• Oct 12th 2010 at 8:00PM
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2010 Toyota Prius – Click above for high-res image gallery

Toyota president, Akio Toyoda, addressed the company's U.S. dealers at an annual conference in Las Vegas and his vision for the automaker came through loud and clear: he intends to run a company that dominates the electric-drive segment. In this case, domination includes adding a host of cutting-edge technology vehicles to the company's already-green model lineup. Toyoda talked about the company's recent struggles, full of recalls and reliability concerns, but he also spoke of a promising future, one made brighter by the introduction of new electric-drive models. Toyoda told conference-goers that the automaker:
Will expand its lineup to include more hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery-electric cars and fuel cell vehicles. We are determined to be the leader in this area.
For a company that arguably leads the industry in advanced technology vehicles, envisioning Toyota with more electrified vehicles and perhaps a couple of fuel cell models is certainly not a stretch, but visions of more best-selling Toyota hybrids hitting the streets should be cause for concern among some of the automaker's closest competitors.




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 43 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      If any company that should be crucified by the media, it is Toyota, not GM. They are such a bunch of liars! I remember when GM announce they were going to build the Volt about 3 years ago, the CEO of Toyota laugh at GM for even trying to do this. Toyota acted like they were the authority on electric cars. I wished I had bookmark it.
      GM, good luck and I hope you bury Toyota!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Recent comparisons between Plug-Prius and Chevrolet VOLT indicate the savvy auto press sees Prius coming up short. Toyo claims 60 MPH in "EV Mode" - OOOPS! No. Watch the viddy:

      http://translogic.aolautos.com/2010/10/11/translogic-7-2-plug-in-hybrid-toyota-prius-phv/

      And with VOLT independent reports showing 50-55M All Electric Range - the PIPrius's paltry 12M range just won't cut it.

      GM has leap frogged the Japanese car makers and has a clear lead in the electric vehicle market.
      • 4 Years Ago
      We are determined to be the leader in this area by producing numerous concept vehicles with the help of a startup company.

      LOL.
      • 4 Years Ago
      14 miles... 14MILES!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Prototype demonstrates that you can eliminate local short trips can be driven in pure EV. It also shows the superiority in blending two power sources (teamwork) unlike other hybrids.

        What good is a hybrid if both power sources don't compliment each other?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Toyota with their layout can clearly increase the all electric range simply by putting in a bigger battery pack when it becomes economic to do so, in a suitable body with the room for it.
        It is by no means clear what, if any, flexibility the Volt design has. I seem to remember them saying at one point that their design would not work for either a smaller or larger car.
        Through the road designs like those that Peugeot/Citroen are using are also clearly much more flexible, and you can change either the engine or the electric motors etc fairly independently of each other.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nice talk as the Leaf is close to release, how about some action on the EV front Toyota.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Right, Toyota never had a electric drive. Don't expect anything in that conversion to go into a production model. So what's the point? PR for Tesla as part of the investment and the whole NUMI deal. It's noting about sharing technology, it's all a PR distraction designed for both parties. This is very laughable that Toyota would seek assistance from Tesla in any capacity. the absolutely don;t need them to build a conversion when they already made an advanced EV years ago in a pinch. Oh, the Prius was just a wasted engineering experience. People really don't understand auto manufacturing and the engineering experience and capability of Toyota.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Toyota made a RAV4 EV 10 years ago. Why does Toyota need outside help now?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Not to mention the original RAV4 platform weighed only 2800 lbs. The current RAV4 is 3400 lbs, not a good starting point for a BEV.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Does actions behind the scene count?
        • 4 Years Ago
        You mean the one they don't need Tesla to do because they have more engineering skill in the Toyota break room then all of Tesla. You mean the token PR gift to Tesla? Yea, Toyota needs Tesla to make a RAV4 prototype with a Toyota car and ACP based drive system Tesla did not invent. OK. Can't see through that ploy.
        • 4 Years Ago
        For why they need Tesla, Toyota has always said their price for li-ion batteries are a couple thousand per kWh. Tesla is able to claim ~$600-700/kWh as a retail price for the Roadster pack (probably lower now). So Toyota/Daimler/Freightliner is willing to try them out. If Tesla really has no advantages, I don't think they would be looking at them.

