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


What Toyota Claims Doesn't Jive With Reality

What Toyota Claims Doesn’t Jive With Reality

In a recent article in the LA Times, Craig Scott, Toyota’s national manager of advanced technologies, is quoted as stated:

“Today, Toyota actually favors fuel cells over other zero-emission vehicles, like pure battery electric vehicles.  We would like to be still selling cars when there’s no more gas.”

Toyota favoring fuel cells over pure battery electric is is probably the wrong choice, but that’s the choice Toyota has made.

However, it was this statement by Scott that has us scratching our heads:

“And no one is coming to our door asking us to build a new electric car.”

That simply isn’t true (see Tweet above).

Larsen isn’t the only one who’s asked Toyota to build an electric car.  In fact, at least one dealership in Southern California is practically begging Toyota to continue to build BEVs.  That quote, which we won’t link to a source, goes like this:

“He’s [Craig Scott] right ….we’re not knocking at Toyota’s doors. We are pounding on the door, begging for more EVs.”

Those are but two examples from hundreds we can easily find by scouring the Internet.  The statements all have in common the following: Toyota has been contacted/urged/pushed to build more BEVs, but the automaker maintains that nobody wants EVs and therefore it’ll build fuel cell cars.  What we wonder is who is coming to Toyota’s door asking for a FCEV?  We can’t find one person demanding this type of vehicle from Toyota.

The real reason Toyota is giving up on EVs?  It’s simple.  For Toyota, EVs are a money loser.  FCEVs will not be profitable either, but at least Toyota will get more CARB ZEV credits per sale, compared to BEVs, so maybe it’s worth it for Toyota then?

Instead Of Electric Cars, People Are Apparently Knocking On Toyota's Door Asking For This FCEV

Instead Of Electric Cars, People Are Apparently Knocking On Toyota’s Door Asking For This

Source: LA Times via Green Car Reports

Category: Toyota

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76 responses to "Toyota: “No One Is Coming To Our Door Asking Us To Build A New Electric Car”"
  1. David Murray says:

    So maybe CARB is the real problem, then?

    1. EV_Driver says:

      Yes, CARBs lopsided treatment for FCEV’s is a big problem. They are dumping 50 million into fuel cell filling stations at a million a pop and yet there are no cars for sale. We still don’t have EV charging stations along I5 and there are 100k evs in ca that could use those.

      1. Mint says:

        It’s a limited problem. Just like Tesla’s credit got reduced, so will that of FCVs.

        They’re barely going to sell anyway.

    2. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      Nope, the REAL problem is the electorate who fold pols and automakers into pretzels like CARB or CAFE instead of doing the simplest and most effective thing: raising gasoline taxes.

      1. GuyMan says:

        Totally Agree +1 –

        But given politics, an increased gas tax will never happen – Heck in VA, we repealed the consumer gas tax, raised all sales taxes, and added a yearly “fixed” year fee (read tax) on Hybrids, PHEV, and BEV’s


        1. MDEV says:

          Plus the insane property tax in VA, where people pay more for a car “tax” than a home.

    3. mrenergyczar says:

      What does CARB have to say about the lopsided amount of credits??

    4. See Through says:

      Toyota is right. ‘Chelsea Sexton’ is NO ONE!
      Who is she anyway? Is the the president of EV land?

      1. Big Solar says:

        Just someone who can see the simple and obvious which is more than can be said you there genius.

      2. Thomas J. Thias says:


        Heh, yup sure can ‘see through’ this #antiEVZombie! LOL!

        I like his clown comment from another Inside EVs thread better. Allows me to post what some say is see ‘through’s’ image.

        Best to you twistie!

        Thomas J. Thias

  2. BEVs are a money loser for EVERYONE making them. Including Tesla, if you force them to use GAAP reporting.

    1. jkw says:

      You can’t just look at Tesla’s quarterly financial statements and conclude that they cannot make money making electric cars. They have very ambitious expansion plans, which they are spending lots of money on. That leads to huge expenses now that won’t produce any income for several years. If you really want to determine if they are making money, you would have to look at how much they are spending building and improving the model S and compare that number to their revenues.

