍♂️

Yeah, Toyota just applied for that safety exemption from the NHTSA for the giggles right?

Do you even understand what this exemption is for and how it is relevant?

FCV tech may work great, but Liuthium its not limited.

Nothing is limited at certain cost. You can make elements from nuclear synthesis if you are so inclined.
But cobalt would get prohibitively expensive if you would try to add 100 kWh NCA or NMC battery to every of 1.2 billion cars in the world. As it is just byproduct of copper and nickel mining.

More important is that mining & processing of these metals is very dirty operation, worse than gas cars by human toxicity if you go big battery way. You are just substituting one kind of pollution with another, worse in some aspects. Yet another “clean” Diesel reducing carbon emissions, Reloaded.

The supply of lithium may be mathematically finite, but still huge, and certainly enough for batteries for a very long time. Likewise, moving into the future, such batteries at end of life can be recycled, so increasingly every kg of lithium put into a battery does not mean a kg of lithium mined. Just as with steel and other metals at the moment…….

Regarding hydrogen, then whilst there may be a lot of hydrogen – it’s problem is the energy needed to extract it – the fuel cells need materials such as platinum for the catalyst. Which is a lot more expensive than lithium…….! 🙂

I’ll just point out the Mary Barra approved the Chevy Bolt.
The car with the Plastic Interior, poor seats, and a bad rear suspension, to compete with the Tesla Model 3. What did Tesla shoot for? Out performing a BMW 3 series.

So, when it comes to product, the engineer Clobbers the MBA.
And what do companies sell?

The resources that you need to turn water into hydrogen is also limited.

“the supply of hydrogen is vast and the supply of lithium is finite”.

There are so many things wrong with this statement I don’t know where to begin.
1) lithium isn’t consumed by EVs, a finite supply is fine
2) geologists have barely begun looking for lithium at scale
3) hydrogen isn’t a supply you can find anywhere, it has to be created or separated, at great energy expense.
4) I can go on but have other things to do than correct obvious errors

“It’s not like we can create lithium out of thin air like hydrogen from water.”

Ironically, it’s rather close to being exactly like that. Lithium can be refined from seawater; the Japanese have developed that process. The only reason that isn’t being used is that it’s cheaper to extract it by current methods. One reason it’s so cheap is that it’s such a common and easily found mineral.

Anyone who thinks that the EV revolution will be limited by the supply of lithium… needs a lot of education on the subject.

You also need an education on the subject of “the supply of hydrogen is vast”. Here on Planet Earth, it ain’t.

one word…recycle!

agree 100%. while certainly not all engineers make great leaders, an engineering company led by someone with engineering experience is far better off than one led by a MBA clown. I deal with these types of fools everyday. They have a shiny degree and talk and talk, but have zero clue how or why things actually work.

I was looking for a good summary of “listening to customers” & disruptive technologies and want to share this key point: When to listen to your customers by C. Christensen.

“It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” — Steve Jobs.

I saw my first EV in December, 1980! It was a Kit Car, with a Lead Acid EV Drivetrain, built by GE! It could drive a 100 miles, and had a top speed of 70 Mph! They used a “Bradley GT II” Kit for the car!

Being a 2 seater, it was more like an EV1. It would be slick to see what even a High School Shop Class could do with such a kit, as an EV, with readily available Lithium cells and EV Motors and Controllers we have today!

You win the crustier-than-thou contest for EV enthusiasts. 🙂

I agree that these are all good ideas, although obviously no news to anybody in business.

And what conclusion are you making from all this, Toyota should follow latest fashion and jump listening to EV fans? You may claim that Toyota does exactly what you have told to do, it has strategy, understanding what mass market may buy at what cost, and follow on their strategy, even if fans don’t get it at all.

They did make random low volume exotic cars or fashion statements at times (including RAV4 EV when cooperating with Tesla), but it never was their bread and butter. Reliable and affordable transportation is it.

The people on these EV sites are very myopic. Toyota took the lead in the hybrid market and it took a while for it to pay off. However, ICE vehicles are why Toyota is so profitable. They’re also getting involved with HFC. Although the Mirai isn’t attracting too much attention, hydrogen stations and HFC for semis and other large vehicles appears to be where Toyota is heading. They do have a powerful HFC semi prototype with Mirai fuel cells running around blowing the stacks off of diesel semis. I’d love to see them partner with Nikola Motors, which has much bigger hydrogen plans in the U.S. and some beautiful semi designs.

A guy praising the wholly imaginary advantages of fool cell (“HFC”) vehicles is trying to call EV fans “myopic”.

Almost like irony. 😉

I don’t know too many companies that listen to their customers!

I wrote this earlier: I get the impression Toyota still wants as little to do with the current Li-ion battery as possible. I don’t know if Toyota is thinking along the same lines as I am, but I’m expecting more of these batteries to catch fire in the coming years because of supercharging, reduction in cobalt use (a stabilizer), and manufacturers pushing the envelope to make them lighter and more powerful.

Toyota did take the lead in hybrid development and it paid off, but not nearly as well as their ICE vehicles have. Toyota is working with Honda and Nissan on solid-state batteries, but I doubt they’ll wait beyond 2022 to make EV’s if solid-state still appears to be a good 5 years away by then,

Well, you are correct — altho only in the mathematical sense — to say that more BEVs powered by li-ion batteries will catch fire, since more and more will be sold. Likewise, the more gasmobiles are sold, the more catch fire. Duh.

