May 19

Toyota CEO Says Move to EVs May Be Boring, Costly

 

Toyota is already criticized enough for being boring.

Now its CEO is saying that a market shift toward EVs will be boring and expensive.

This was said by CEO Akio Toyoda even as he leads a special project team that plans to build an EV by 2020, and as it works to catch up to Chevrolet, Tesla, and others in the mainstream EV market.

Those two automakers are releasing affordable EVs with 200-plus miles range – the Bolt and Model 3 – this year (the Bolt is already available in some states, with the full rollout expected by summer). Volkswagen is also expected to have multiple EVs available by 2020 and as many as 30 EV models by 2025, and let’s not forget Nissan’s next Leaf due this year as well.

SEE ALSO: Toyota Collaborating on $35 Million Artificial Intelligence Projects

In an interview with Automotive News, Toyoda appeared indifferent to an all-electric version of the company’s 86 sports coupe that was presented to him by his company’s engineers. He further mused out loud, on the record, about how it might be hard to sell EVs as anything other than point A to point B cars – in other words, how can emotion be injected?

SEE ALSO: Toyota Prius Prime Becoming Hot Commodity On Dealer Lots

“When it comes to electric vehicles, every car, be it the Yaris or whatever, once it is electrified, the acceleration is all the same,” Toyoda said to Automotive News. “The reason I am responsible for EVs as well is that I don’t want to make these cars a commodity. Even with the electrification of the vehicles, I want the prefix ‘I love’ to be affixed to those cars.”

“What I meant was, for an OEM manufacturer, you’re choking yourself. It is commoditizing your vehicle,” Toyoda said.

Toyota 86. Less exciting in EV form to CEO Toyoda.

Toyoda has already pushed for his company’s cars to have more interesting exterior looks and sportier driving dynamics, with some success in both areas. So it’s clear that Toyoda values products that excite.

He’s also aware of how Tesla fans have boosted that brand via their love for the vehicles the boutique automaker produces.

“I want to change the way they work on EVs,” Toyoda said. “Maybe we will call them electric vehicles, but introduce connectivity. Think about Tesla. Tesla is producing cars. And Toyota is producing cars. But what Tesla is producing is something close to an iPhone.”

He’s not just referring to how consumers react to the cars, but also the team he’s put together for the EV scheduled for 2020. Only four employees, including Toyoda, helm the project, while the rest come from suppliers. This is done to mimic the flexibility of a startup company.

Toyoda has his work cut out for him, due to Toyota’s past reputation as a maker of boring, reliable cars and the fact that many EVs are seen as rolling appliances. But since automobile purchases are often driven as much by emotion as any other reason, if not more, it makes sense that at least one automotive executive is thinking about how emotion and EVs will work together as the market changes.

Automotive News (sub. req’d), Green Car Reports, HybridCars.com

This entry was posted on Friday, May 19th, 2017 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

COMMENTS: 68


  1. 1
    Dave G

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    May 19th, 2017 (6:06 am)

    The market is forcing Toyota into making plug-ins, and they’re not happy about it.

    Contrary to popular belief, Toyota is not a technology leader. U.S. car companies created hybrids before Toyota under the “Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles” program which started in 1993.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partnership_for_a_New_Generation_of_Vehicles

    For example, the GM Precept was a diesel hybrid that got 80 MPG.
    Precept_sm.jpg

    So Toyota basically copied U.S. hybrid technology for the Prius. Over the years, they made some improvements, but the basic foundation is the same. All Toyota did was to stick with hybrid technology when gas prices went below $1/gallon.

    And now it’s the same. Toyota isn’t leading on plug-ins, they’re following, just like they followed the U.S. on hybrids.

    So it’s really ironic that many people call Toyota a technology leader. Make no mistake, Toyota makes great cars, but they’re certainly a technology follower.

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    MnVikes

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    May 19th, 2017 (6:13 am)

    “Think about Tesla. Tesla is producing cars. And Toyota is producing cars. But what Tesla is producing is something close to an iPhone.”

    If Tesla has the cars equivalent of the iPhone, that’s very bad news for all other car brands.

