krew

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A December 11 report from Norihiko Shirouzu ofReuters outlines the turmoil at Toyota and its planned $30-billion EV rollout. The company is struggling to keep costs competitive and may have to reinvent its whole approach. From the article:

Billionaire Elon Musk’s Tesla made almost eight times the profit per vehicle as Toyota for the third quarter, partly because of its ability to simplify EV production and reduce cost, analysts have said.
[Toyota] has suspended work on some battery-powered car projects announced last year, while a working group headed by former chief competitive officer Shigeki Terashi looks to improve cost performance and technology in the fast-growing market for EVs.

There were rumblings of this internal drama back in October, with the...

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Will1991

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I’m looking forward to see how this develops over time, TMC really needs to improve their BEV’s!
 

Gecko

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Where there is smoke, there is fire... as the saying goes. Toyota's tumult with BEVs has been all over the news for years now, and I guess the question becomes, "Just how far behind are they?"

Toyota has tried everything from hydrogen to PHEVs as bandaids, but nothing seems to be working as they hoped. The points about manufacturing are good ones -- a lot of Toyota's and Lexus' success has been built around their ability to scale manufacturing together, share costs and increase efficiency. Is it possible that building BEVs is going to make that more challenging between a luxury and mainstream brand?

The premium BEV space seems to range from 400 - 1,000+ horsepower, with 600hp quickly becoming table stakes. Nobody is asking for 400hp BEV Camrys or RAV4s, but it would be absolutely necessary for an IS or ES, and especially an LS. I wonder if this type of dynamic is creating problems Toyota hasn't had before where Lexus has always had only a nominal bump over Toyota produces for power, if any. Range is of course a component, but those things go together most often...

It's now 2023 and the rumor mill said Toyota would start rolling out solid state batteries in 2025. Manufacturers are already releasing 2024MY vehicles now, so time is ticking...
 

LS500-18

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If they follow Tesla's lead and reduce the number of parts and components - think minimalist interiors (no buttons) and also at the same time remove parking ultrasonic sensors, etc., don't care about actual build quality, I will not buy another Toyota or Lexus product.

Part of the reason Tesla makes so much money per car is because their vehicles are extremely over-priced, they lack actual features, and I think they also get a lot of govt subsidies to help line their pockets.
 

ssun30

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I guess the question becomes, "Just how far behind are they?"
The "behind" part isn't related to technology, but rather their lack of understanding of what the market and customers expect from a BEV. @spwolf has already laid out in details what exactly Toyota got wrong with the bZ4X and how they don't understand what a BEV should be like. And I would like to add that the "90% capacity over 10 years" promise is seriously limiting their ability to make any BEV product competitive. It forces them to make engineering decisions that practically make the product unusable.
The premium BEV space seems to range from 400 - 1,000+ horsepower, with 600hp quickly becoming table stakes. Nobody is asking for 400hp BEV Camrys or RAV4s, but it would be absolutely necessary for an IS or ES, and especially an LS. I wonder if this type of dynamic is creating problems Toyota hasn't had before where Lexus has always had only a nominal bump over Toyota produces for power, if any. Range is of course a component, but those things go together most often...
The problem really isn't power. The social media makes it look like every EV out there has 500+hp and anything less is uncompetitive. The reality is vast majority of non-Kei EVs sold, including premium models, are in the 180-300kW range (which means the bZ4X and RZ450e are still underpowered...). And that is just limited by physics: it takes a lot of cooling and sacrificing durability to allow >5C discharge rate.
It's now 2023 and the rumor mill said Toyota would start rolling out solid state batteries in 2025. Manufacturers are already releasing 2024MY vehicles now, so time is ticking...
Betting on solid-state is always a losing strategy because when the day comes they will find out solid-state batteries are way more expensive to build because of the extra amount of lithium used. SSBs will be limited to a small selection of high-end products until at least 2030.