I look forward to the day when BEVs are using solid-state batteries which are actually flame retardant, such as the ones demonstrated by Ionic Materials. Until then, BEV battery fires will continue to be a hazard, altho certainly significantly less of a fire hazard than gasoline is.

The lack of depth in their analysis would scare me if I were invested in Toyota.

Looks like they are desperately trying to transfer the problem to their own dealerships, and this is going to end up in a messy and ugly train wreck, because this is the only channels they have. Model 3 is coming for the dirt cheap Camry, Prius sales are down by a lot, Lexus crapped out.

LMAO, two organizations in group-think agreement who are only prepared to economically fight the last war and not prepared for the future economic competition.

The stealership sales model is doomed and if Coyota doesn’t switch their fool cell fantasies to the future which will be battery electric then they will likewise be seriously impacted.

Their dealerships lied them in the face that fuel cell cars are selling very well. And now the crap is not selling, people couldn’t care less. Fortunately other brands are now deploying meaningful offerings.

At the very least dealers can be good at telling you what sold in the past, and even what is the hot seller now, but they are not the ones to tell what will sell in the future. Especially when the tech is changing so fast that even the buyers do not know what they can get in the near future.

Apparently toyota doesn’t have a clue about that…

especially since the dealers arent getting people in who want full EVs, since they know Toyota dont do them so they’ll just go elsewhere so therefore the dealers dont hear from those customers. Vegetarians dont go to the meat counter to ask for brocolli.
Wasn’t there another companies exec a year or so ago ? Mazda? who said “our customers never ask us for EVs (so therefore they dont want them)” and got buried in a tweetstorm from ex customer all saying who said ” I was a loyal customer for 15 years. Now I’ve bought a Tesla”.

Ha! That Mazda customer was probably me.

One reason Honda and Toyota are in their current market positions in the US is that a few decades ago the incumbent US manufacturers thought there was no market for smaller cars. Then suddenly there was, and imports owned it.

Tesla at 10,000 M3s/week (which they’ll reach next year) will mean a lot of lost sales at Toyota dealerships. They’ll then be looking to break into the EV market, and discover they’re underdogs in the only market segment that’ll be growing.

How many people buy $50-60k Toyota sedans?

There’s an argument both ways. They’re a company that wants to make money, and a mainstream company is not going to sell many sedans of that price.


$50k Toyota sedans are called Lexus… plenty in SoCal.

And Tesla is kicking the ass of Lexus sedans too just like 3 series, C class, Audi A cars.

Lexus brand is not that good. Toyota is the mainstream

Where did you get that?! Best (reliably wise) suv made by TM is the RX, the ES line are tanks. Toyota is mainstream because pricing…and that’s about it.

The ES could be the best car ever made and if it’s not compelling, (like the current offering is) it won’t sell.

I totally agree with Will. I had a Lexus CT hybrid for two years. It was a rolling blind spot and total death trap. No pick up whatsoever. I hated every minute of driving that car. Toyota is just digging its own grave by not developing a full electric car.

Point being that people are trading in “cheap” Toyota’s for those $50k-$60k EVs.

Quite expected. These toyotas are getting worthless every single day.

Camry XSE is $34,000 and the Camry Hybrid is $33,000. If Tesla ever drops the $35,000 car there won’t be a huge jump to ride the train.

there may not be much jump at all right now when looking at total cost of ownership in a lot of cases when comparing a 34k camry xse to a 46k model 3

Camry is much bigger family car, and most don’t buy XSE trim. Comparing them is just hopeless.

Wrong, Toyota Camry is about same size as the Tesla Model 3.

Camry has passenger and luggage volume of 114 ft3 while Model 3 has 112 ft3.

Do keep in mind EVs have larger interiors in smaller frames than gas cars. That is one of their advantages.

EPA tells us it is 100 ft3 passenger volume for 2019 Camry LE Hybrid and 97 ft3 for Model 3.
Luggage volume is the same 15, don’t know if frunk is included in it.

3 ft3 difference may look not that much indeed, but it feels when you sit inside Model 3, and seats are quite hard and not very comfortable, especially in back. It may be desired for performance oriented BMW 3 competitor, but family sedans like Camry have different target market.

And I never get why Tesla was unable to come up even with simple HUD at this price point. It is 2018, not 1998 for goodness sake, even Prius has such option now at half the price!

Toyota with Hyundai range with price and quality and reliability of thier Toyota brand will sell

EV doesn’t have many moving hard for Toyota to differentiate on qualify alone.

The dealers are the problem. Of course they will say customers don’t want them. If everyone drove an EV there would be little need for all the dealership service departments, which directly affects their bottom line.


If they said that customers did want EVs, they’d be shooting themselves in the foot. Instead, they are preferring to die a slow and painful death from gangrene.

Yes, but dealers also make a large percentage of their profits on financial services like leases, loans, and extended warranties. As well as dealer added options (like paint chip protection films, or racks and tow hitches, etc). The other major profit center is used car sales. They lowball tradins, then resale at big markups. Dealerships that survive will figure out how to morph to a services oriented business model that caters to the unique requirements of EVs.