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  3. 3
    BAZINGA

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    May 19th, 2017 (6:36 am)

    When I hear the word Toyota I think BLAND and BORING? Maybe they need to fix that first. And in the case of the Prius just flat out UGLY.

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  4. 4
    Harry Ballczak

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    May 19th, 2017 (7:05 am)

    It is hilarious, and if you took him seriously would be ironic, to hear Akio Toyoda demur about the commoditization of cars.

    Also, how much emotion and excitement does a Prius or Yaris have, that a Volt does not have? Exactly none.

    Emotion and excitement are human experiences; Toyoda’s limited intellectual perspective is why he can get excited over the nearly clown car Yaris, but not any electric vehicle.

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  5. 5
    Loboc

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    May 19th, 2017 (7:30 am)

    How can Toyoda lead the EV effort with this attitude? There needs to be a high-level excited motivated EV advocate for Toyota to come back from the brink.

    Toyota is doomed.

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  6. 6
    Kdawg

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    May 19th, 2017 (8:23 am)

    It’s been obvious to most everyone that Toyota has little to no interest in making EVs. Even with their current PP, they made it with horrible driving characteristics, it looks ugly as sin, it only has 2 seats in the back, and they are rolling it out only to a few states and slowly. They don’t want to make them, and they don’t want people to buy them. I’m guessing they lose a few thousand on each one.

    I wonder if there is a Japanese word for “compelling”? Someone should explain that concept to Toyoda.

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    john1701a

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    May 19th, 2017 (8:30 am)

    Loboc: Toyota is doomed.

    Know your audience.

    How much are you looking forward to GM finally delivering a plug-in for its own customer base? Buyers of SUVs are going to continue to guzzler. Neither Volt, nor Bolt, appeal to them.

    With Toyota, we can see how the Prime approach naturally just transforms their product-line… one which is well known as being boring… yet sell in massive numbers anyway. It’s very easy to see how realistic adding a plug to the RAV4 hybrid will be.

    They are preparing for that transition by offering non-appliance appeal in the meantime. Prime is loaded with conveniences and creature comforts, along with a collection of safety features. Yet, it is already affordable enough to survive the loss of tax-credits.

    Toyota knows its audience.

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  8. 8
    Jeff

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    May 19th, 2017 (8:58 am)

    If Mr. Toyoda believes that electric cars are boring, he should do a focus group with Tesla owners.

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  9. 9
    Jeff

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    May 19th, 2017 (8:58 am)

    If Mr. Toyoda believes that electric cars are fundamentally boring, he should do a focus group with Tesla owners, especially those who have the ludicrous mode.

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  10. 10
    Paul Stoller

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    May 19th, 2017 (8:59 am)

    john1701a
    Toyota knows its audience.

    Yeah they do, people who want boring appliances.

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  11. 11
    American First

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    May 19th, 2017 (9:09 am)

    Dave G,

    the very first modern hybrid was built in 1974 by Victor Wouk, using a 1972 Buick Wildcat and a Mazda rotary engine as the range extender (series hybrid). He is called “The Godfather of Hybrid Cars”. There are HUNDREDS of web references to his work and papers which he published, and Toyota’s main engineer read . From Wouk’s ideas came the development of the Prius. You can start here: http://www.hybridcars.com/the-great-hybrid-car-cover-up-of-74/

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  12. 12
    Mark Z

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    May 19th, 2017 (9:13 am)

    Drudge has an interesting link today about the new plug-in Cadillac. I found it amusing how the Toyota Prius is compared in a negative context. Even Bloomberg gets it. To state it more understandably, Toyota Prius is lackluster in performance and Tesla like EV range in a package that is substandard to GM’s new hybrid.

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  13. 13
    American First

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    May 19th, 2017 (9:14 am)

    Jeff:
    If Mr. Toyoda believes that electric cars are boring, he should do a focus group with Tesla owners.

    You forget that Toyota did partner with Tesla to produce the second generation RAV4-EV. The powertrain and battery was supplied by Tesla, and as proof, every time the driver started the RAV4-EV, the DIC displayed “Powered by Tesla” There are web references that shows that display. I believe some forum members did drive a RAV4-EV in California.
    http://www.automotive.com/news/tesla-powered-toyota-rav4-ev-to-be-built-in-canada-48465/photo_07.html

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  14. 14
    American First

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    May 19th, 2017 (9:20 am)

    Jeff, my first post today was marked as spam and was taken out. It has a mention of the very first hybrid vehicle and has no offending language or comments in it. Please examine it and replace it online. Thank you!