      I suspect that the model S alone will generate net profits before they stop making them, although I doubt that they have covered the R+D costs yet. But it isn’t reasonable to include the costs of the gigafactory and the model X, both of which produce no revenue yet, and conclude that Tesla cannot make money.

    2. Mint says:

      Tesla is spending R&D on developing 2 cars from the revenue of just one. They’re spending on expanding superchargers which will last for decades.

      GAAP reporting forces them to not report $80M in Q3 revenue that they’ve received. Unlike the big automakers, they don’t have 2-year old leases deals whose payment are allowed to be included.

      1. See Through says:

        Tesla is not sustainable without the charty of govt, Model S owners and its stock holders. Tesla is wasting massive amounts of money for a dead end science project.

        Toyota is on the right path. FCVs can be scaled up easily to trucks, buses (see insideevs article on 60 ft FCV bus) and much much more. All the trucks transporting oil from shale oil areas could fill up with H2 from there (converted from CH4), which is a double win.

        BTW, isn’t this article just blowing up a simple statement by Toyota guy? Obviously he meant not many are asking for EVs. As such, Toyota PIP outsells Tesla in US, even when Toyota ‘does not make EVs’, per the fanboys on this forum. And they are making cheap EVs in China, and short distance personal commuter EVs that they showcased in Washington.

        1. TeV says:

          Your anti-EV lies aren’t even worth responding to, troll.

          You’ve been shown to be a LIAR time and again, so I’m not sure what you think you’re getting out of this experience….

        2. Big Solar says:

          All I can say is D O U C H E !

        3. Priusmaniac says:

          Hydrogen from shale oil, is that your bright future for the planet?
          Toyota is simply on a bad path using fuel cells as a pretext no to put electrics on the road so that they can go on milking the ICE cow. Especially since they know all to well Hydrogen is a death end that doesn’t lead to green. Somehow the new direction there sees ev as a mere stone in their shoe. That is particularly disappointing for Priusmaniac that was so enthusiast by the Prius when it started the access to electrification for the world drivers.
          A very sad situation.

        4. FSJ says:

          OMG! Tesla is not sustainable without Model S owners?! You mean, their CUSTOMERS??!! Boy howdy, I couldn’t agree more.

        5. Thomas J. Thias says:


          My Dear Clown, See Through…

          The Toyota Prius Plug-In can sell to as many gassers as it can.

          At an EPA Rated 0-6 Miles Electric Only Range this machine is a Gasser!

          Link Goes To EPA Comparison Page, Look Under Gasoline Only Graph-

          Who in their right mind would be driven to plug their car in over 3 times each day to pull the equivelent < 20 miles all electric, not under load mind you, of the Ford Fusion Energi or 6 to 8 times a day to avoid gas and achieve the 38 to 50+ 100% all Electric Range in mild temps of the Chevy Volt Extended Range Electric Vehicle?

          Maybe this clown-

          Link Goes To American Horror Story-

          See through, I am so sorry to forever tie you to this clown Twistie, but it is better than tagging you as an #antiEVZombie.


          Thomas J. Thias

  3. Scramjett says:

    “FCEVs will not be profitable either, but at least Toyota will get more CARB ZEV credits per sale, compared to BEVs, so maybe it’s worth it for Toyota then?”

    Except that those 7 CARB credits per FCV won’t last. As I recall, they get downgraded to 3 credits after a certain production run which is why BEVs are at 3 credits per EV now. I might be wrong but I believe I remember seeing that in one of their ZEV rule makings.

    1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      Last time I looked, it was 9 credits for a type V, which is how a FCEV would be categorized.

  4. dan says:

    Says every EV driver:

    All Toyota has to do is look at the number of people taking a financial risk by buying a RAV4 EV outside California.

    But is really anyone surprised? It’s Toyota, and they lost me as a customer because of all this shenanigans.

  5. DaveMart says:

    Perhaps they mean ‘At a price we can make money on’ as none of the cars in production so far pass that test when investment is considered.

    1. Dwayne says:

      Seems like I read somewhere that Nissan was making money on the Leaf now. Perhaps they no longer lose money with each car they build but are still paying off already sunk development cost.