Or, Car adealers could just move to supporting EV’s, by Selling and installing Solar, Storage Batteries, Wind Generatirs, etc., on customers homes and businesses!

I owned an almost-new used Ford Focus EV for 2 and half years (5K miles at the time of purchase). Over that time, I went to the dealer twice – both for recall items, and spent zero dollars on maintenance except for a set of tires. Absent the recalls, dealer did not get a dime from me. So it’s natural for them to hang on to the FF business model until they all end up dead.

I had a used 2013 Lead for two years. I never went to the dealer once. Total maintenance cost: $0

had my leaf for 4 years, 45k miles, maintenance cost so far; 2 bucks for a key fob battery. Im gonna need tires real soon though

But, even a gas car, in this time period would be covered under warranty and would not spend a dime either. It’s loyal customers out of warranty that make dealers money.

Do Not Read Between The Lines


Now it’s because the dealers aren’t asking for them? Well, that’s progress. Before it was because people weren’t asking Toyota for them.

In the USA in November, Model 3 sales were bigger than all Toyota and Lexus hybrid and plug-in hybrid sales.
So, Toyota, why are you still selling hybrids if there’s no demand?

So nice to see Tesla denting toyota sales. A beautiful kick in the teeth. Excellent performance.

Are they? Do you have any evidence for that?

Their US sales are in line with last years, which was their highest since 2007.

Through November, 2019, Toyota’s US sales are up 1,637 units, while Lexus sales are down only 6,213 units.

No demand for hybrids? Really? Toyota sold 244,400 hybrids in the US last year, and 1,517,900 hybrids worldwide last year. Hybrid sales are down in the US lately due to cheap gas prices the last couple of years, but hybrid sales are booming everywhere else across the globe. See charts and sales figures in links below.

Toyota has also significantly slashed the price premium on their next gen hybrids, shortening their payback period. The new RAV4 hybrid costs only $800 more than the comparable ICE version.

Over the past year Toyota introduced the following hybrids:
– next gen Camry that gets 50+ mpg combined and is much faster & more powerful than a Prius
– next gen Corolla hybrid that gets 50+ mpg combined and is basically a Prius in Corolla clothing
– next gen RAV4 hybrid CUV, which is estimated to get an estimated 40+ mpg combined
– next gen Avalon hybrid and Lexus ES hybrid that get 43 and 44 mpg combined respectively
– next gen Highlander hybrid CUV to be introduced in 2019

With the shrinking hybrid price premium and the increasing MPG ratings, there will be demand for Toyota’s hybrids whether gas prices tick up or stay low.

Steve Jobs quote:

“Some people say, “Give the customers what they want.” But that’s not my approach. Our job is to figure out what they’re going to want before they do. I think Henry Ford once said, “If I’d asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me, ‘A faster horse!'” People don’t know what they want until you show it to them. That’s why I never rely on market research. Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page.”


Beautiful! Market leaders are usually in that position because they had the vision of the future before their competition did.

Tesla figured this out. A good product serves the needs of the market. A great product creates a new market.

VERY well said. Very profound.

It also points out current Toyota leadership has NO SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY.
This is not the time for that kind of leadership.
If you look at what’s hot on Wall Street, social responsibility companies are enjoying better stock valuations.

When I wanted an EV in the US I went to Tesla and Chevrolet … why bother going to Toyota – they don’t sell EVs. And The RAV4 gets way to much credit as an attempt. That was a compliance car in California, interestingly a collaboration with Tesla, who provided the motors and batteries. They build about 2500 and then stopped.

My thought exactly. I had two subsequent Priuses from 2005 – 2013, and really really liked them. But I never asked my dealer for an electric Toyota because I knew it wasn’t there. And now my Toyota ex-dealer told management: “Hey this Arne-nl never asked us for an EV, so why bother?”

… facepalm …

We had 3 Priuses between 2005 and 2018 … Great cars in their time. For the EV we seriously considered the Bolt and the Tesla M3 … And then it was clear: for the price of a Toyota monster truck we could buy into the future (Tesla M3 it was 🙂

There were actually two generations of the RAV4 EV. First one (using lead-acid batteries) was to comply with the first ZEV mandate in California around the turn of the century, and was killed just like GM’s EV1 once that mandate died.

(To Toyota’s credit, they actually let people keep the cars, if they signed an agreement discharging Toyota from any responsibility for keeping them working…)

You are mistaken Antrik.

The first generation RAV4 EV used a nickel–metal hydride battery. Toyota stopped making them because Chevron gained control of the patent rights for NiMH batteries and sued Toyota and Panasonic. Chevron won a $30,000,000 settlement from Toyota and Panasonic, and forbid any further production of large NiMH batteries.

There was no agreement with RAV4 EV owners discharging Toyota from responsibility. Of the 1,484 RAV4 EVs that were produced, the first 1,156 were available only for fleet lease to corporations. In 2002, long after Toyota had fulfilled its CARB ZEV mandate, Toyota made the RAV4 EV available for sale to the general public, no strings attached. A total of 328 were sold, then Chevron forced Panasonic and Toyota to stop making and selling large NiMH batteries, bringing an end to RAV4 EV production.