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  15. 15
    American First

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    May 19th, 2017 (9:43 am)

    Toyoda may call EVs “boring” but Nissan began to reveal some images of the 2018 Leaf:
    http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1110534_2018-nissan-leaf-electric-car-first-teaser-photo-headlights-emerges
    http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1050315_2018-nissan-leaf-spy-shots

    In the camouflaged shots, the face is similar to newer Nissan models, so the Leaf will have a “family” look, just as Chevy has done with the Bolt EV. This may be a true Prius killer in Japan and other nations worldwide where both companies compete.

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  16. 16
    fotomoto

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    May 19th, 2017 (9:53 am)

    john1701a: Know your audience.

    Toyota knows its audience.

    Quote from Toyota NA: “If consumers want to buy utility vehicles, which are red hot right now, that’s what we want to build.”

    “Carter said that Toyota was on pace to build over 100,000 more pickups and SUVs this year. Plants are running two shifts a day, usually six days a week.”

    https://www.dallasnews.com/business/business/2017/05/09/camry-prius-sales-tumble-toyota-ramps-volume-suvs-like-rav4-highlander

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  17. 17
    john1701a

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    May 19th, 2017 (10:13 am)

    Jeff: If Mr. Toyoda believes that electric cars are fundamentally boring, he should do a focus group with Tesla owners, especially those who have the ludicrous mode.

    This quote sums up the situation well: “When it comes to electric vehicles, every car, be it the Yaris or whatever, once it is electrified, the acceleration is all the same.”

    As for ludicrous mode, have you ever actually tried it? Our plug-in owners group meeting last night was at the local Tesla store. We went on test drives. We experienced that power firsthand. Despite being incredibly impressive, it’s clearly not a feature ordinary mainstream consumers would be willing to pay for.

    In other words, ask middle-market consumers for their opinion, not enthusiasts.

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  18. 18
    john1701a

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    May 19th, 2017 (10:16 am)

    fotomoto: “Carter said that Toyota was on pace to build over 100,000 more pickups and SUVs this year. Plants are running two shifts a day, usually six days a week.”

    RAV4 hybrid. Highlander hybrid. Both provide clean & efficient upgrades over their traditional counterparts. Both offer an obvious step to offering a plug.

    What is your point ?

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  19. 19
    Tim Hart

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    May 19th, 2017 (10:29 am)

    What else could you expect from Toyota–easily the most backward and conceited car company in the world!

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  20. 20
    Delta

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    May 19th, 2017 (10:31 am)

    Kodak
    Blackberry
    Toyota

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  21. 21
    Bacardi

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    May 19th, 2017 (10:44 am)

    Kdawg:
    It’s been obvious to most everyone that Toyota has little to no interest in making EVs.Even with their current PP, they made it with horrible driving characteristics, it looks ugly as sin, it only has 2 seats in the back, and they are rolling it out only to a few states and slowly.They don’t want to make them, and they don’t want people to buy them.I’m guessing they lose a few thousand on each one.

    I wonder if there is a Japanese word for “compelling”? Someone should explain that concept to Toyoda.

    It’s pretty clear what happened, they went all in with hydrogen…It failed, Toyota drastically cut the lease rates on the Mirai and announced in the winter they’ll shift their hydrogen efforts over to semi-trucks…They then created the EV division headed by Toyoda who’s quoted in this article…This happened even before the first Prime was delivered and I’m sure many in Toyota did not believe the Prime would be successful as it is…All this happened immediately after China announced “Make EVs, or die!”…

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  22. 22
    john1701a

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    May 19th, 2017 (11:01 am)

    Toyota beat GM at its own game, delivering a plug-in hybrid for a price “nicely under $30,000”.

    By definition, a car for the masses doesn’t stand out. That’s boring, but it is also good business.

    High-Volume profitable sales are required.. and without tax-credits. So what if enthusiasts don’t like that.

