Toyota Reveals Plans For Electric Car Rollout In China


Toyota RAV4 EV Is Dead, But Toyota Will Launch New Electric Cars In China

Toyota RAV4 EV Is Dead, But Toyota Will Launch New Electric Cars In China

Toyota Leahead Electric Car Concept

Toyota Leahead Electric Car Concept

Toyota is the definition of compliance.

In the U.S., Japan and Europe, Toyota has begun to make the switch to hydrogen fuel cell electric cars.  Toyota’s FCEV move makes CARB happy, satisfies Japan’s push towards hydrogen and even makes the leaders of some European countries smile.

CARB, along with some countries around the world, reward FCEVs more strongly than electric cars, so those countries are precisely where Toyota will sell its hydrogen Mirai.

Meanwhile, in China, where no hydrogen support exists, Toyota will take a different route to grab incentives and to please the lawmakers.

As Bloomberg writes:

The [Chinese] government has begun a strategic initiative to build electric cars on the mainland and is encouraging foreign manufacturers and their local partners to get with the program. So as many as 40 electric models will go on sale in China this year—triple the number available two years ago—as automakers hew to the policies, Bloomberg Intelligence estimates.

“It is the cost of entry of being here,” James Chao, managing director of IHS Automotive in Shanghai, says of the joint-venture electric vehicles. “A lot of it is kind of for show, and they just want to please the government.”

To please the government, Toyota will “roll out the Leahead and Ranz all-electric brands with its China partners Guangzhou Automobile Group and FAW Group starting this year. The models will make China the only market where Toyota sells EVs.”

Bloomberg adds:

“Carmakers say marketing an EV has become a necessity for those trying to win government approval to build factories. China’s new auto fuel economy standards also call for a 28 percent drop in average per-vehicle fuel consumption by 2020—something likely to happen only if plug-ins are embraced.”

Hiroji Onishi, Toyota’s chief executive officer for the China region, even made a statement that’s uncharacteristic of Toyota:

“We believe infrastructure including charging stations will be developed quite rapidly.”

On a somewhat related note, we here at InsideEVs don’t believe that the hydrogen infrastructure will be developed quite rapidly.  In fact, the development of that infrastructure will likely be painfully slow in all regions around the globe where hydrogen is expected to be put into use to fuel cars.

Source: Bloomberg

Categories: Toyota


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31 Comments on "Toyota Reveals Plans For Electric Car Rollout In China"

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A PHEV with a H2 fuel cell range extender might make sense but Toyota’s FCEV with a H2 fuel cell as the primary mover is nonsense.

If Toyota is the compliance king, Tesla is the ZEV queen.

But at least Tesla makes a good product that people actually want.


Indeed so far Tesla makes only one product, so they indeed better sell it well. It does not seem Toyota shares this concern.

Falling sales in every market outside North America. Falling hybrid sales. Ageing powertrains. Climate change. Seems Toyota isn’t concerned about alot of things.

All large car manufacturers are watching each other. Toyota sees that VW is getting serious about EV’s (mostly PHEV’s so far). VW is bound to be the world’s biggest car maker as soon as in 2015 so Toyota is surely doubting about its own choices. I am sure they realize by now they cannot make that huge gamble on fuel cells and not investing at all in EV’s so they start to move forward EV’s again. Of course they need to do it low profile after all that noise they made about fuel cells. Actually this may be a very big piece of information in case my theory is correct. It would mean that the 3 biggest car makers (Toyota, GM & VW) do realize they cannot afford not to give a respons to Tesla.

If I were in Toyota the brands that would keep me up at night are Nissan, Chevy & Acura.

Nissan – has most of its production facilities in low labor cost countries and is a major threat in Japan.

Chevy – the Hybrid Malibu gives it the potential to decimate Toyota’s US Taxi business. Colorado can do the same to the Tundra, and a lower priced Volt can destroy whats left of Prius.

Acura – Is Viewed as equal to Lexus. Buyers will very freely swich brands.

I should also mention about 1/4 of Camry sales are either Taxis or rental fleets. Without these sales. The headlines go from #1 selling car in America, to Whats wrong with Toyota.

Tesla total sales so far: 60,000
Toyota Prius alone: 7 million and counting.
Easy to tell, which car people are buying.

Let me know when they sell 60k fuel cell vehicles.

Selling 7 million Prii helps. Selling EVs is even more important.

Tesla has no problem selling cars. They provide that last year, when they took orders for 21,000 Model Xs. Tesla’s problem is on the production side. They keep building more cars every year and its never enough.