The article you linked is actually rather contradicting several of your claims…

You are right of course that it used a NiMH battery (my bad) — however, the “Chevron killed NiMH on purpose” story is quite disputed; and the article doesn’t make it sound like Toyota had any intention of continuing the production if it wasn’t for the patent issue…

Did Chevron hold the patents? Yes.
Did Chevron sue? Yes.

Case Closed.

While it’s true that Chevron tried hard to kill off NiMH batteries used in EVs, they failed rather miserably. Yes, they prevented EV makers from using their specific format of NiMH batteries, but various makers of PHEVs continued to use NiMH batteries in their cars. That includes all versions of the Prius prior to the plug-in varieties, as well as the Honda Insight.

I went looking for a Prius Prime Advanced, and the dealer did not bother to CHARGE the Battery. The Prius Advanced drove like a nice car. But after the dealer didn’t allow me to experience the EV drive mode I checked out the BMW i3, and that car is AMAZING. And BMW lease rates are, let’s say, aggressive. They wanted me as a customer.

Consumer Reports: 2019 BMW i3: RECOMMENDED.

Toyota made me two awesome cars that I owned before: my first car, a Toyota Celica then I got a Prius. I was fun back then but now it is time to move over. Thanks Toyota for your service of moving this country for all these years.

With this situation and the news that FCA is going to open a new ICE Factory in Detroit to make Jeep/trucks there is still a large proportion of the Car Makers who seem to be sticking their fingers in their ears and going
“la la la la la la I can’t hear you”.
The two dealers I’ve bought cars from in the last five years have been right on top of the technology they were selling. For a PHEV and a full BEV, I had no ‘we think you should by this lovely ICE…’ Instead, they sold me the car even though I pretty well knew what I wanted from the outset.
Toyota will soon see the error of their ways.
I have to hope that Nissan don’t chicken out and go down the same road at Toyota, Honda and Mazda are doing. That will inevitably lead to their oblivion.

I’m no Tesla fanboy, but have they seen Model 3 sales?

Their dealerships proved it is not selling, but fuel cell cars are such a big hot hit now… oh wait.

The main reason is that electric cars are not as profitable as ICE cars. Toyota is dead set on making the most profit possible.

“…now at the expense of future prosperity.”
Come on man, finish your sentences.

Yea right, milk the ICE for what it can provide. And then what?

… this quarter

Not as profitable? 33% margin in Q3 on Model S + X — from a company that supposedly doesn’t know how to make cars — doesn’t exactly sound less profitable…

Or to put it another way: Toyota is so focused on short-term profits that it’s completely ignoring that it’s sitting on the railroad tracks, with a freight train named “The EV revolution” hurtling toward it.

This is the same people who think hydrogen is the way to go? Because of demand?

The same old coots… I wouldn’t buy a bus ticket from them, let alone a car…

Hydrogen cars should come with a book of bus tickets, because there is no place to fill when you inevitably run out. Good marketing promotion opportunity!

If you want to come with more funny jokes about these stupid hydrogen cars, just copy&past all the jokes about BEVs and their fans from some 2008-2012 comment board. You only need to do search&replace BEV/FCEV and you are done!

@zzzzzzzzzzz. Why? BEVs were not obviously a dirty, expensive, waste of time and electricity.

Why? Do EV fanboys ignore reality, the laws of physics, and even basic economics in claiming that the future of automobiles is EVs?

Nope… only fool cell fanboys do that, in claiming the “hydrogen economy” is the future of automobiles.

Dealers are focused on status quo in the US. They like oil changes, value-add services like stain protection on cloth seats, and they build lobbies that smell like grease, rubber, and instant coffee. They use pressure sales techniques and make most of their money in the repair center. This was my experience the last notable time I was in a dealer:

After that, I went into a VW dealership to look at their CC product. I think I confused them because I just wanted to look at it. They asked me if I was in the market, and I said no, because I of course had my Tesla at that point. Then I said “well, unless this CC car is an all-electric.”

Like a buyer today goes to a dealer not having done a little homework ahead of time and knowing what car they wish to buy.

When I was shopping for my last car, I asked a few different sales people at different dealerships, “How many people come in already knowing what they want?”.

Each one pretty much said the vast majority of buyers have already made up their mind and done their research, and are often more knowledgeable about a given model, than the sales people. A sales person at a dealership has to know something about pretty much every model they have on the lot, including the used vehicles from other carmakers.

The sales person then is just there to show what they have on the lot, possibly offer alternatives, and try to upsell on services, make deals, arrange test drives.

I read your post! I used to live in Fargo, so I can totally relate to all your points. I’m especially impressed that you had your Tesla 6 years ago! Unfortunately, the Supercharger network seems to hardly have made a dent that far north. Thank you for being one of those early adopters who made my Model 3 possible!

I think the something similar was said by the horse buggy dealers too.

You can’t sell what you don’t have.

I want a full EV with great range and power, and doesn’t look like an insect or gnome-mobile. Make that and people will buy.

Good article

Toyota used to have the highest automotive green cred. Now,Toyota rejects BEVs in favor of ultra inefficient hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. WTF?

…ultrainefficient AND dirty due to their use of steam reformed Methane H2.