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  23. 23
    Jackson

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    May 19th, 2017 (11:06 am)

    You guys pronouncing the end of Toyota have got it all wrong. There will always be a market for bland-but-dependable cars-as-commodity. Unexciting has a certain appeal.

    The real threat to Toyota is not it’s failure to grasp this particular market direction, but the future world of ride-sharing. If it’s proponents are right, millennials will view transportation itself as a commodity rather than the appliance; and many will choose not to own a car at all. The kind of “point A to point B” car you consider only with your pocketbook will suffer more than other types. This will hit Toyota especially hard, right in it’s breadbasket.

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  24. 24
    Jim I

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    May 19th, 2017 (11:10 am)

    Ever notice how companies that don’t have the most up to date products compared to the competition just say something like “the competition’s offerings are just trash & will never work, and that is why we don’t make them….”

    Seems to be the position that Toyota is in, don’t you think?

    They are several years behind and I think they know it.

    NOW they are going to start a major program with four whole people working on it????

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

    Too little, too late!

    Jim – C-5277

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  25. 25
    Jackson

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    May 19th, 2017 (11:12 am)

    john1701a: Toyota beat GM at its own game, delivering a plug-in hybrid for a price “nicely under $30,000”.

    You get what you pay for.

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  26. 26
    Loboc

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    May 19th, 2017 (11:16 am)

    Dave G: Make no mistake, Toyota makes great cars, but they’re certainly a technology follower.

    It’s the difference between optimization and innovation.

    Toyota (and most Japanese companies) are not innovators. However, they optimize and quality-control the crap out of any process. And make boat-loads of money in the process.

    They do need to build and understand an EV vs an ICE though. It’s a different animal.

    It is not a matter of replacing an ICE with an EV drivetrain. Cadillac, Ford and Hyundai are making a mistake. Ya can’t just throw batteries in the trunk. EV is so different that it needs a completely new platform (see Bolt and S). Yeah, you can raid the parts bin, but, the platform needs to be totally different.

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  27. 27
    john1701a

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    May 19th, 2017 (11:22 am)

    Jim I,

    Lutz was just 1.

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  28. 28
    Jim I

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    May 19th, 2017 (11:45 am)

    john1701a:
    Jim I,

    Lutz was just 1.

    But then he convinced GM of the necessity of the product!

    GM then put 1000 engineers on the project and put the Volt and the Bolt out into the marketplace in record time!

    So one man can change the world!

    Jim – C-5277

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  29. 29
    James

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    May 19th, 2017 (12:12 pm)

    John calmly read my harrowing report on how my Prius’ over zealous traction control
    cut engine power to the wheels 6 times on a 30 mile trip in the rain on the freeway.

    After I commented that my research shows the situation still occurs in most Prius and
    Toyota gives instructions on how to disable traction control, it’s a pain and nobody
    does it just to drive on rainy roads. I said many Priuschat Priusophiles ignore forum
    complaints that it is dangerous and insane for the car to do what it does, and Toyota
    not fix the problem – One that Ford HSD hybrids don’t seem to have.

    They say, “maybe it’s the tires”….etc.. Guess what? John said, “maybe it’s your tires”.
    He also panned the major issue and said the traction control can be defeated. I had
    already provided a link that explains how to do this – My wife would never go through
    that procedure…Nor I every time it was wet outside.

    John explained the 4th gen Prius has fixed this issue. Gee…4th time’s a charm, huh
    John?

    I feel John’s response is the penultimate proof he cares not for reason or logic. He
    is just out to “defend” his beloved Prius and Toyota as a company. He may bow
    to Akio Toyoda. He cares not about my mention of Toyota’s HID headlight
    condundrum in Prius and how they dodged it – tried to BS customers that it was
    “normal”, and then – facing two class-action lawsuits, decided to extend warrantees.

    I’ll never buy a Toyota product again as long as I live.

    My Volt performs meticulously in rain – a stable, low center of gravity ride that
    also has LRR tires.

    John is irresponsible and illogical in his dear daily defending of Prius.

    P.S. John – it’s not my tires. Read your own forums

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  30. 30
    john1701a

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    May 19th, 2017 (12:19 pm)

    James: John explained the 4th gen Prius has fixed this issue. Gee…4th time’s a charm, huh
    John?

