Why Toyota Does Not Have Electric Cars

Toyota steadfastly opposed electric vehicles for 20 years. The largest carmaker in the world with the highest profit margin claimed that its gasoline hybrids would be the best and most practical approach to reduce emissions from motor vehicles. Until, that is, around 2030 when its hydrogen fuel-cell automobiles were ready for prime time.

What a difference, though, a few years can make. A few years ago, one particular California startup automaker rose to prominence and today has millions of cars on the road and tens of thousands of loyal followers. Tesla is poised to become the first American automaker from scratch to succeed in almost a century. Toyota is the market leader in hybrids thanks to a long-running wager. But that did nothing to help it become a leader in EVs, where it really lags behind the majority of other producers. It now needs to play quick catch-up.

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda unveiled his company’s updated and enlarged plans to increase the manufacturing of battery-electric vehicles in the middle of December. There were numerous big-production and big-dollar promises, to put it briefly. Toyoda set a target of 3.5 million battery-electric vehicles annually by 2030 (out of Toyota’s 10 million global total) using no less than 30 distinct Toyota and Lexus models in all market sectors during the 25-minute media conference. And he committed a staggering $70 billion in total to electrification.

Why does it all matter? And how should we interpret Toyota’s assurances, particularly in light of the fact that the company seems to have been coerced into developing battery-electric vehicles in the first place?

Toyota might produce an electric vehicle.

Toyota introduces the brand-new bZ4X SUV battery-electric vehicle. Dallas, Texas (April 12, 2022) The stylish all-electric Toyota bZ4X SUV hopes to strengthen Toyota’s dedication to a future without carbon emissions.

Is Toyota lagging in the EV market?

Regarding EVs, Japanese automakers need to change. InfluenceMap, a think tank focused on climate change, at least. According to a recent survey by the group, Honda, Nissan, and Toyota are all the least ready to make the switch to zero-emission vehicles when compared to its rivals. You can notice it without having to look very closely. Honda is now planning to build the e:Ny1 for the 2024 model year, but its EV products aren’t growing as quickly as those of other OEMs.

With the bZ4X, Toyota is in the same situation. Currently, the company only produces one totally electric vehicle, thanks to a partnership with Subaru. Toyota, however, lost a huge wager on hydrogen. According to the report, just 14% of Toyota’s global manufacturing will be electric vehicles by 2029. At 18%, Honda does slightly better than Nissan, which comes in second at 22%.

Ford and VW will be at 36% and 43%, respectively, in the meanwhile. Though slowly, they are starting the transformation. Honda had already stated that it will set aside $39 billion on greener automobiles over the next ten years. But it is nothing compared to the electric initiatives from manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz and Ford. Subaru has also stated that over the next five years, it will invest $1.9 billion USD in the development of batteries.

The study, unfortunately for Toyota, reveals that hydrogen just does not function. Hydrogen as a substitute hardly seems to be recognized by the general population, and the results corroborate that. By 2029, the combined production of hydrogen vehicles like the Murai will make up just 0.1% of the world’s automobiles.

Toyota can’t be saved by hybrids either. Even in highly developed markets like Japan and the US, according to Ben Youriev of Bloomberg, “it continues to strongly push combustion-engine powered hybrids despite recent warnings from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scientists that electric vehicles powered by low-emission electricity offer the largest decarbonization potential for land-based transport on a life cycle basis.”

Toyota and Nissan, according to Youriev, emphasize the connection between “negative climate policy participation and low levels of electric vehicle production predictions.” Even though Honda may not have been included in that sharp comment, the situation is essentially the same for that Japanese company. It remains to be seen if research like this will cause Japanese automakers to rethink their strategies.

Which is preferable, electric or hybrid cars?

The range is the main advantage. Plug-in hybrid vehicles include a gasoline engine in addition to an electric motor, whereas an electric car can only go as far as its batteries will allow. Plug-in drivers benefit from having the best of both worlds as a consequence.

What does Toyota’s future hold?

Toyota claims that the majority of the electric vehicles on show won’t be available for several more years, but it’s improbable that all of them will be put into production and even less likely that they will all be sold in the United States. But putting those technicalities aside, the unveiling highlights Toyota’s strategy for electrification: cast a wide net of battery-powered options to cater to a variety of lifestyles and geographic contexts.

Toyota’s fervent electrification road map calls for boosting its BEV expenditure from roughly $13 billion to the equivalent of nearly $18 billion. The carmaker also aims to sell 3.5 million EVs annually, offer 30 all-electric vehicles, and provide an all-electric Lexus lineup for North America, Europe, and China by 2030.

According to Toyota, the final decision regarding which EVs are made available and which areas they are placed in rests with the customer “According to Toyoda in the presentation, Toyota is dedicated to offering a diverse range of carbon-neutral options to address any needs or circumstances in any nation or region. “Local marketplaces and our customers, not us, decide which possibilities to select. The future will reveal which, if any, of these 15 EVs will be seen on American roads.

Why was the Toyota RAV4 EV discontinued?

