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Akio Toyoda: BEV Fanatic?

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by tonybelding, Dec 2, 2016.

  1. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    I was skeptical when Toyota recently announced their new BEV division. I wondered if this is a serious effort. Then I found out that Akio Toyoda himself will personally head the division. And then I started to piece things together. This is all guesswork, speculation, this is reading the tea leaves, but. . .

    Akio has some racing experience, and he is known to have praised the Tesla Roadster as a fun car to drive, and he has also owned one (and may still have it, for all I know). This is not somebody who's ignorant about BEVs or about how they can perform. However, he is head of a company that is not particularly known for performance cars, or for particularly exciting cars, to be honest. That's not the foundation of Toyota's business model.

    Japan is a very conservative society, and Toyota is a conservative company. I can just imagine the old-timers there in management sort of tut-tutting and saying to one another, "We know how our business works, and we know how our company works. Let us keep our young prince from doing anything rash."

    Toyota is a big company, and it has factions, just like GM or any other big global enterprise. I think there's a strong hydrogen faction in Japan, and a strong hydrogen faction within Toyota, and I think they were calling the shots until now. Much like Bob Lutz had to wait for the right moment to make his case for the Chevy Volt, I suspect Mr. Toyoda has been waiting for the right moment to prevail over the old-timers and launch a BEV effort.

    And then Akio made himself head of the new division. It's just possible that he really wants this, and he's finally got the green light to go for it. And that leads me to suspect that Toyota may do some very rapid catching up now, and that they might produce something more ambitious and more interesting than a mere compliance car. Let's hope!
     
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  2. techmaven

    techmaven Active Member

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    I don't doubt that Toyota is biding its time. The question is when a conservative company like Toyota, which looks to build in the millions will jump onboard. I suspect the answer is still in the 2020's. However, Akio is likely watching the situation very closely. That doesn't change the fact that they have vehicles to sell today, and sometimes that means countering BEVs with marketing gibberish.
     
  3. SwTslaGrl

    SwTslaGrl Member

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  4. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

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    I've been very happy with every Toyota I've owned. I probably have logged more than 700,000 miles between the most recent three. I would be thrilled to see Toyota seriously enter the BEV market. Competition is good and the more that's done to push EV's into the mainstream the more we all benefit.
     
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  5. BluestarE3

    BluestarE3 Active Member

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    And once many of the traditional mass-market automakers get serious about producing and selling BEVs (not just for compliance reasons), then it's not just lonely little Tesla fighting the uphill battle to gain mainstream acceptance and support for electric vehicles. By then, it wouldn't matter much what some politicians and power-brokers may think, the ship has sailed and they're either on board or left on shore waving their arms to gain some attention.
     
  6. UnbeknownstToAll

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    Agreed, though I can't say I've logged that many miles. Toyota has shown throughout my lifetime that they make great quality cars, though not very exciting. If they can do something exciting and BEV, that would be great!
     
  7. ApauloThirteen

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    Would love to see every major manufacturer partner with Tesla and produce a joint product, like the Rav4 or the MB B class EV. Everyone wins... well except the oil companies.
     
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  8. hiroshiy

    hiroshiy Supporting Member

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    I'm not very much convinced by the moves Toyota made recently regarding EVs. They only have four men in the division right now and they've announced it. What would be Toyota's underlying intention for such announcement? At least they need to find a good source for batteries if they even make one model in 2020 and beyond.
     
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  9. internalaudit

    internalaudit Member

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  10. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    #10 SageBrush, Dec 7, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2016
    That *is* interesting, and good news indeed.

    Toyota and Honda are fine car companies. My fingers are crossed that they invest in *EV R&D at least as much as they do regular ICE cars. I have an order in for a Prius Prime, even though I recognize it as a half-baked effort in the sense of starting from the G4 Prius platform and shoe-horning the battery into the rear compartment rather than underneath the car. OTOH, the minimal R&D does let Toyota sell the car for the same cost as a regular Prius after federal tax credit. That is pretty remarkable in it's own right.
     
  11. SwTslaGrl

    SwTslaGrl Member

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    Toyota speeds up China EV plan
    22 Jul 2017 at 20:18
    WRITER: KYODO NEWS


    NAGOYA, JAPAN: Toyota Motor Corp is considering beginning mass production of electric vehicles in China as early as 2019, as the Chinese government plans to require carmakers to build a minimum number of environmentally friendly vehicles, a source familiar with the matter said on Saturday.