    No. I said gen-3. That was back in 2009. Stop with the obvious efforts to mislead.

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  31. 31
    James

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    May 19th, 2017 (12:20 pm)

    With Mary Barra dissing Tesla for not having service centers in every state, even
    though she is funding the legal fight to keep Tesla out of several states, and Sergio
    Marchionne of FCA saying electric cars are stupid – Akio’s comments create the trifecta.

    Sure, maybe Toyota’s cars are boring compared to a Tesla. Nearly everyone’s cars are
    boring compared to Teslas. Boring, filthy and expensive to maintain.

    Tesla sells EVs based upon excitement. Always have, ever since the Roadster.

    Not sure what universe Akio Toyoda is living in. He’s way out in space. Maybe Musk’s Space-X can reach him out there someday.

    Reviewers constantly say Bolt EV is a blast to drive…Hmmm, but
    it must be boring too.

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  32. 32
    Jackson

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    May 19th, 2017 (12:25 pm)

    john1701a: Stop with the obvious efforts to mislead.

    Yes! You’re the only one allowed to do that! 😛

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  33. 33
    john1701a

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    May 19th, 2017 (1:02 pm)

    Jackson,

    Why aren’t you actually calling out the incorrect information ?

    You know that “nicely under $30,000” target would come back to haunt GM, both because it was missed twice and the fact that it would result in a “boring” vehicle.

    What is misleading about that ?

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    LLninja

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    May 19th, 2017 (1:26 pm)

    BAZINGA,

    Agreed. The CEO pushed for sportier looks my ass. Bring us a proper electrified Toyota Supra and and then they will have something exciting. That will give the American pony cars (mustang, Camaro, challenger) a run for their money.

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  35. 35
    Jackson

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    May 19th, 2017 (1:51 pm)

    john1701a: Why aren’t you actually calling out the incorrect information ?

    Duplication of effort.

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  36. 36
    Sean

     

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    May 19th, 2017 (3:25 pm)

    Why can’t Akio Toyoda get so excited about electric vehicles?

    Why not advertise an electric vehicle like this.

    Introducing the all new electric Highlander!

    When you get into the all new electric Highlander you will be warped into a new dimension and time like no other and when you drive the all new electric Highlander you will feel like you just warped into time and the sound of the electric motor can be heard as the driver is speeding up and then it shows the Highlander either climbing up a mountain or racing down a futuristic metropolis city and then they say and best of all the all new electric Highlander can be charged in as little as 10-15 minutes so you don’t have to worry about ever having to fuel up at those highly crowded and expensive gas stations.

    Then at the end of the commercial they say.

    The Future Is Electric Get Jolted!

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  37. 37
    john1701a

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    May 19th, 2017 (3:25 pm)

    Jackson: You get what you pay for.

    Not true.

    Some vehicles are far better of a buy for the same price than others.

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  38. 38
    DonC

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    May 19th, 2017 (3:41 pm)

    So funny that Toyota of all companies would complain that EVs are boring. Pretty much everything Toyota makes is boring, which is why their vehicles are commonly described as “Blandtastic”. The problem for Toyota is that it made its reputation by selling the same very reliable car year after year. But times have changed and people don’t want the same car you offered five years ago. You have to innovate more quickly than in the past, and Toyota simply isn’t very good at that.

    He has a point that electric drives, while vastly better than ICE drives, do tend to deliver a similar type of drive. On the other hand, a Leaf doesn’t handle like Model S. In fact a Volt doesn’t handle like an ELR and those cars have exactly the same electric drive train. So the point seems greatly exaggerated. What will really make vehicles Point A to Point B is autonomy. With an autonomous vehicle you’re just renting a seat.

    That said, human nature isn’t changing and people will still want something better or more expensive than the next person.

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  39. 39
    cyaopec

     

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    May 19th, 2017 (3:53 pm)

    I used to own a Scion FRS (now renamed the Toyota 86). It’s a great, low powered sports car. Toyota would be crazy not to make a electric version. I would buy one.

