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Toyota chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada remains amazingly ignorant of what Tesla has accomplished

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by ecarfan, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to @DaveT for bringing this article to my attention in his weekly email newsletter: Toyota chairman: Battery technology must evolve before widespread electric vehicle adoption

    QUOTE: "I must say up front that we're not against electric vehicles. But in order for electric vehicles to cover long distances, they currently need to be loaded with a lot of batteries that take a considerable amount of time to charge. There's also the issue of battery life," he said.
    -------------------------------------

    But Telsa has clearly demonstrated that those are solved issues. Tesla's battery pack cost is probably the lowest in the industry right now and costs are trending downward. The Supercharger network solves the long distance driving and charging issue and that network continues to expand at a relatively modest cost to Tesla.

    How can Uchiyamada not know about that? Or is he just saying those things publicly to try to confuse people and make excuses for Toyotas failure to bring BEVs to market?
     
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  2. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    The word "but" means Toyota is against EV so there's no doubt about it.

    Toyota is accustomed to traditional money making method from legacy car industry.

    It only talks about EV because of Chinese threat of restricting future ICE sales.

    It's a public relations piece in hope of slowing down global anti-ICE regulations.
     
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  3. BluestarE3

    BluestarE3 Active Member

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    #3 BluestarE3, Sep 8, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2017
    It amazes me how the company that pioneered the hybrid car two decades ago has become so complacent about taking the next step and going fully battery electric. I suspect a big part of that was their decision to go with hydrogen fuel cell and now they're reluctant to admit they had made a strategic misjudgment about that viability and market acceptance of that technology. I don't know how much they've invested so far in developing the technology and the Mirai in particular, but it's undoubtedly a lot. It's difficult to walk all that back, swallow your pride and now say publicly that it was a mistake.
     
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  4. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    I only take issue with the battery life aspect.

    For Nissan it is true, but not for Tesla.
    So far as I know the Toyota plug-in options like my Prime do not have an active TMS so that probably also informs his view since they have to reserve over 30% of nominal capacity to preserve battery longevity.

    The real issue here though is offering ICE like performance for ICE like prices. Only one company has solved that riddle and it took a Gigafactory and SC network to kinda sorta get there. That is, what, a 10 - 20 Billion USD bet ? I'm not surprised that only Tesla has taken up the gamble.
     
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  5. SwTslaGrl

    SwTslaGrl Member

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    I think part of the reluctance is the relationship the government in Japan has with large companies in long term planning. For example Toyota is a sponsor partner and supplying vehicles, mostly FCHV, for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics (motto Discover Tomorrow ;)
     
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  6. Stirfelt

    Stirfelt Member

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    BluestarE3 said - "It amazes me how the company that pioneered the hybrid car two decades ago has become so complacent about taking the next step and going fully battery electric. I suspect a big part of that was their decision to go with hydrogen fuel cell and now they're reluctant to admit they had made a strategic misjudgment about that viability and market acceptance of that technology."

    I completely agree. I put 150,000 miles on a 2010 Prius. Fantastic vehicle. Oil changes and tire rotations were the only time the vehicle was in a shop. Toyota "owned" the market ........ then they lost their way.
    As you say, they placed their bet on Hydrogen ...... and lost.
    Then the 4th generation Prius is so ugly I still divert my eyes so-as not to look at one.
    The Prime is only slightly better looking, and sales have not been too bad.
    Even Lexus have become so ugly that even my wife no longer dreams of owning one.

    All said ... it's too bad, because Toyota has the now-how to build a fine, comfortable and reliable automobile.
     
  7. dhanson865

    dhanson865 Active Member

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    I'd say he is baking in the cost of NiMH patents and Fuel Cell patents in his mindset. Toyota has a lot of sunk costs in partially electric cars and can't seem to adjust to the reality that the long term doesn't involve gasoline or hydrogen hybrids.

    Maybe he is trusting R&D folk / professors that are personally vested in fuel cells and doesn't have his own independent opinion on the tech.

    Maybe he knows it's a millstone around his companies neck but hasn't found a way to get rid of it.
     
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  8. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    I've always assumed that the 'Plug-In Prius' would inevitably increase its share of Toyota sales but my not knowing the proper model name for the PIP makes this difficult to impossible to track.
    --
     
  9. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I would not assume that. The PIP has only about 10 miles of real world pure electric range and the Prime has about 20. Not impressive, and to get that you pay thousands more than the standard Prius.

    See The Electrek Review: 2017 Prius Prime – This is not the EV you’re looking for which talks about the Plug-in and the Prime versions of the Prius.

    Toyota has no clue as to how to build a good long range EV and it appears they are years away from offering one.
     
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  10. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Well-Known Member

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    In May 2017, there were _5,369_ Prius Prime sales in Japan. Those sales seem to be impacting inventory in the USA.

    It's worth recognizing that Japan's population density and the risk of earthquakes means that to the Japanese the infrastructural challenges of going plug-in may be considered to be a lot more difficult.
     
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  11. ZBB

    ZBB Emperor

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    I had an opportunity to drive a Mirai in June. It was a short drive, but I was by myself (no Toyota reps in the car, only to answer questions).

    It was just odd. It felt like a large Prius, with so-so handling (FWD bias, lots of play in the steering). Then there were the sounds -- I was expecting electric motor sounds (mostly silent, a little bit of motor whine), and it had that. But it also had really odd pumping sounds, especially under acceleration, but they were still there anytime the car moved. Must have been from the fuel cell. It did not inspire confidence...
     