      I really don’t know – but would like to…

      1. DaveMart says:

        Yeah, they are breaking even or better on each Leaf sold.
        $5 billion or so development costs need some paying off though, although actually dynamic companies don’t allocate that to specific products.
        Battery factories operating at way less than build capacity cost a lot of money too, even on and ongoing basis, and Nissan/Renault shot way too high.

  6. ffbj says:

    I wonder how many people came to Toyota begging them to make an FCV?
    I still think saving face is a big part of Toyota’s delusion on FCV’s. They made a decision that many find suspect, and they cannot go back on it without losing face, which is lot more important, in the orient, than people in the West can appreciate.

    1. DaveMart says:

      It is remarkable how so many on this site know so much more about cars than the guys who build millions of them, or the physicist who led the Prius project and is now Chairman of the Board at Toyota, Takeshi Uchiyamada.

      1. Dwayne says:

        Or maybe we just smart enough to know that press releases are rarely about technological truth – as they see it. Politics and business models are the major driver most of the time.

        1. DaveMart says:

          You missed one.
          They obviously started the Fuel cell program in the 90’s and spent a few hundred million on it in anticipation of ZEV credits in California.

          Conspiracy theories such as ‘they don’t really believe in that, they REALLY think blah blah’ are convenient in that they are entirely circular and avoid any need to actually argue the case that they present, which is handy as it avoids all need for thought.

          1. Lindsay Patten says:

            Toyota was already participating in the Japanese government FCEV program, why develop a second car for California when they can get more CARB credits for the FCEV? They don’t need to believe that FCEVs are the real end game to take the approach that they are.

      2. David Murray says:

        For me it has nothing to do with the cars. I’m sure Toyota can build a FCEV. I just don’t think there is any market for it. I don’t know a single person who says they want to buy one. And I can’t think of a single advantage to owning one over a gasoline car except for the fact it is zero-emission.

        1. Scramjett says:

          Given Toyota’s upcoming FCV has a breakneck acceleration time of 0-60 MPH in 11 seconds, and probably has all of the handling of a lumbering hippo (like most Toyota’s I’ve driven) I can’t see why anyone would want one either.

      3. Financial EV says:

        I never doubt that the management of GM and Chrysler know a lot more about auto manufacturing than me. They also went bankrupt, which is not a good sign that their knowledge helped them (well, really their shareholders, bond holders, employees, or suppliers) very much.

        I’m an EV partisan, but also a financial realist. CNG is more likely to win vs. Hydrogen, but it wasn’t sexy enough for the CARB, so now we’re going to spend millions to have hundreds of cars on the road … poor ROI…

        1. Scramjett says:


        2. Spec9 says:

          Well CARB wants to push ZEVs and CNG, although a bit cleaner, are NOT ZERO emission vehicles.

          Besides .. . it is better to just burn the NG in an efficient combined-cycle power plant and use the electricity to charge up EVs since CNG cars are not that efficient. Their main advantage is that on a BTU/$ basis, NG is MUCH cheaper than oil.

      4. Spec9 says:

        DaveMart, if Toyota cannot convince people who closely follow the alt fuel vehicle market like the people that read this board .. . what chance do they have with the broader general public?

        I look forward to them launching the FCVs so we can all take a look. I don’t think they’ll do well. Put perhaps they’ll pull a rabbit out of a hat. Good luck, Toyota.

      5. ffbj says:

        Right. Funny how you know so much more than say VW, who says FCV are junk.
        So give up on that tactic of saying Toyota knows so much, how could they possibly be wrong? It just does not work.

      6. liberty says:

        He is 67 years old, and been pushing hydrogen for a long time. The engineers and management at Ford, GM, VW, Mercedes, Nissan, BMW, and Tesla seem to all disagree with him. Are you saying this one power full guy is right and all the rest are wrong? Even the CEO did a deal with tesla when he saw toyota internally was falling behind. If Akido Toyoda thought nobody wanted electric cars, why does he now have about $800M in tesla stock?