        And AFAIK, Tesla has plenty of their own patents and improvements over the ACP system and last I heard they ditched the ACP design of using the motor is an inductor during charging. For the Model S they are also adding liquid cooling/better air cooling for the motor.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's not that Toyota needs Tesla to make an EV but that you can get an EV with good mileage faster to market by using an EV powertrain that's already real-world proven and putting into a car that's already real-world proven. Whatever Toyota is developing is likely going to be an EV from the ground up, much like the Prius was a hybrid from the ground up or the Leaf is an EV from the ground up. And while I'm sure they're working quickly you don't really want to release a half-hearted product and a well thought out "from the ground up" EV design takes more time.
        • 4 Years Ago
        word.
        Toyota has been completely clueless in the 4 years since the revolution so it'll take a lot more to believe they actually get it.
        a rav4 certainly isn't it.

        the first to make an ultra light ultra aerodynamic fast lean electric car with a tiny range extender will dominate. if they understand anything they'd do that. but they wont.
        maybe in 10 years they'll come up with something slightly in that direction.
        sigh
        • 4 Years Ago
        Jake, do some more research, don't believe all that you have heard in the press and Toyota loves to play the game on batteries. It's also easy to take an ACP system that have been the same for many many years and make some improvements, if Tesla had made their own drive from day one there would still be no Model S cars on the street.
        • 4 Years Ago
        They are showing the RAV4 EV they're making in co-operation with Tesla at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November according to plugincars.com:

        http://www.plugincars.com/toyota-rav4-ev-debut-los-angeles-auto-show-november-72670.html

        It will probably launch in late-2011 or early-to-mid-2012.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Dan F said:
        "the first to make an ultra light ultra aerodynamic fast lean electric car with a tiny range extender will dominate."

        And I want it to cost $12,000, and I want a big trunk, and I want it to look like a normal car, and I want it to run on magic pixie dust, and I want a pony....

        As the Volt clearly demonstrates, there are some hard limits in the sciences we like to call "Physics" and "Economics". As the Aptera demonstrates, what you propose creates a product that the American public generally refers to as "weird looking" at best and "fugly" the other half of the time. And expensive. And nevermind that there's only two seats.
        • 4 Years Ago

        Toyota will try to lead in the electric car arena by using Tesla, using our universities, and steal our technologies like they did with the Prius.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Tesla is small, but it has managed to get some of the top minds of the car industry in its ranks. Don't underestimate their professionalism when it comes to designing cars. Toyota might well benefit from their knowhow, it has after all something that US carmakers *used to* have few decades ago, before European and Japanese drove past the slow moving, big oil-tied fossils.

        Company size is no guarantee of excellence, just look how "well" Toyota performed in F1-racing. Budged that would have made nearly everyone green of envy, and still no results. Something like Brawn that had tiny fraction of the Toyota budged and manpower beat everyone with ease in 2009. Now this year it is Red Bull, which a freaking beverage maker, that is leading the championship. They are using Renault engines, but are a lot faster than Renault. Same with McLaren and Mercedes.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Leaf pack has no 80% capacity warranty, it only has a generic miles/years statement so far. In fact they make no promise of capacity at this point.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well clearly they have some warranty on battery capacity. If your battery capacity were to drop to 5% of original capacity, they could not say "Look . . . it still works fine! Capacity has just drop 95%." No court would allow that.

        What the exact parameters are, we do not know. But I'm certain it will warranty capacity to some degree. But it will probably be like current car batteries . . . you'll have to pay a certain amount for replacement depending on how old the battery is.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Middle Way,

        you need to read better, My comment is 100% accurate. Show me anywhere that nissan give ANY warranty on pack capacity.
        • 4 Years Ago
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Middle Way:
        Yeah, the Leaf battery is guaranteed for 100k and 8 years, but I certainly have not seen anything telling us down to what capacity factor.
        I believe it may be 70%, as that seems to be their estimate of how much it would retain after that number of miles if fast charged regularly, but I have not seen anything to tell us for sure.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nissan is the leader of the EV segment.
      Toyota is the leader of the Recalled segment.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well GM opened the door for you Toyota. Now get moving.
        • 4 Years Ago
        No, the Lithium battery is good for AT LEAST 100K miles, that's the warranty. That is for it to retain at least 80% of capacity, meaning maybe another 50K miles or more.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Volt uses the same lithium chemistry as the Leaf. It is only good for 100k miles and it is a stretch too. IEEE recommended practice for the battery end of life is 80% of the original capacity. Volt and Leaf are using 70% instead, gambling the customers would accept 30 loss in range.