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  12. ZBB

    ZBB Emperor

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    Are you referring to their heavy Nuclear-reliant grid that suffered during the post-Tsunami shut-down of the reactors? That may have played into it.

    But I'm surprised that they would have gone full boat on hydrogen. Storing H2 at fueling stations is likely more risky than building a charging network that utilizes the existing grid.

    I lived in Tokyo for a summer about 18 years ago. Felt earthquakes frequently -- but none were big enough to be a concern...
     
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  13. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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    #13 RubberToe, Sep 9, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
    Not impossible, here ya go. Prius Family sales are shown here for US, this includes all Prius models, including the PIP:

    [​IMG]

    And here are the sales for the PIP only:

    [​IMG]

    So the new Prius Prime is doing well overall, the bottom line is that its sales are not nearly making up for the massive decline in the other Prii, specifically the non plug in normal Prius:

    [​IMG]

    This is the most perfect example of a death spiral in the current automotive universe. Toyota upper management wakes up every morning, looks at these numbers, and says "All is well with the world". My efforts to understand how this can even happen, and be ongoing, are the bane of my existence.

    I leased a 2013 Prius for 3 years. Amazing car, Black Cherry Persona edition. Bought it and sold it to a relative, he loves it. No doubt the car will last 10 more years with probably no mechanical problems at all. But the Model 3 arrival, and other less expensive BEV's is going to lead to an even more rapid decline in Prius sales. The guys who run the web site that tracks these numbers might as well delete the 2019 column, either that or just zero fill it now to save the effort later. :p

    Earth to Toyota management: You developed the most amazing hybrid vehicle over 20 years ago, and you revolutionized the auto industry. How could it be that you are not leading the next revolution to pure BEV vehicles, when Tesla has shown you the exact path that needs to be followed? And you have the financial resources to do it?

    Here it is in Japanese so you can understand it:
    年以上前に最も素晴らしいハイブリッド車を開発し、自動車業界に革命を起こしました。テスラがあなたに追随する必要のある正確な道筋を示したときに、純粋なBEV車に次の革命を導くことができないのはどうでしょうか?そしてあなたはそれを行うための資金を持っていますか?

    RT
     
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  14. Jeff N

    Jeff N Active Member

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    The Prime has an active battery TMS but it uses a fan to blow cabin air rather than a pump and liquid coolant. A cabin air active TMS is not as good but it's a whole lot better than a sealed pack with no fan like the LEAF.

    As for keeping SOC reserve in a PHEV like the Prime or Volt, they need to do that because the pack gets cycled a lot more than a large battery BEV and they also need substantial SOC to assist in generating power output during hybrid operation. Hybrid-only batteries are designed for maximum power capability while PHEV batteries are designed and constructed to include energy density goals that inherently reduce power density. Batteries can output more power at a higher state of charge just like they can accept more recharge power at a lower state of charge. Keeping about 30% in reserve in a PHEV pack for hybrid operation strikes a balance among those trade-offs.
     
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  15. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    Toyota has the ability to make a BEV today. The problem is that they are a company that only wants to do things in relatively high volume. They don't have the supply chain to make a relatively high volume BEV - AND - make a profit doing it. That is what they are waiting for. The problem I see is that it is a bridge too far - how do you build up a battery supply chain without doing relatively lower volume cars first? You can't do 5,000 BEVs (250,000 kWh) per month overnight. That's 3 GWh of batteries per year - a large battery plant - and that's still pretty low volume for Toyota.
     
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  16. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    China announced it will ban sales of fossil fuel cars. The future is starting now.
     
  17. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    Technically, the credit for that should go to Honda for their original Insight. But, the point is well taken.

    When Toyota loses an army of Camry buyers to the Model 3, it may rethink its strategy.

    Regarding the Mirai, I've seen buyers for it, including a stubborn coworker of my wife's (who believes in the need-to-go-somewhere-to-refill mindset), even in the Tesla-rich Bay Area.
     
  18. BluestarE3

    BluestarE3 Active Member

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    The Insight may have beat the Prius to the US market, but it made its initial debut in Japan two years after Toyota's offering (1999 vs. 1997).
    Toyota Prius - Wikipedia
    Honda Insight - Wikipedia
     
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  19. ShockOnT

    ShockOnT Quickish

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    He is running a business with razor-thin margins, for the most price-sensitive market (including developing nations).
    They shave off $3 on headlamps, $1 off handles, $9.60 off the nav screen, a few bucks off the cloth of the seats, and they squeeze these prices on every inch the cars.
    The idea of then adding $5,000-$10,000 for batteries is ludicrous in that market.
     
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  20. mmd

    mmd Active Member

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    #20 mmd, Sep 9, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
    Can you provide some clear evidence for these? if not, I suggest not to state hear says and rumors as facts :) If Tesla has clearly shown that battery is cheaper than gas engines, and TCO is lower, Tesla is welcome to price the Model 3 at a price lower than Camry and Corolla without incentives. They should take over the mass market car segment soom. What's taking so long?
    A $50k 300 mile Model 3 is not mass market in the US. What is it in developing countries, where average cars cost even less?

    in US, Prius Prime actually costs less than regular Prius after the tax credit.
    Prime cost less than regular Prius
     
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