Welcome to the new weekly series - Electric Car Watch, where we will talk about EV plans of major car brands, take a look at their EV vision, and go over their technology platforms. We will also discuss the EV models in production and look at what we can expect for India. In this week’s episode we will talk about about Toyota - the behemoth in the car world and their poor plans for EV's which will result in them loosing significant market share by 2030.
Toyota's Hybrids and Hydrogen car distraction tactics
Toyota, as you know, is the world's largest car manufacturer. During the past decade, Toyota has not bothered to invest in electric vehicles. They were busy promoting their hybrid cars and their favorite distraction tactic - “Hydrogen Cars”.
While Toyota did very well with the Prius hybrid car, hedging their bets on hybrid cars in the 2020s seems to me that they seem to still live in the 90s. Let’s be honest, hybrids were never going to be a long term solution to stop our dependency on fossil fuels.
And with regards to Hydrogen, I'm truly shocked by the nonsense I see in the comments of many EV articles. These armchair idiots don't understand the reality of Hydrogen. The physics, the mathematics and the chemistry all point to the fact that battery electric cars are far more efficient and far superior than Hydrogen cars will ever be. It takes more energy to run a hydrogen car compared to a battery electric car. Also these idiots don't understand that 99.9% of hydrogen is created from fossil fuels.
Also there are serious safety issues with Hydrogen. In a car, I would rather sit on top of safe LFP batteries than sit over explosive Hydrogen canisters.
Maybe H2 will be okay in large vehicles like trucks. Hydrogen cars will not be part of our future - at least in passenger cars. The entire auto industry has given up on investing in Hydrogen cars. Mercedes, Volkswagen, Audi who initially tried to play the H2 game, but now are totally anti-Hydrogen and are investing in battery electric cars. But there are three companies who are still investing and promoting and playing the Hydrogen car game. They are Hyundai, Honda and you guessed it - Toyota.
I feel these companies just have a sunk cost bias. They have invested huge money in these cars, even though they are not selling hydrogen cars in any significant numbers. They plan to keep investing more money. What a waste.
I wanted to point out how the leaders of Toyota are constantly involved in making false anti EV statements in the media. For example, the CEO of Toyota, Akio Toyoda, says Japan will run out of electricity if all cars in Japan are EVs. That is absolute nonsense. You can do a google search to check the facts on energy creation. Electricity creation can be scaled up as much as we want. We have control over it, unlike oil production where we are dependent on foreign governments. Solar energy costs have fallen by 85% over the last 10 years and by 2030, we will all be energy surplus. This is called propaganda and not logic. Another thing that is infuriating people is that Toyota’s executives are busy lobbying politicians in Japan, USA to slow any pro EV legislation.
For example, Toyota has opposed newly unveiled reform to the US federal EV incentive program. In the USA, environmentalists are now calling for a boycott of the brand.
Paul Scott, a founder of the EV advocacy group PlugInAmerica, is leading the boycott effort and he said. "The climate clock is ticking and we have to start hitting polluters where it counts–in the money. I worked at an EV dealership, although it wasn’t Toyota, and I can tell you that this is our best chance for change, alongside federal legislation. Car sales people loathe losing a single sale and they hate bad publicity. Toyota deserves every bit of it because they are keeping us addicted to gasoline."
Guys. This is the new Toyota. Instead of making great electric cars that offer great value. They have become experts in anti EV propaganda. They clearly hate EV’s and this company is doing everything they can to slow down the battery electric revolution. We all know Toyota is one of the world's largest car makers. They are very scared that they will lose their market share to EV's in the future. And I bet you, they will lose a huge chunk of market share by 2030 if they go on like this. I will tell you later, how they will lose their market share. Read the article till the end.
Despite all this anti EV propaganda by Toyota, the curve ball or the googly here is that Toyota is investing money on battery electric cars too. Their engineers have been quietly working on a number of EV projects. In October 2019, they announced the eTNGA platform for battery electric cars. TNGA stands for - Toyota New Global Architecture. This platform was jointly developed by Toyota and Subaru. The platform will enable offering various types and sizes of vehicles, different battery capacity and with front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive or dual motor all-wheel drive.