  7. Brian says:

    I got to ride along in a Toyota FCV at this past year’s NY Auto Show. They were very excited to show me how responsive the car’s electric motor was, that this is the future of driving, to which I replied “I know. I experience it every day in my Leaf, but without the hassle of finding a fueling station!” They were dumbfounded.

    I feel like there is a bit of arrogance at Toyota where they can tell their customers what they want (“any alternate fuel, as long as it’s hydrogen”). Fortunately, they are not the only company making cars.

    Let them bring FCVs to the market, and let’s see how well they compete on their own merits. I’m sure they’ll sell enough in CA to meet their requirements, but here on the east coast, nobody is installing hydrogen stations. Meanwhile, the number of EVSEs is still growing quickly.

    1. DaveMart says:

      ‘They were dumbfounded.’

      Or perhaps just being polite.

      1. David Murray says:

        No, I bet they were dumbfounded. Usually they hire people for temp jobs to do these ride-and-drive events. Back when Nissan was doing those, I asked the lady in the car with us how long she had worked for Nissan. She said it was just a local temp job for the week. They gave her a 2-day training course on what to tell customers and answering basic questions. So it is very likely the Toyota representative really didn’t know anything about electric cars because Toyota had only trained them on FCEV.

        1. Brian says:

          While this guy was in marketing, and not engineering, he said he had worked for Toyota “for years”.

          No, he seemed to have very little knowledge about the Leaf. He did know it existed, and knew the talking points about how it was inferior – mostly charging time. He didn’t seem to know that it drives and feels the same as their FCV (as well it should, given they are both driven by electric motors!).

          The part that I really had to explain though was the convenience of an EV in day-to-day use. That is, it charges overnight and you don’t have to stop once a week to tank up. I would never want to give that up now that I’ve experienced it. Even if the car has something to extend the range be it gasoline, hydrogen, biodiesel or unicorn farts.

          1. Bill Howland says:

            I understand why people buy gasoline powered cars, and I understand why people like BEV’s and also PHEV’s.

            I do not understand what is going to make people want to purchase a hydrogen powered vehicle.

            1. Taser54 says:

              It’s a simple confluence of the a car designed for the Japanese hydrogen economy. They have the car for Japan, why not use as a compliance car in the US? I foresee it as an option for company cars for executives in green corporations in the US.

              1. Bill Howland says:

                Yeah, well, I guess. Electricity – short Japan (missing 50 nukes since Fukushima), is probably going to get their hydrogen, if Wikipedia can be believed, from a lot of imported Coal since that’s the cheapest route for them.
                Your post has the ring of truth to it, except nobody apparently has told that to TOYOTA’s marketing dept. They say everyone is going to be driving a H2 car whether they want to or not.

                This may make sense for Japan, of course, as the cancers, and lukeimias proliferate there, I’d think what kind of fuel they use in their vehicles will rather fade in the background in importance. And with their economy being the first ‘western’ one to crash and burn (probably not too long a wait for that, since Abenomics is pedal to the metal then over the cliff), I don’t think the average, or even the (now formerly) well to do Japanese will be able to afford this car.

                So for many reasons, ideally this car may have worked, but I think its much more likely it will be a Flash in the Pan.

                Electrics are here to stay though, since the electric genie is now out of the bottle and won’t be put back in.

                Even H2 vehicles are electrics, since, although a Hydrogen ICE would be much, much more efficient, the Pollution Problem with Hydrogen Cyanide exhaust tends to kill that idea.

        2. Scramjett says:

          Boy, that just about explains virtually every one of my auto show experiences. I get these reps coming up and asking me if I have any questions. When I say “yeah, but I doubt you can answer it” they’ll always say something like “I’m pretty familiar with the cars, you can ask me anything.” When I ask them an engineering question I get this blank stare, followed by a cock of the head to one side and then “that information will be released at a later date.” It was literally as if I got the Windows Blue Screen of Death “Sorry, windows is unable to perform that function. Press ctrl-alt-del to continue.”

          1. See Through says:

            +1. We can’t generalize from what marketing folks say. They will obviously pretend to no know nothing about other technologies, even if they do.

            At least, Toyota is not foul mouthing other alternatives like Musk.