        GM relying on Koreans for their next gen battery does not make me (as a tax payer) feel any better. I still believe it was a bad decision. They should have went with A123.
        • 4 Years Ago
        usbseawolf, the Leaf has a LiMn2O4 (Lithium,Manganese,Oxygen) battery pack. The Volt has a Lithium Polymer pack. They are actually quite different.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hey Toyota, what happened to your Hydrogen cars you tried to tell us were so awesome? I thought you were all set to rule the world with those things.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Toyota brings its aging (doesn't match the new 2011 Highlander) Highlander FCHVs to shows and even lets people drive them. Nobody seemed interested in it at the recent Green Drive Expo I attended, and Toyota could not or would not tell me how big its NiMH battery is. An electrically-propelled car that you CAN'T plug in is going to be a tough sell, even to people near H2 refueling facilities.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Toyota, you have yet to release a single auto with a plug. Put up or shut up.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This doesn't seem like news to me. They already dominate the hybrid market and electric cars are basically a hybrid car WITHOUT the ICE (meaning much simpler) but with a larger battery capacity.

      I fully expect Toyota to dominate the EV market.
        • 4 Years Ago
        If you read closely, you will notice that Toyota is defining "electric drive" to include hybrids. They are not claiming that they are going to lead the pure battery electric vehicle.

        It is a rhetorical trick they are using (as other automakers have also done lately) to lead people who don't listen carfully to misinterpret what they are saying in a way that is more favorable than what what they are actually stating. As Toyota sells more hybrids at the moment, they already lead in what they define as "electric drive". This just means that they plan to increase production of hybrids and other cars with electric motors to a level where the total will be more than other automakers. They are not building pure EV production capacity to compete with the 550,000+ units from Nissan/Renault.
        • 4 Years Ago
        lne937s is right. The auto corps have confused the issue, labeling all vehicles with a battery EV's. Yes, that does make my 01 Corvette a EV. Wish I would have known this sooner, I may have not spent so much money buying a EV without the ICE.
        I think most people will be able to figure out that when they are at the gas station filling up with foriegn fuel that they are most likely not driving a electric vehicle. Still others will go into a dealership looking for a EV with no gas motor and the sales person will tell them that this car with a ICE is the only EV we have.

        Ford, GM, BMW, Mercedes, Toyota, all of them (large OEM's) except Nissan Renault. They are all delaying EV's with misinformation every chance they get.

        Note to self: EV's now means electrified vehicles, or anything with a battery. I just never knew Ford was the first OEM to produce EV's and that all Model T's were EV's. I want to thak all the large OEM's for clearing that up for me.

        Nissan/Renault is the only massed produced EV. The rest are just squirrels trying to get a nut.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @lne937s and @EVsuperhero nail it.

        GM marketing insisted on carving out a new name for their *plug-in hybrid*. Now everyone else will also abuse "Electric Vehicle" and "electric car" to mean "can be propelled by its electric motor only in some circumstances", which means that the crappiest stop/start microhybrid is suddenly an electric car because the starter motor can make the car lurch forward up to 7 mph for a tenth of a mile. Maybe the car will even have an EV button so it can flash "Saying goodbye to electric mode" half-way down the block as you reach 8 mph.

        Chelsea Sexton said "I don't have a problem with someone buying a Volt. I'm concerned about as many electric miles as possible."
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ya-hoo! With so many automakers claiming to be leaders in the electric car future, I think this future is assured. Only a few years ago, before Tesla announced their roadster, the electric car was dead. Then Tesla proved that BEVs didn't have to be ugly, unrefined, slow NEVs. Slowly all major auto manufacturers have taken up the challenge. I predict that BEVs will dominate the market by 2020.
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