Toyota could sell 60,000 Mirais right away. They do loose money on every car. So the will not be building more than 3,000 a year.

Really? 60 000? Can you tell who are those people willing to get this Corolla that can be refuel nowhere, makes no economy on long term and cost 3 times more? There is no point of buying a Mirai instead of a Corolla, it is not even greener.

Really? This is a comparison you want to make? And I’m guessing you can’t see the fault in this logic. Hilarious!

Sorry… I should have clarified that reply was directed at See Through… though to most it’s likely clear enough.

Crystal clear to me.

I still can’t believe that Toyota won’t get on with a ZEV soon. After all, if they hadn’t made hybrids mainstream there would have been zero interest in the next step BEVs.

Yes that’s why I keep my nickname but it is really hard to ware these days. Toyota is really in a dummy phase and looks like on a way to Hara-Kiri with their Mirai thing. Not that I am fanatically against hydrogen fuel cell cars, I just think it is a bad idea considering the bad yield and the bad energy carrier hydrogen as well as the fact that hydrogen is a clear card of the oilies.
No what bothers me is that Toyota is doing only that and nothing at all on electric cars. That’s the problem. They want to propose FEV, right, but let also propose at least one EV as well so that people can choose.

G2 said:

“…if [Toyota] hadn’t made hybrids mainstream there would have been zero interest in the next step BEVs.”

The Toyota Prius didn’t inspire Nissan to develop and sell the first mass produced BEV, the Leaf. It was the Tesla Roadster which inspired Nissan. And the inspiration for the Roadster was AC Propulsion’s prototype EV roadster, the tZero. You can trace the evolution of that back to GM prototypes which were developed into GM’s EV1.

Toyota isn’t part of the path forward in the EV revolution. It took a side branch and got stuck there.

If I can add my two cents, I would like to complete that history because it shows the Prius did play a role. At the time of the EV1 all 3 majors received government funds to research into alternative energy vehicles. Toyota despite having factories in the US was left out of the boat. Outraged the CEO decided to fund alternative energy vehicles anyway. So we had the EV1, the Prius and the RAV4EV. The EV1 was soon seen as a runaway experiment by the GM management that could treat their standard line of big profits products. The RAV4EV and the Prius were seen by Toyota as revenge product on being left out of the boat from the government funds. When the NiMH batteries clarified the EV1 treat to the other GM product line, GM took the EV1 out of production and crashed the leased ones. They also sold the NiMH patents to Exxon, which immediately stopped licenses for EV. In more Exxon started a trial against Panasonic to force them to stop using the NiMH batteries in the RAV4EV and the Prius. After a long conflict, surrounding fines against direction drilling licenses, it got settle in a compromise that… Read more »

Zero ‘public’ interest I mean. 🙂

At this point, I think it’s clear that Toyota is trolling us.

On a slightly more serious note, Toyota seems to have lost its direction. It’s certainly not alone in that regard among large corporations, inside or out of the car business, but that doesn’t make it any less of a problem for them, and by extension, us.

My wife and I have decided that even though we’ve owned a number of Toyotas and Hondas over the years, all of which we liked a great deal, neither company will get a single cent from us in the form of a car purchase or lease until they stop fetishizing hydrogen and get serious about BEVs. Until then, we will happily buy/lease from Nissan. Heck, I’d even buy a Focus EV, like the 2015 a local dealer has for $25,019(!) pre-Federal kickback, before I would give any of my money to T&H.


I’d love to see Toyota pull a VW on us and release a plugin version of every hybrid they make, even the Lexus ones.

IMO, I think there fuel cell program is EV’s in 2008, it’s really early stage and it is easy to pick holes in it but could offer an attractive alternative to the PHEV in the future.

It seems that Toyota has smelled subsidies in China!

I thought that it stinks. Only reason is that without electric cars on Chinese markets, Chinese government would have banned Toyota from selling cars in China.

Totally hilarious criss-cross of opposite official statement from this manufacturer.
I guess they just go where the money is,or thought it woul’d be. No offense but I won’t buy any from those until they play it straight, wich doesn’t seems foreseable for quite a long time.

I’m was a big Toyota fan, at least they make really good ICE car. But my next one probably wont be Toyota (little sister Honda neither).

I was sure that I would never buy a american car, as they are really shitty most of the time (stay away Chrystler!!). But the Volt might change that!

(Or I should add, may be a used Tesla if I’m get rich enough. I can’t put in my mind that Tesla is american, as it seems to decent on reliability)