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  40. 40
    Jeff Cobb

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    May 19th, 2017 (4:02 pm)

    American First:
    Jeff, my first post today was marked as spam and was taken out. It has a mention of the very first hybrid vehicle and has no offending language or comments in it. Please examine it and replace it online. Thank you!

    Apologies for the system. Manually approved it.

      (Quote)  (Reply)


  41. 41
    Dan Petit/Petit/Technical College

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    May 19th, 2017 (4:27 pm)

    Likely Toyota or its main EV Battery contenders are seriously looking into the Sodium Glass Battery at University of Texas at Austin this month.

    I doubt very much Toyota is bored or indifferent about EV drive.

    Likely they are disguising their optimism and want to minimize sales of the current introduction in favor of what they really want, which Sodium Glass can achieve, so, minimizing sales is key there.

    Meanwhile, Volt owners enjoy EV perfection and total satisfaction every day.

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    Jackson

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    May 19th, 2017 (4:47 pm)

    With Toyota and Tesla we have two sides of the same coin. A car company with one man at the top can either be the vanguard of change, or trail way behind:

    Elon Musk leads his company according to his personal vision of developing electric cars that entrenched automakers won’t build. He takes a clean sheet approach unfettered by legacy tech.

    While there is little doubt Toyota could design and field an outstanding BEV, Akio Toyoda’s personal druthers hold it back. He has existing lines to think of, and he’s determined to wring every last drop out of them. Moving beyond is clearly not a high priority for him, so not for Toyota either.

    Dan Petit/Petit/Technical College: I doubt very much Toyota is bored or indifferent about EV drive.

    I have no doubt that there are those at Toyota who are very interested; but they have no chance with conventional and conservative Asian leadership standing in their way. If a weather change does come, they may move shockingly fast; but they’ll still be behind others. The future is frequently something you have to pay for in advance. Toyota seems to hope they can pull through on someone else’s dime.

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    Mike-o-Matic

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    May 19th, 2017 (4:54 pm)

    Kdawg,

    Don’t forget the PP’s horribly underwhelming AER.

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    Dakster

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    May 19th, 2017 (4:56 pm)

    I highly doubt that Toyota is going away… Maybe the CEO is trying to move the market/public opinion back into the products that they currently make? FWIW, I’m no Toyota fan and yes, I owned one and I’ve ended up renting them for long drives, including a Prius. I think that Tesla and their 400k+ reservations is scaring the other companies that couldn’t release anything and get that kind of commitment.

    OTOH – Dodge is making gas powered “Demons” and “Hellcats” because the public is demanding more of them. Shocked even Dodge how fast they sold out. That should tell you that performance does sell. Elon Musk knows this, he even stated something to the effect of “We don’t build slow cars”. However, you need to build affordable cars for the masses and that is why he is now doing the 3.

    The EV race is about range, performance, perceived value/price, value/price compared to an ICE vehicle with similar characteristics. The manufacturer that gets those down and can mass produce the vehicle will lead. Enthusiasts will allow them to pick any 2 of three, but the other 99%+ out there that drives a car won’t. I picked 99% since it seems like we are at the 1% market penetration point.

    I’m no economist or car czar, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn last night. So I could be completely off in my observations.

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    Jackson

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    May 19th, 2017 (5:12 pm)

    john1701a: Some vehicles are far better of a buy for the same price than others.

    In some specific cases, yes. In this particular case, less so.

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    john1701a

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    May 19th, 2017 (5:37 pm)

    Mike-o-Matic:

    Don’t forget the PP’s horribly underwhelming AER.

    Mainstream buyers won’t care. It’s enough to cover the basics, which is what “boring” customers want.

    The overwhelming price of Volt will be an issue though. Without that $7,500 tax-credit, sales growth will become much more difficult.

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    john1701a

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    May 19th, 2017 (5:48 pm)

    Dan Petit/Petit/Technical College: Meanwhile, Volt owners enjoy EV perfection and total satisfaction every day.

    How is that any different from Prime owners? Seriously. I see 999.9 MPG on the gauge every day too. The entire plug-in capacity is used for EV driving.

    When the engine eventually starts, the experience isn’t painful either. Efficiency is impressive. Those “boring” customers will be pleased with the resulting MPG.