            1. TeV says:

              Um, actually, unlike Musk (who is just one person), Toyota – the multinational CORPORATION – specifically IS ‘foul-mouthing’ other alternatives: EVs.

              That’s the entire premise of the article, which you clearly didn’t read and/or understand. But course you won’t let a little thing like facts get in the way of your incessant LIES.

  8. JRMW says:

    As a Lexus owner add me to the list of people who have begged Toyota and Lexus to build BEVs.

    Also thousands of people bought PiPs and the RAV4 EV so clearly there is demand.

    As for this “we can’t find one person demanding this type of vehicle (FCEV) from Toyota”

    Don’t mimic Toyota. I’m sure at least one person demanded it. Big Energy companies want it and so do many EV enthusiasts.

    Let Toyota build their FCEV. Let California pay millions of dollars per hydrogen station. And we’ll see if it can compete.

    1. Tech01x says:

      Well to be fair, the Toyota Rav4 EV didn’t exactly fly off dealership lots. This is probably their biggest reason for not believing in BEVs.

      However, I think their failures with the RAV4 EV has to do with a tepid commitment and shoe horning a BEV drivetrain into a vehicle not particularly suited to be a BEV in the first place.

  9. Get Real says:

    No thanks Toyota/Dave Mart,

    I prefer making my own fuel with my solar PV and easily fueling my EV in my garage.

    I will never buy a Toyota again and I also have the pleasure of boycotting repressive Big Oil companies who are behind the Fool Cell astroturf/greenwashing.

    1. Anon says:


      Because sinking 100 + million into decades of R&D always gets you the political solution you want; despite actual physics (i.e., reality) and basic economics.

  10. QCO says:

    It’s really ironic the the FCV is essentially an electric car anyway. The FCV needs a battery to smooth the demand curve since the cell operates best in steady state output.

    In fact, the FCV is really more of an EREV with a fuel cell instead of an engine for a range extender.

    All the electric drive technology has already been developed by Toyota for the FCV, so they could easily build a viable EV.

    It seems to be exclusively a management problem, which is easy to conclude with idiotic statements like that article.

  11. Andrew says:

    Why would I *want* a Toyota FCV? Seriously.

    I know why I want (and have) an EV. Convenient home refueling and low fuel cost offset the inconvenience of long-distance travel.

    Why would I want a car that costs as much to fuel as the Prius next to it in the showroom, but adds regular refueling inconvenience and a higher purchase price?

    I don’t get it.

  12. In 2020 one will just need to count the number of Toyota RAV4 EVs on the road in California vs. the number of Toyota FCVs.

    Does the number of vehicles in operation imply a level of commitment:
    1. by customers,
    2. by an OEM?

    Guess which Toyota vehicle type will have greater number of registerations in California: RAV4 EVs, or FCVs?

    hint: ~2500 Gen2 RAV4 EVs & ~250 (of 328) Gen1 RAV4 EVs on the road today vs, 500-1000 Toyota FCVs build by 2020 that will have limited 2-3 year leases without purchase options! Will they still be operated by customers in 2020?

  13. SIvad says:

    Except all of China.

  14. Dave86 says:

    Okay, who asked Toyota to build a full cell car?

    Perhaps the fossil fuel industry?

  15. Toyota saying “No one coming to door asking us to build new electric-car”.

    Is Toyota being hypocritical given in saying ‘no one’, when “Toyota will launch a new sub-brand in China in 2015”?

  16. Goaterguy says:

    Who cares!… I wanted an EV for my needs and got a Volt. Between Nissan, BMW, Kia, Chevrolet, Tesla and other manufacturers you can get your EV fix without even thinking of Toyota.
    Toyota hasn’t build an interesting car in over 10 years since the 2004 prius. I wouldn’t want an EV from them anyways.

    1. See Through says:

      Toyota just released the 850 hp sleeper Camry for race tracks.

      1. Goaterguy says:

        Exactly, Toyota managed to make a boring looking dragster!

  17. EVer says:

    man that fuel cell car is fuggin ugly

  18. Bill Howland says:

    They will probably have some “loss-leader” leasing deals, but in the end its hard to fathom who will buy these things.

