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!