The RAV4 EV tested by Green Car Reports proved to be reasonably nimble for a car of its size. The RAV4 EV was an exception to the rule at the time, which was that many Toyota vehicles didn’t have the most sensitive steering.

The electric range estimator’s accuracy also impressed the testers. The RAV4 EV has a 100-mile all-electric range rating, but the test car used by Green Car could go 115 miles.

Additionally, according to Car & Driver, the RAV4 EV is unquestionably quick by SUV standards. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 8.6 seconds while driving normally. However, when in Sport driving mode, it accelerates quickly, taking just 7.0 seconds to reach 60 mph.

The Toyota RAV4’s prolonged charge periods were its major flaw. You needed to wait more than 24 hours to receive a full charge unless you bought a Level 2 charging station.

The RAV4 EV was withdrawn after the 2014 model year because Toyota believed that this wasn’t justified considering the vehicle’s limited range.

How many Toyota vehicles are electric?

Toyota’s alternative fuel cars include fuel cell electric, fuel cell hybrid, battery electric, and hybrid electric vehicles.

More over two thirds (69%) of all new sales in 2021 came from these sources.

How durable are electric vehicles?

An electric vehicle obtains its power straight from a large pack of batteries, as opposed to internal combustion engined cars, which get their energy from burning gasoline or fuel.

These resemble an enlarged version of the lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery in your smartphone; however, electric vehicles (EVs) use packs made up of thousands of individual Li-ion cells that cooperate to power the vehicle. Electricity is utilized to change the batteries’ chemical composition while the car is charging. These modifications are then reversed when the vehicle is in motion to create electricity.

Electric car battery technology

While driving, EV batteries go through cycles of “discharge,” and they “charge,” when the car is plugged in. The battery’s ability to keep a charge is affected by how often you repeat this operation. As a result, the distance between charges and the time between trips are reduced. The majority of manufacturers offer a battery guarantee of five to eight years. A battery for an electric vehicle, however, is currently expected to last 1020 years before needing to be replaced.

It’s surprisingly easy to understand how a battery and the car’s electric motor function together.

The wheels are driven by electric motors that are connected to the battery. When you step on the gas, the car immediately supplies the motor with power, which progressively uses up the energy stored in the batteries.

When you release the accelerator, the automobile starts to slow down by turning its forward momentum back into power thanks to the fact that electric motors can also function as generators. This effect is amplified if you apply the brakes. By recovering energy that would otherwise be lost during braking, regenerative braking increases battery life and extends the travel distance of an automobile.

Electric car battery lithium-ion

Electric vehicles and a variety of portable electronics employ lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, a type of rechargeable battery. Compared to normal lead-acid or nickel-cadmium rechargeable batteries, they have a higher energy density. As a result, the size of the battery pack as a whole can be decreased by battery makers.

The lightest of all metals is lithium. However, lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries only have ions and not lithium metal. Ions are atoms or molecules having an electric charge brought on by the loss or gain of one or more electrons, for those who are unsure of what an ion is.

In addition to being safer than many alternatives, lithium-ion batteries must also have safety precautions in place to safeguard consumers in the unlikely case of a battery failure. To protect the batteries during frequent, rapid charging sessions that take place quickly, manufacturers, for example, install charging protections in electric vehicles.

How long do the batteries in electric cars last?

Each electric vehicle (EV) battery pack is anticipated to maintain its charging-discharging capability for 100,000 to 200,000 miles thanks to the hundreds of softly topped-up cells inside. Most electric vehicles come with an extended warranty of eight years or 100,000 miles since manufacturers are so confident in the battery’s ability to withstand use on the road.

“The battery will outlive the car,” Graeme Cooper asserts with assurance.

Today’s EV batteries typically have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years within the vehicle and a second life after that.

It’s also important to keep in mind that EV battery technology is still in its infancy. As technology advances, we should expect batteries to last longer while also being cheaper, smaller, and even lighter.

How much do batteries for electric cars cost?

The price to replace an electric car battery varies. You might be able to get the battery replaced for nothing if it is still covered under warranty. If not, a Bloomberg article estimates that the average price as of 2020 was roughly $137 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of battery capacity.

Therefore, the average cost of a brand-new Chevy Bolt, which has a 65 kWh battery pack, is about $8905. Additional variables that affect the pricing include:

  • Does the battery have a warranty?
  • What materials the EV battery is comprised of (if it has more expensive metals, the cost is higher)
  • Which car are you operating?
  • Size of the battery pack

According to a Recurrent Auto research, some EV batteries only cost $2,500 to replace, while others can cost upwards of $20,000. That costs around the same to replace a gasoline vehicle’s transmission, even at the low end. The good news is that those costs should go down over the next years.

The cost of replacing the batteries in electric vehicles is already lower than it was when EVs first gained popularity. The average price of a brand-new EV battery pack in 2010 was over $1,000/kwh, according to a Bloomberg article. By 2023, with battery technology advancements, prices might be about $100/kWh, with further price reductions as technology evolves.