I don’t like hydrogen fuel cell vehicles because I like to be able to fill up (charge) at home. It’s incredibly convenient to get in your car in the morning with a “full” tank (100% charge). I also don’t like the fact I have compressed hydrogen gas sitting under the rear seats. Hydrogen is extremely flammable, and under all that pressure it is like a bomb. Now, I’m sure they have made them as safe as possible, but still, I just don’t like that.

As an added bonus H2 is corrosive. Those expensive storage containers will need to be regularly replaced.

The flammability is not really a problem; it’s the pressure that would concern me. While the tanks are quite over-engineered in theory to give a solid safety margin, I’m not sure I would be entirely comfortable trusting there are no design or manufacturing issues…

Current generation of Li Ion electrolyte is also highly flammable, especially with the kind of cells used by Tesla, and have ignition source straight inside of the cell unlike isolated pressure tank with no oxygen inside.

People burn their houses all the time charging recently popular hoverboards with Li Ion batteries. Or just burn them from electrical wiring, another common cause of fires.

I’m not sure how you can avoid any hypothetical risks, especially if you insist for convenience of moving high energy amount in your garage while you sleep.

Diesel may be more forgiving as it is harder to ignite, but it is carcinogenic, another risk anyway. Current generation of diesel engines are Common Rail that may have several times higher pressure than H2 tank if you have irrational fear of pressure tanks.

No safe place in this world it seems 😉 Run for your lives! 😉

Yes, they should be just burning that methane to get thermal energy and produce some 30% of it as electricity! They are too dumb to figure the efficiency right way 😉 Maybe they never read Electrek!

Except that combine-cycle gas generators have ~60% efficiency, thus handily beating hydrogen fuel cell cars. (Actually nearly 100%, if the waste heat is reused — as is fairly common here in Europe…)

They have 60% NET efficiency in manufacturer advertising in ideal conditions. The same way old Prius can have 130 mpg – when you push it downhill and downwind at 30 mph, people behind you on the road may be damned. Not real life.

When they operate in real life cycling up and down to match solar/wind supply and demand, and you need to account for losses in transmission and distribution grid, it becomes 30-40% in good day.
EIA provides plenty of data about it.

If you were not promoting a thoroughly impractical dead-end tech — the “hydrogen economy” — then you wouldn’t feel compelled to use falsely low figures for the energy efficiency of a natural-gas-fired power plant.

30% efficiency is at the bottom end of older coal-fired plants. Natural-gas-fired plants have a considerably higher average energy efficiency, perhaps nearly twice the false figure you used.

It’s not that it won’t sell.
It’s that THEY won’t sell one.

In response of to comments of Toyota blame shifting, they didn’t ask the dealer’s about what would sell until they new the answer the dealers would give them matched their corporate goals. They know they have a marketing department upon which they base their production estimates.

Well, The buggy whip manufacturer that did survive the transition from horse to car was one of the better buggy whip maker. Not THE best. Not the one with the highest volume… Maybe that’s their actual goal be the last one standing.

I’m not so down on Toyota. They are the biggest and most profitable car company on earth. They have invested heavily in electrification over the years, resulting in massive amounts of fuel savings for the public and the good of the environment.

But, they have clearly missed an opportunity in the sport-luxury market by letting Tesla grab significant market share that Lexus has failed to compete effectively for. I can see the reasoning for them to have not entered the fray with a low-cost EV yet … cost/utility is still a big stretch at that price point. But in the middle and upper levels of the market where Lexus competes, Tesla is killing them, and they obviously must know that very well.

This article is just based on Toyota executives talking their book and trying to make themselves not look so bad for missing this opportunity.

…and failing to not make themselves look obtuse.

The only marginally sport-luxury car from Toyota I remember at once is GS, and it isn’t like it tops competition. No chance Toyota would have sold at the same scale as Tesla, and even then it would be just loss as Tesla proved. They would need to replicate cult like mentality for fans and sell at loss. So why even try.

Ghosn tried, was talking about half a million sales few years ago, built giga factory for batteries, and where it ended? Yes he got most popular BEV in the world, but technology has proven nowhere close to being good enough to be able to meet the high target. In sports it is called FALSE START.

Of course everyone but Tesla detractors understands that the Model S is highly profitable. The LEAF didn’t do well, as it tried entering the market from the wrong side, before the time was right for that price segment. Very different story today, and more so in the coming years.

Do you see some the pattern here?
2008: LOSS
2009: LOSS
2010: LOSS
2011: LOSS
2012: LOSS
2013: LOSS
2014: LOSS
2015: LOSS
2016: LOSS
2017: LOSS
2018: already lost plenty, final results pending

But believe what you want, I’m not going to argue financials here.

A little more corporate B.S. Period.

Do PHEVs not BEVs in the meanwhile. Stick batteries into that Marai and put in 5 passenger seating.

Sooo, build a Clarity?

Only if you uglify the Clarity a lot, to get it to be as much of an eyesore as a Mirai!

Self-fulfilling prophecy. People who want an EV don’t even go to a Toyota dealer because they don’t have one. So everyone who walks in to a Toyota dealer wants and ICE of some sort. Of course they are going to say they’re not interested in EVs because you’ve already weeded out those who are. Duh.