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    john1701a

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    May 19th, 2017 (6:11 pm)

    DonC: You have to innovate more quickly than in the past, and Toyota simply isn’t very good at that.

    Doesn’t sound like you are familiar with any of their new safety features:

    – Dynamic Radar Cruise
    – Pre-Collision Baking
    – Lane-Departure Detect with Assist
    – Automatic High-Beams

    Making them standard on all Prime clearly pushes the boundaries of expectations, especially for a supposed “boring” automaker. Isn’t that shake up of the status quo an innovation approach?

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    Eco_Turbo

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    May 19th, 2017 (7:42 pm)

    john1701a,

    As you drove home, were you glad to be back in your PP?

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    Jackson

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    May 19th, 2017 (7:55 pm)

    Eco_Turbo:
    john1701a,

    As you drove home, were you glad to be back in your PP?

    Yes, because he could stop off at every wifi hotspot he knows to vote himself up (note that all entries are now exactly one point higher in a short period. Perhaps we should time it to see how long his commute is).

    You guys know what to do — check back often, and if you haven’t voted yet please do so. It’s the weekend, so he has two more days to click himself. With his PP.

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    Bacardi

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    May 19th, 2017 (8:49 pm)

    john1701a,

    I agree but you do realize this is Toyota wide (light duty vehicles) and not exclusive the Prime and/or the Prius…

    I would like to see in particular AEB standard on all vehicles…

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    john1701a

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    May 19th, 2017 (9:14 pm)

    Bacardi,

    Yes, there are various safty packages being rolled out across the fleet. That’s what makes it so odd that Bolt and next year’s Volt don’t get safety upgrades too.

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    DonC

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    May 20th, 2017 (12:39 am)

    john1701a: Doesn’t sound like you are familiar with any of their new safety features:
    – Dynamic Radar Cruise
    – Pre-Collision Baking
    – Lane-Departure Detect with Assist
    – Automatic High-Beams

    It’s great that Toyota is putting these across its line, but these aren’t terribly innovative at this point. I have a 2014 MY that has all of these features. But these are the spokes on the wheel. On the larger scale, the wheel so to speak, Kia has a CUV that gets the same MPG as the Prius.

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    john1701a

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    May 20th, 2017 (1:09 am)

    DonC,

    Finding a way to make anything affordable necessitates being innovative.

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    Dave G

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    May 20th, 2017 (5:10 am)

    Loboc: It’s the difference between optimization and innovation.

    Toyota (and most Japanese companies) are not innovators. However, they optimize and quality-control the crap out of any process. And make boat-loads of money in the process.

    They do need to build and understand an EV vs an ICE though. It’s a different animal…
    Ya can’t just throw batteries in the trunk…

    Exactly.

    The Chevy Volt and the Chrysler Pacifica are good examples of where the battery should be placed, centered and low to the ground.

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    john1701a

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    May 20th, 2017 (8:11 am)

    Dave G: Contrary to popular belief, Toyota is not a technology leader. U.S. car companies created hybrids before Toyota under the “Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles” program which started in 1993.

    For example, the GM Precept was a diesel hybrid that got 80 MPG.

    So Toyota basically copied U.S. hybrid technology for the Prius.

    It’s distortions of history like that which keep me intrigued.

    Toyota’s exclusion from the PNGV program, which working prototypes weren’t even scheduled for demonstration until 2000, lead to an industry shock in October 1997. It was then that Toyota revealed Prius, stating it was already production ready and that sales would begin in December… just 2 months later.

    Detroit got sucker punched. Those supposed 80 MPG cars were still just nothing but crude prototypes in 2000. There was nothing to copy. The anti-hybrid campaigning then began as a result of the expansion of sales from Japan to the United States.

    Many years later, after the fallout of EV1, Two-Mode, and BAS had left GM with a reputation for disinterest in high-efficiency vehicles, there was the reveal of a new design effort for a vehicle to be called “Volt”. It was then that problems got out of hand. Enthusiasts completely disregarded any of that past history, claiming GM was being innovative.

