Why Toyota went to the electric car?


To date, this is the idea of Toyota on alternative propulsion

Something is changing in the world of electric cars. Although the recharge times are still those that are, especially when it comes to household connections (instead of fast charging), single phase, the capacity of the batteries is improving. In a few months the Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, Renault ZOE and Opel Ampera-e have been announced in regions above 250 km, thanks to battery of higher energy density or larger in size.

These data are significantly better than those of the previous generation of electric cars, at around 100 miles and even less. Under this point of view, Toyota thought there were cars that consumers demanded: little autonomy, reloads slow, and prices that were not precisely aligned with competitors, internal combustion or hybrid.

Now, the information put forward by Nikkei yesterday, which has not yet been confirmed or denied by Toyota, has a minimum of sense. If they are put on cars in the street with autonomy of 300 kilometers, greatly increase their possibilities of use, especially if you start to gamble on a public network of recharging. Obviously, they would be models that have their meaning primarily in sites with very specific, such as Norway, California, Japan, other nordic countries, etc


a long time Ago that Toyota has a strategic vision that is ambitious, to produce vehicles that do not pollute or produce waste throughout their useful life. Within the campus of available technologies, the electric ones are for Toyota models optimal to move at a very short distance. The prototype urban vehicle i-ROAD is a good example of this.

For Toyota the vehicle-ideal for mid-distance is the hybrid, and this technology has been given all the attention. Almost 10 million units have been put on the roads of developed countries, and a few thousands still are serving in countries such as Mongolia, for their great longevity, and ease of cold start. The vast majority are Prius, but there are also derivatives of conventional models.

For long-distance, the idea is to bet on the hydrogen and the fuel cell, and there is already the Toyota Mirai. Yes, we are talking about a car of very limited production, very expensive, with infrastructure almost non-existent outside of very very specific, and that right now only makes sense for pioneers and people given to make experiments. Lack much to be a tangible reality for the average citizen.


Toyota iQ EV

Progressively Toyota is giving the new diesel engine, which is fundamentally a phenomenon of european, indian and south Korean. In our market there are only two engines genuine Toyota, the 1.4 D-4D (Yaris, Auris, Corolla) and the 3.0 D-4D (Land Cruiser, Hilux). other engines manufactured by other, as BMW and the PSA Group, within industry agreements.

Toyota never gave up on pure electric, but it has done little case

in fact, in Europe, Toyota sells more hybrids than diesel (only a quarter), and the gas in between. The hybrids did not have any problem of autonomy where they sell gasoline. In very to a lesser extent, there are plug-in hybrids based on the Prius that have had sales very testimonials, it is expected that work better the new generation, Prius Prime.

The strategic vision of Toyota diverges much from that of other manufacturers. For example, the Volkswagen Group-Audi is confident to increase its sales of models, plug-in to 25% in the next decade (now around 1%). In such a perspective, the idea of Toyota is falling out of date, because the battery technology is improving greatly and the prices per kWh are coming down.


Toyota RAV4 (first generation)


In 1995, a prototype electric RAV4 won the rally scandinavian electric car. Later was introduced the RAV4 EV, with a range of about 200 miles, which sold about 1,500 units in the north american market. Like other manufacturers, Toyota was forced to sell anything for zero emissions in the State of California. One of the owners was actor Tom Hanks.

A second-generation RAV4 EV in partnership with Tesla, is produced in low volumes in the united States. Tesla was responsible for the production of all electrical components and batteries in the same site that now Tesla manufactures its cars. The components were sent to Woodstock (Ontario, Canada) for the final assembly. This agreement was short-lived, from 2010 to 2014.

in Addition, there were three prototypes called the FT-EV, one of which resulted in the Toyota iQ EV. This variant of the iQ allowed to go 85 miles, from the beginning he knew that was not going to be a success. If the iQ itself was not exactly a commercial success, the electric version not the had all to himself. In the end only produced 100 units for evaluation and testing, and they did not come to end customers in the first instance.