Add to that the fact that most dealers are worse than useless. I’m an EV fan, but I still know more about most fossils than most dealers do, and when it comes to EVs they’re far too busy spreading FUD to actually sell any of them. Considering the bull that I’ve been fed when I’ve talked to some dealers about EVs (I can remember one Opel dealer particularly well), I’m not surprised that it’s only people who’ve managed to inform themselves independently who actually buy an EV. And anyone who’s reasonably well informed knows to steer clear of the likes of Toyota and Mazda.

Sounds like the best joke I have heard in a long time …. LOL … but I am not buying it, sort of. So is it the same dealers who have told them that hydrogen cars like Mirai would sell? … ROTFL .. I cannot believe I just said that.

Thanks for the afternoon laugh Toyota, you have some “knowledgeable” dealer force, that’s for sure.

Thank you for the good laugh Toyota..
Norwegian Toyota, Mazda, Subaru, FIAT and Ford dealers cry themselves to sleep.

It’s true that consumers do not want to pay a premium for an EV over its comparable/equivalent ICE, but only becuase they don’t understand or want to calculate Total Cost of Ownership. Not does the average consumer understand what a premium experience an EV offers vs a traditional ICE. Butts in seats sells EVs. But if you don’t offer an EV, and don’t help to educate the consumers, of course demand will be low.

No bank would underwrite auto loan on TCO. You have fixed monthly payment, either your debt-to-income ratio satisfies it, or doesn’t, period.

The nasty thing about fixed monthly payments is that they must be met either you drive to work to realize “savings” or not. And when you don’t drive to work, it is exactly the time it becomes critical.

All the fantasies about fuel (fuel tax to be correct) savings belong to fan boards, not to closing table.

Besides that, plain hybrids offer almost the same fuel savings in low or comparable fuel tax environment like in the USA, and for fraction of upfront cost premium.

LMFAO, spoken like the true anti-EV/Tesla shill for Big Oil that you are zzzz!

WOW! 😯 zzzzzzzzz, sometimes you literally take my breath away with the depth and breadth of the fallacies and the utter B.S. that you manage to come up with.

In the real world, saving money on a weekly basis — such as charging up your car at home instead of filling a gas tank once a week — helps people more easily pay their monthly bills… including the car payment.

Not having to pay on a regular basis for oil changes, air filter replacements, and the like… that helps, too.

Their dealers: Toyota, could you please come up with a car with embarrassing operating cost, we need to increase the profits?

Toyota: Sure, hydrogen tanks with very short lifetime, bulky and underperforming fuel cell stack with very rare Earth metals as catalyst and laughable durability of the entire thing – great excuse for maintenance. Bonus, the price of the hydrogen fuel is in the sky, so consider promoting and selling it to the dumb customers, tell them they also get bonus, pure water they can drink directly from the car.

Automotive hydrogen tanks currently have 15 year certification. Similar to CNG tanks that also have 15-25 year expiration. I don’t know if they can be tested and re-certified in the US.

But hey, it is certainly huge problem comparing to Lithium batteries that may have whooping 10 year calendar life assuming good luck, and expand from gases inside risking explosion and thermal runaway afterwards. My phone lithium batteries are barely alive and start to expand just after few years of use.

Also pressure tanks may cost whooping $1500-3000 to replace!!! It would be much easier to replace Li Ion traction batteries at $15,000-$30,000.

You’re such a joke. Trying to confine h2 under 10k psi in cheap tanks will explode directly in your face.

None of these 10k psi car tanks have exploded so far. You should comprehend difference between inch thick tank walls and a party balloon if you can.

Can’t say the same about certain cells as used by one BEV maker for the lack of better cells at the time. They explode in your face all the time, sometimes burning people inside alive.

I wonder whether even a single of your claimed numbers is near the truth… I know for sure that most of them are pure fabrication.

“…comparing to Lithium batteries that may have whooping 10 year calendar life assuming good luck, and expand from gases inside risking explosion and thermal runaway afterwards.”

So, when your BEV-bashing, fool-cell fanboy lies are so worn out that not even newbies believe them anymore, just invent new and even bigger lies, eh zzzzzzzzz?

In the real world, some Tesla Roadsters are now more than 10 years old. I haven’t read about any new trend of spontaneously exploding Roadster battery packs. Perhaps you can point me to some news of this happening? That is, fact-based news from Planet Earth, not “alternative facts” news, from Earth-2, where serial Tesla bashers and Big Oil shills like you live.

Blame the dealers for not being able to sell them. Blame the customers for not wanting them. Blame batteries for not being cheap enough. Blame everyone and everything except yourself, eh Toyota?

In the meantime, Tesla is on track to sell more than triple the number of cars this year as last. VW is going to be shifting most of its production from gasmobiles to PEVs (Plug-in EVs) within the next several years… or at least they claim they are (and I hope it’s true!)

New players like Rivian are popping up; more “young turk” companies to challenge soon-to-be-former market leaders; that happens in every tech revolution.

Maybe one of those soon-to-be-former market leaders is you, Toyota. One thing is certain: Continue down the path you’re going, resisting selling BEVs while promoting the dead-end tech of fuel cell cars, and you most certainly will wind up with a rapidly shrinking market, most likely in less than 15 years.