    In reality, GM had extensive battery, motor, and controller experience at that point. That had already produced & supported all that. They even had a heavy promoted fuel-cell development program. Yet, the enthusiasts of Volt insisted their vehicle didn’t leverage any of that prior knowledge… which is quite bizarre. Why wouldn’t you?

    Needless to say, it didn’t work out anyway and the attempts to distort history continued… but now we know why. Toyota never loss sight of affordability. Keeping cost low was always a top priority… the very problem GM continues to struggle with.

    In other words, Toyota is leading in the correct direction.

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    cyaopec

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    May 20th, 2017 (10:52 am)

    The only thing leveraged from the EV1 program was the range extender concept. One of the EV1 engineers told Lutz the Volt should have a small battery and use an engine after that. Early EV1s towed a generator behind them so the car could be tested beyond the range of the built in batteries. That’s where the EREV concept came from. The Volt’s LG battery was even not a proven concept when the Volt began. GM took a bit of a gamble that the battery would be as good as it was.

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    Scott

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    May 20th, 2017 (11:25 am)

    Spoken by someone who fails to see the disruption and in a few years will be wondering what happened when the company is failing to stay alive.

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    john1701a

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    May 20th, 2017 (11:28 am)

    cyaopec: The only thing leveraged from the EV1 program

    Not everything of value has to be tangible.

    Learning how to run a development effort on that scale is an extremely valuable takeaway.

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    Randy

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    May 21st, 2017 (11:55 am)

    Nothing boring about the kind of horse power electrics can produce. Racing and high performance is not boring. Electric is not just about economy.

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    john1701a

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    May 21st, 2017 (2:10 pm)

    Randy,

    Know your audience…

    – No roar.
    – No vibration.
    – No shifting.

    Each are qualities many mainstream buyers desire, none of which electric provides. Like it or not, that’s the way it is. That makes anything with a motor instead of an engine more challenging to sell.

    It is also an equalizing factor, giving inexpensive vehicles and luxury vehicles the same traits. No more distinct differences in feel or sound is… boring. What will stand out if the propulsion system doesn’t?

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    Tommy

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    May 21st, 2017 (2:57 pm)

    The quiet is deafening.

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    Jimmy Seko

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    May 21st, 2017 (5:00 pm)

    Toyota’s passion for fool cells is the only evidence necessary to know that top Toyota execs are shilling for big oil (95% of commercially available hydrogen comes from natural gas). Why else would Toyota have created a completely separate fool cell investment fund which has no effect on Toyota common stock? Why else would they be fighting the laws of physics? Fool cells are the future? Yeah, right.

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    john1701a

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    May 21st, 2017 (5:36 pm)

    Jimmy Seko,

    GM says it has invested more than $2.5 billion in hydrogen fuel cell technology and is among patent leaders in the automotive industry fuel cell technology and has accumulated millions of miles of real-world driving in fuel cell vehicles.

    General Motors and Honda said on January 30, 2107 that they will invest $85 million to form a joint venture and hire 100 workers to produce advanced hydrogen fuel cell systems at a factory in Michigan.

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    cyaopec

     

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    May 21st, 2017 (9:40 pm)

    john1701a:
    Randy,

    Know your audience…

    – No roar.
    – No vibration.
    – No shifting.

    Each are qualities many mainstream buyers desire, none of which electric provides.Like it or not, that’s the way it is.That makes anything with a motor instead of an engine more challenging to sell.

    It is also an equalizing factor, giving inexpensive vehicles and luxury vehicles the same traits.No more distinct differences in feel or sound is… boring.What will stand out if the propulsion system doesn’t?

    This is nonsense. Only “car guys” care about that. Hardly anyone makes manual transmission cars. Toyota does not have the sound of the Camry specially tuned. LOL

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    john1701a

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    May 21st, 2017 (10:19 pm)

    cyaopec,

    Incorrect.

    Check out what Toyota did with the newest Corolla.

    Despite being becoming a CVT, they gave it shift-points to provide a familiar feel customers.

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    Mark Z

     

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    May 22nd, 2017 (4:12 am)

    Many Toyota cars in my area have peeling paint. Looks terrible. The finish doesn’t last in the SoCal sun.

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    Frankizoid

     

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    May 23rd, 2017 (10:39 am)

    Uhmmm, Yawn!!

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