The battery pack can be between 50 to 100 kWh, and the two adoptable motors can be powered upto 150kW. Range of a compact car using this platform is expected to be roughly 300km, and 600km for larger cars.
The first car on the eTNGA platform was shown in this year’s Auto Shanghai motor show. Toyota unveiled a concept version of a new electric SUV, the BZ4X, which will be the first in a new line of battery-electric vehicles. Toyota says they plan to introduce 15 BEV models by 2025. The BZ4X version resembles Toyota’s popular RAV4, and features a distinctive “yoke” in place of a traditional steering wheel, as well as a solar recharging system, which “cleverly recharges the battery while stationary.” Toyota will manufacture the BZ4X in Japan and China and hopes to begin worldwide sales of the model by the middle of 2022. Also in early 2020, Toyota announced a new joint-venture with China’s biggest electric vehicle manufacturer: BYD. We assume that much of the engineering of the battery packs and motors will be from BYD which will go inside the BZ4X. The BYD Blade battery is based out of LFP cells, which wont catch fire and also won't lose major capacity after 3000 charge cycles. This could be another example of a one million km electric car.
So! 15 battery electric car models by 2025 from Toyota! So, is all of this a huge u-Turn by Toyota? Are they giving up on ICE vehicles, hybrid and Hydrogen and embracing EVs? Hold on. Let’s not jump the gun here. The first point i want to make is this. It is very clear to me that Toyota’s EV announcements are geared to serve the Chinese and EU markets, which have more aggressive zero-emission vehicle goals than the rest of the world. Toyota’s BEV development is purely driven by regulations and these electric cars are just compliance cars for markets like China and Europe. In 2021, making compliance EV’s with no global ambitions is unacceptable to me.
Secondly, Toyota announced that by 2030, they expect to sell 10 million cars and only 1 million of them will be EV’s. Now that is laughable on two counts.
- One on how low the EV number is and
- Two, this number also includes their favorite love child - “hydrogen cars”.
Understand this. In 2020 there were 56 million cars sold in the world. Out of which, 20 million cars were sold in China. 14.5 million cars sold in the USA. 12 million cars were sold in Europe. The remaining 10 million cars were sold in countries that don’t matter in the global auto market, like Japan, India, Australia, Latin America etc. These numbers will only increase by 2030. But it is clear the 3 biggest markets for cars are China, USA and Europe. Now by 2030, Europe will stop accepting sales of ICE cars. China might one day announce that they will only sell Electric cars. USA may not enact such legislation as their corrupt politicians are bought by the BIG OIL and BIG IC. But by then consumers will dramatically start using electric cars in the US too.
So the EU and China might tell Toyota - "Hey Toyota you never bothered to plan for EV’s, and we have Tesla and all these Chinese car companies like BYD, SIAC, XPENG, NIO, WULING, CHERY who will sell us EV’s, we will buy from them. Get the F outta here."
So where will Toyota sell their 9 million ICE Cars in 2030? They can only sell them in the USA, India, Latin America, Africa who may still allow ICE car sales then. All of a sudden you can see Toyota’s market shrinking as they cannot sell their ICE cars in the EU and China. That is a 70% reduction. But even selling 9 million ICE vehicles in Japan, US and other countries will be a tough proposition for Toyota as there will be multiple Electric car makers offering superior and cost effective electric cars. Why would people buy Toyota ICE cars then?
By 2030, ICE vehicles will cost more to manufacture than EV’s. ICE vehicles will attract carbon taxes in many countries due to the air pollution they cause. ICE vehicles will last 3-4 times less than a battery electric car. And you are telling me that Toyota will still sell millions and millions of ICE cars by 2030?
That my friend is just a pipe dream.
Ultimately Toyota’s market share will reduce dramatically and they may sell around 2-3 million cars compared to the 9 million they are doing today. Their market share will be captured by the likes of Tesla and the Chinese Electric car companies. And I have a feeling that a large Chinese car company will acquire them.
And this will be the end of Toyota.
Thanks guys for watching. Do write in comments below on your observation and research you may have done on Toyota’s EV strategy.