Yeah, the unwillingness of gasmobile dealers to sell PEVs is a major problem that is slowing the EV revolution. But that unwillingness stems from the source. Quit blaming dealerships for reflecting your own anti-BEV corporate policy.

and HERE is the first real concrete evidence of the “DEALERSHIP DISADVANTAGE”. How many of those customers have DRIVEN a Tesla? People don’t know they want something until they are exposed to it.
This is a colossal mistake by Toyota and yet their hands are tied tight by dealership laws. Toyota needs to sell to dealerships. dealerships sell to the public.

The dealerships are owned by institutional thinking. This is a disaster waiting to happen.

Sounds like Kamikaze mentality to me. How desperate must they be to lose the ICE war, that they tells us such a fairy tale as the truth?

Tesla has shown that Americans will buy an American made car in volume with the Model 3. It looks like Tesla will be able to get another shuttered Toyota plant at bargain prices.

Cars with top US/Canada content are Fiat and Honda models at 75-76%. Toyota Avalon and Tundra are also quite good at 65%.

Tesla Model 3 is laggard at some 45%-50% US/Canada content. But Mexicans should be ok with it, 25% Mexican content. It is America too after all 😉 I guess neither battery cathode powder nor permanent magnets are made in America though.

Is it not true that in many places the manufacturer can not sell direct and cannot circumvent the dealers, either by contract or by state law? The dealers think on a monthly basis, period so investing time on converting the thinking of their sales model makes no sense to them. . So the only solution for Toyota is to wait, or take a chance and start on their own hoping dealers will come around. Seems like Toyota HAS to get moving. Another example of the power of Tesla’s model for its ultimate success.

Contracts generally don’t last forever, and often or perhaps usually they specify conditions under which one partner or the other can end the contract. Volkswagen is altering its dealership contracts in Europe, and according to reports will follow by doing the same in the U.S.

Auto makers are not going to allow themselves to be chained forever to the increasingly dead weight of traditional dealerships. The EV revolution isn’t just going to make gasmobiles obsolete, it’s also going to make the traditional dealership business model obsolete.

As others have said, the really key phrase in all that is “… any good demand and supply economy, if the demand is low, do you really want to supply?” Fine if you’re talking about a staple commodity (say bread or potatoes), but in the technical world you need to be *ahead* of the game to survive. You need to be developing what people will *demand in years to come*. And for cars, that seems to be increasingly battery electric. It’ll take some years before such account for even 50% of new cars sales, let alone cars on the roads, but it’s the TREND that’s important, not current numbers. I actually am quite heartened by what they say, or maybe what they DON’T say. 🙂 It’s a slight acknowledgement that they are finally waking up to reality, beginning to get spooked by what they see happening around them – Tesla obviously, but increasingly Jaguar, Audi, Porsche, and of course Nissan. They were ahead of the game with the Prius for it’s era, but arguably may now be realising they went up a blind alley with hydrogen for cars. But admitting such is a loss of face for a Japanese company.… Read more »

They don’t want to sell it because there would be little after sales gouging they could do, electrics need a fraction of the maintainance ICE do.

So, Globally, which Toyota Vehicles have sold less than 450,000 (the last reported number of Model 3 Reservations), or 500,000 (The Number of EV’s Tesla has now sold), since 2012 (the year the Model S was first delivered)? If the answer is: “None of them! They all sold More!”, then this Toyota thinking might have relevance. Hiwever, at my show, EV Fest 2012, my Toyota Canada Rep, who was showing the early Plug In Prius, or PIP, Convinced Corporate to let him bring the early 2nd Gen “Tesla Inside” RAV4 EV and show it as well, told me after the show: “Your People are angry with me that they can’t buy the RAV4 EV in Canada (where it was built, in Cambridge, Ontario, befire shipping to California, where it was sold)!” So, he called the attendees and guests of EV Fest 2012, “My People”, as if I put them up to beating him up! Instead, he could have figured out that there is actually Interest in the product, and used that to send out a survey to each Owner of Canadian, or, at least, Ontario owners of, Toyota Vehickes! Or even identified if Prius Owners would like to buy a… Read more »

Dealers in USA don’t sell.
How about the dealers in Japan, in Europe and in China where 120,000 plugins were sold last month.
Toyota is bluffing and dishonest, still they cannot catch with VW in this game.
Still Toyota is sticking with nickel batteries for most of its models for this reason and don’t want to move to Lithium.

At least this proves that american dealers don’t want to sell EVs and thats why Tesla can continue to sell directly to customers.

It’s time Michigan state allows Tesla to sell since GM is shutting a big plant over there.

They seem to be moving over to Li-Ion bit by bit. They introduced it for the Prius as an option a while back, and now it seems to be standard for the 2019 model. (Except for the AWD variant apparently?…)

The tail wags the dog.

VW will take over the mass-market toyota sales with BEVs, in similar way Model S decimated the sales of lexus. Bonus, the less ugly gas-guzzling-only toyotas, the better.


Lol cos dealers are so trust worthy. Most dealers are lying scum and will say whatever they need to maximise profit. They know that EVs will generate far less long term profit due to reduced servicing so it’s no surprise they’re saying that. And Toyota are fools for believing it.

Buying cars from liars made by fools. You can forget that.