    The production of zero-emission vehicles is in line with Toyota's earlier plan to start large-scale output of electric vehicles by 2020 to meet stricter exhaust emission regulations worldwide.

    Automakers in the Chinese market will need to produce a certain volume of electric vehicles and other types of green cars as early as 2018 in proportion to their overall sales in the world's biggest auto market.

    Because gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles will not be counted in the production requirement, Toyota, the world's leading hybrid carmaker, sees the need to build other types of vehicles with advanced powertrain technology there such as electric cars and plug-in hybrids, which are powered by an electric motor and an internal combustion engine that kicks in when the batteries run low.

    Toyota set up a division to step up development of electric vehicles last year and President Akio Toyoda is in charge of the team.

    A Toyota executive said it was "natural" to seek to introduce electric cars in China ahead of rivals as emission regulations are becoming tougher.

    Toyota may produce the electric version of the C-HR small crossover sport utility vehicle which it plans to start manufacturing in China in 2018.

    Toyota speeds up China EV plan
     
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  12. SwTslaGrl

    SwTslaGrl Member

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    Toyota, Mazda to form alliance for joint EV development
    4 Aug 2017 at 11:22
    WRITER: KYODO NEWS



    [​IMG]
    In this May 13, 2015 file photo, Toyota Motor Corp President Akio Toyoda, left, and Mazda Motor Corp President Masamichi Kogai pose for photographers prior to a press conference in Tokyo. (AP Photo)


    TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp and Mazda Motor Corp are set to form a capital alliance to boost joint development of electric vehicles, sources close to the matter said Friday.

    Japan's largest carmaker is mulling taking a roughly 5% stake in Mazda, while Mazda may also invest in Toyota, the sources said.

    The two automakers are expected to announce the plan later in the day. Toyota is scheduled to release its earnings results for the April-June period in the afternoon.

    Global carmakers are facing growing costs to comply with stricter emission and other environmental regulations. Toyota and Mazda decided to deepen their partnership to survive the intensifying competition for developing the self-driving technology and environment-friendly vehicles, the sources said.

    Toyota is aiming to fully enter the EV market by 2020 and Mazda aims to start selling EVs in the United States in 2019. The two companies are likely to cooperate in the US market, possibly launching a joint venture in the United States to build a large factory capable of producing up to 300,000 sports utility vehicles, according to the sources.

    In 2015, the two carmakers announced that they would expand their partnership to cooperate in developing environmentally friendly and safe-driving technology.

    Toyota has fallen to third place in global sales in the first six months of 2017 behind Germany's Volkswagen group, with the Renault-Nissan alliance becoming the world's top auto seller for the first time after its addition of Mitsubishi Motors Corp.

    The capital tie-up between Toyota and Mazda indicates the auto industry could still see more reorganization in the face of tougher competition in developing new technologies.

    The influence of technology firms in the industry has also grown with Google Inc. entering the race to develop automated car technology while US electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors Inc is showing rapid growth. Chinese rivals are also becoming a threat to Toyota.

    Mazda is known for its strength in car designs and diesel engines, but has seen slow progress in developing technologies for self-driving cars and green vehicles.

    Through a capital tie-up, the two automakers are aiming to cover for each other's weak points to become a leader in next-generation technology and establish a stable revenue base.

    Toyota has been forging alliances with domestic rivals in an effort to boost competitiveness. In 2016, Toyota made Daihatsu Motor Co, which has strength in minivehicles, a wholly owned subsidiary. Toyota has also invested in Subaru Corp and Isuzu Motors Ltd, while it is currently mulling a tie-up with Suzuki Motor Corp.

    Toyota, Mazda to form alliance for joint EV development
     
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  13. Phillip L

    Phillip L Gas Passer

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    As for Toyota being conservative, that maybe so. But they took a lot of flak when they introduced the Prius, way back when, because it was a change from the the business as usual Model of the time. And that was a big success, so they do have a history of some success in trying something new (even if it is old to we Tesla owners:)), and maybe a corporate memory of that old success is still around.
     

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