    And how much does TOYOTA want to spend on advertising before realizing there’s no real desire for it here?

    1. Bill Howland says:

      And besides, their goofy fuel cell website bombs my computer. Rather arrogantly, they claim I will be forced to drive a hydrogen vehicle 20 years from now.

      They’d say its just a poor choice of words, but it tells me what they’re thinking.

  19. Spec9 says:

    Yeah, Toyota, people are no longer going to ask you for EVs. They now have plenty of other options and your old plug-in vehicle is woefully under-batteried. Go ahead and fall behind the curve.

  20. Bill Howland says:

    As far as any realistic profit motive goes, I would guess most Hydrogen would come from either Methane or else Coal.

    Methane is too expensive in much of the world, and in places where it is cheap, there’s not much interest in making it into hydrogen.

    Coal seems to be another practical way to make hydrogen, but here again, the only thing we seem to willing do with Coal is export it. All our coal plants will most likely be shutting down, since I don’t see much public outrage at this point to the Carbon Taxes, unfortunately.

    Perhaps it hasn’t hit people sufficiently in the pocketbook as of yet.

  21. jmac says:

    Someone said:

    “the physicist who led the Prius project and is now Chairman of the Board at Toyota, Takeshi Uchiyamada.”


    Yes, the Toyota hybrids are indeed Uchiyamada’s ‘love child’ and are just now (in the last 3 years) finally beginning to sell in the millions yearly.

    But, upstart technologies like PHEV and BEV have come along to steal Toyota’s hybrid thunder.

    From Toyota’s point of view, there is still tons of money to be made from Toyota standard hybrids, Plug in hybrids and EVs steal market share from standard hybrids and are basically ‘enemies at the gate’.

    The thing is that Toyota hybrid sales ARE profitable right now. Why would Toyota suddenly jump off the hybrid bandwagon to begin producing BEV and PHEV that by and large are not yet profitable and may not be for years. PHEV and BEV would scavenge and cannibalize hybrid sales that Toyota has painstakingly built up for the last 15-20 years.

    Hybrid sales as a proportion of ‘green car’ sales are down for the last two or three months according to Hybrid Cars website.

    Toyota is fighting a real battle in the face of advancing technology. Hence, all the snarky, anti-EV statements we get in Lexus advertisements.

    When Toyota has wrung every last dime out of their standard hybrids, we might then see a real move on Toyota’s part towards EVs.

    In the meantime Toyota will soak up ZEV
    credits with their fuel cell experiment.

    Toyota knows how to build an electric car. They simply do not want to do so right now and cannibalize their profitable, hard won hybrid dominance.

  22. Anton Wahlman says:

    I think you are taking “no one” literally.

    If you made the only ting for which people were asking, you’d be making faster horses instead of cars.

    I think EVERY alternative fuels story is financially difficult when gasoline is anywhere near $5 per gallon. Under $8 anyways. So investment in those alternative fuels technologies appears to be premature.

    1. Nick says:

      As long as gas is over 75 cents a gallon, electricity is competitive.

      Also, using electricity gives you fuel flexibility.

  23. mike w says:

    No one asked them to build the RAV 4EV but they did it anyways.

    1. Actually, CARB not only asked them to, they pretty much told them to, or exit California sales. Toyota chose to build 2,600 RAV4 EVs with drivetrains from Tesla.

      1. mike w says:

        Or simply paid the fine and passed the cost on to its customers. least cost option was the RAV4EV then. Now least cost option is to subsidize the cost of FCVs. Not the direction that a lot of BEV advocates wanted Toyota to go.

  24. Guy L says:

    Knock, knock, knock!

    Who’s there?

    Who’s there?

    Wrong door!

  25. OppChg says:

    Here’s a new petition just started yesterday (7-Nov-14) asking Toyota to build a new electric car. Please sign and share!

    1. Jeff says:

      It smacks of the arrogance GM once had when thinking they “knew” what consumers wanted.
      The diesel, 4-6-8 engine, heads up to name a few. Oh the EV1?, forget that….. Far as I’m concerned, if Toy can’t figure out they they need EV products, they should fire the research and marketing department.