Not a single mention by Toyota or in the comments of the real reason BEVs are necessary.
Only Tesla gets it (as in its mission statement) and is acting on both a production and usage basis to assist stopping the catastrophic results of excessive CO2 production.12 years is the latest estimate of the time we have or even greater economic and social costs will be incurred with CO2 absorption technology.
Surely Toyota as the biggest contributor to automotive pollution sees in its corporate conscience a bigger call to action than profit to shareholders?
Every toyota produced is an evil, conscious action against the survival of our grandchildren and legislation around the world is going to crush them if buyers do not first.

Globally, the transport sector only account for 14% for all Co2 output. And that includes things like heavy trucks, planes, rails and marine transportation. And in countries with a very carbon heavy electrical grid, like India, China and Australia, an efficient hybrid electric vehicle can easily outperform a BEV in terms of CO2 per km.

To Panterei – don’t forget there are two sides to the “greening” argument – CO2 and air quality within cities. Only BEV and hydrogen have zero tailpipe emissions – hybrids don’t.

“….an efficient hybrid electric vehicle can easily outperform a BEV in terms of CO2 per km.”

That is nothing but “alternative facts” pravduh from Big Oil, which pretends that no CO2 is emitted during the process of refining gasoline and diesel. Any honest well-to-wheel energy and emissions accounting, comparing cars of similar power — and not falsely comparing small efficient PHEVs to large, heavy, much more powerful BEVs — will always show the BEV is considerably cleaner in terms of well-to-wheel emissions.

Toyota did partner with Honda and Nissan on solid-state battery development and apparently has decided to focus on plug-in hybrids for now. They’ll probably change their minds if EV’s from several other manufacturers sell well and long waiting lists develop.

I get the impression Toyota still wants as little to do with the current Li-ion battery as possible. I don’t know if Toyota is thinking along the same lines as I am, but I’m expecting more of these batteries to catch fire in the coming years because of supercharging, reduction in cobalt use (a stabilizer), and manufacturers pushing the envelope to make them lighter and more powerful.

I’m not interested in buying an EV with the current battery. It lacks range and takes to long to recharge. I wouldn’t want one recharging in my garage while I sleep, even though the odds of starting fire are probably less than something else in the house starting one. I would pay a premium for an EV with a solid-state battery, however. I wouldn’t mind a 200-mile range at 80% capacity if the battery is 100 pounds lighter than the current one and recharges within 10 minutes.

But, they are NOT focusing on plug in hybrids, the vast majority of sales are just plain ICE. After 20 years of building hybrids, they’re still selling plain ICE. That’s not leadership.

Tesla sure seems to be selling a lot of them. They can not make them fast enough. And there is no CUV or pickup or compact car yet. The market is getting larger by the day. Toyota is getting left behind.

Toyota should create a No-Dealer Brand.
They’ve just proved the need. Are SHAREHOLDERS listening?

The dealers made an honest and objective survey with their clients. The results were that their clients did not want electric cars.
Those are really self serving results.

Plain & Simple., Dealerships Do Not want EV’s Because EV’s Will Kill Their Shop & Parts Business With EV’s Having Only Have Aprox. “200 Moving Parts” , & ICE Cars Have Aprox “2000 + Moving Parts” . EV’s Are NOT* MAINTENANCE INTENSIVE Like Their ICE Counterparts . This Takes Away A Huge Majority of the “Gravy” Maintenance & Shop Business Which Will Cost Dealerships Huge Losses ! . LESS PARTS TO MAINTAIN, LESS PARTS TO FIX , & LESS PARTS TO SELL!…….. 🙂 …. 🙂 …. 🙂 >>> 🙁

Toyota, like a lot of other OEMs, is trying to transform into a mobility company. They recently said that their dealer network will play a part in that somehow. Not sure how would work, but that’s what I read.

Toyota can sell what it wants – I certainly can’t claim to outsmart them on their product Mix. But the MIRAI being ‘More important than the Prius’ just has to be a big mistake.

Often, you hear uninformed people saying that ‘huge amounts of monies need to be spent on electrical infrastructure to make EV cars work’. That’s much less than a half-truth but I won’t get into that here.

Toyota claims “Full electrics don’t sell”???? Alright – how about making a decent Plug-In hybrid of your much larger vehicles and some of the Lexus Products”? These can charge off the Garage 115 volt receptacle if they’re forced to and while a heavier circuit most times is desirable there is no absolutely MANDATORY change or expense whatsoever.

I really don’t buy LEXUS’ current marketing hype regarding their hybrids are electric with ‘built in (gasoline) chargers”.

And Hydrogen undeniably requires huge infrastructure construction and the crap made to date has been plenty unreliable – besides I’m just waiting for one of these dispensaries to blow up.

Are the dealers interested in selling fuel cell vehicles.
100% NO. because it uses the same motor and systems like EV to run.
So why is Toyota promoting that tech. Just not to sell EVs and show it as an excuse.
How many Mirais were sold this year. 1,468 which is -5% YoY.

If they are really interested in that, they should sell that version of Prius.

“if the demand is low, do you really want to supply?” That’s freakin hilarious! A quick check of the IEV Scorecard reveals over 90k Model 3s have been sold in the last 5 months. That’s an annual pace of roughly 217k vehicles. And that’s at an average transaction price (reportedly) of more than $55k per vehicle. Is that what Toyota considers low demand?

No, this comment was from someone who is justifying and rationalizing past behavior.

Simple answer is that Toyota cannot produce better EV than others 😉