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Toyota to Accelerate Development of HEVs, PHEVs and EVs; Downgrades Sales Target for FY2009

Watanabe characterized the rapid change is the US market toward more fuel-efficient vehicles as structural. Click to enlarge.

Outlining Toyota’s response to rapidly changing global market conditions, growing environmental issues and increasing material costs, President Katsuaki Watanabe said that the company was accelerating its development of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all electric vehicles. Watanabe said that Toyota would advance its delivery of plug-ins for fleet deployment to 2009 from 2010, and was planning series production of a next-generation electric vehicle in the early 2010s.

Watanabe also said that Toyota had dropped its global sales target for fiscal 2009 to 9.7 million vehicles from the earlier target of 10.4 million. Toyota is expecting flat sales in North America for FY 2009 (approximately 2.70 million units) and Japan (approximately 2.25 million units). The company expects growth in Europe (1.3 million units, up from 1.25 million); Asia (1.75 million units, up from 1.65 million) and Central and South America, Africa and the Middle East (1.7 million, up from 1.65).

Toyota will tailor its operations to various conditions in each of five major regions: Japan; the US; Western Europe; India and Brazil; and China and Russia. Japan remains the core of global operations. Watanabe characterized the US as a growing market in the medium-to-long term, but one that had undergone a structural shift towards more fuel efficient vehicles. In response, Toyota is trying to optimize its North American production, consolidating the production of its trucks, while increasing the supply of fuel efficient hybrids.

Western Europe will see successive launches of low-emission vehicles, including the new iQ with CO2 emissions of 99 g/km and new hybrids. Toyota has scheduled 18 new low-emission models between late 2008 and 2009.

For India and Brazil, Toyota plans a full-fledged entry through new plants and newly-developed compact vehicles. For China and Russia, Toyota will increase local production and expand sales and service networks.

To support its basic strategy of increasing hybrid sales, Toyota is targeting a 1-million unit production capacity of battery packs at PEVE (Panasonic EV Energy), and a large increase of production capacity in 2009 for the new Prius and new dedicated hybrid vehicle. Fundamental to the expansion of the hybrid strategy is ongoing reductions in size, weight and cost for the hybrid drive systems.

On the cost front, Toyota is organizing a special team to review vehicle size, weight, and number of parts of compact vehicles in order to realize cost reductions.

For the medium- to longer-term environmental strategy, Watanabe reiterated Toyota’s focus on electricity, bio-energy and hydrogen as the key elements of a diversified response.



Nice to see Toyota moving things up a little earlier for the Plug in Prius and announcing a pure EV. Should have been that way from the beginning, but still nice to see.


I will be interested to see what the sales look like after Honda sells their more affordable hybrids. It seems like the sales numbers are coming down and the cars sold could shift to other brands and other models.

Harvey D


I also like this news. However, batteries performance was and still is the major delaying factor for the massive arrival of PHEVs and specially practical BEVs.

More should be done to promote lower cost battery mass production. It is the key to affordable PHEVs and BEVs.

The world needs 10 KWh, 20 KWh, 40 KWh and 60+ KWh compact standardized quick charge extended life low cost battery packs soonest.

A modular approach with multiple standardized 10 KWh plug-in modules would allow easy upgrades as modules become smaller, lighter and cheaper.


This is fantastic news from a company who built and sold/leased about 1500 EV's in the late 90's and early 00's and the in a cowardly move crushed many and was only stopped from crushing all due to public pressure. However I think the CARB move to back off the EV mandate was more cowardly.

Shifting economics have finally forced their decision to move more towards EV's and PHEV's once again, a decision which I applaud. However announcements hardly the same as a promise and even a promise from a large multinational corporation is not worth much. I'll believe it when the vehicles are in the showrooms with a sticker on them and are actually made available to the public.

There are RAV4 EV's which are claimed to have greater than 100K miles on them on the original NiMH battery pack. DOE considers NiMH a 'mature technology' and nearly 10 years ago the EV1 got a range of up to 140 miles per charge. Yet the big auto companies continue on with the claim that battery technology is not ready. It's the companies themselves who are not ready. EV's aren't for everybody...but they'll be fine for 95% of us.



The problem is not the technology it is the price. Batteries were and still are way too expensive.

Companies like Toyota have to deal with reality. Reality being very critical consumers that demand top quality. Anything less ruins your carefully built reputation.

They killed the ev and made a success of the Prius, which will evolve into an ev. That is called 'smart', not 'cowardly'.


The high cost of the battery packs are a function of volume and commodity material costs. How much would an automobile engine cost if they were only built a few dozen at a time?

Toyota initially built the Prius at a loss and now sells it for a profit...smart business, I agree. They also put 1500 RAV4 EV's on the road and there was alot of demand for more. I don't know how much of a loss they took on each RAV4 EV, but I guarantee if they had built a million (like they have with the Prius) they would we making a profit, and also would have transformed the economics of the batteries through mass production. There was plenty of demand for EV's in CA when they killed the program and there still is today.

Explain to me what is not cowardly about crushing 900 nearly new EV's when people were offering to buy them. I'm guessing they didn't want a reminder of the viablity of mass produced EV's driving around the roads of CA for fear people would ask why isn't Toyota 'moving forward' like their slogan says. It was the ebarrassment of the media attention that stopped them from crushing all of them, not 'smart business' as you suggest.


There is only so much economy of scale to be had with volume production. The idea is you share the fixed costs among more units produced. There is no magic that suddenly makes your materials nor labor cost less. If there are high fixed costs, which would include development costs, then yes the price per unit would come down, but probably not a factor of 10.


Studies by EPRI estimate that volume production of Li-Ion and NiMH battery packs for EV's and PHEV's will indeed drive costs down exponentially reaching about 300/kWh at volumes on only about 100,000 units, which are pretty low volumes for companies such as Toyota.


Ronald Wagner

There seems to be a lot of expertise in these replies.

I would like opinions as to whether or not there is potential for widespread retrofitting of our present fleet of internal combustion vehicles to EVs. Possibly using standardized modules for various types of vehicles. I would love to have retrofitted my old minivan. It just needed a new engine.


Well Anne. Do we really think that sac believes that no company in the world is able to build a profitable PHEV or EV
the two who tried, and are closest, are the ones trying to bury the technology?
Incredible. No one can be .. .
I think sac must be putting us on.


Well Anne. Do we really think that sac believes that no company in the world is able to build a profitable PHEV or EV
the two who tried, and are closest, are the ones trying to bury the technology?
Incredible. No one can be .. .
I think sac must be putting us on.


I think that BYD will show us very soon whether or not battery packs have reached a sufficiently mature price point to enable mass market PHEV penetration.


X. Act. Lee

How is this different from there original target date of 2010? Their 2009 announced date only refers to "fleet" vehicles. Apparently everyone else in the world will get new HEVs, Phevs, and clean diesel sooner. That's crap! They must know something about the release (non-release) of the Chevy Volt (phantom) that we aren't privy to, yet runs counter to those stupid commercials during the Olympics about the Volt's (phantom) projected release of 2010...a hollow voice says fool.

richard schumacher

Anyone who cares about global warming should read
Professor Somalwar's work shows that no one should reflexively buy a PHEV and assume that they are reducing global warming or even conventional pollution. Instead they ought to learn what are the sources of electricity in their area and buy a PHEV only if less than half of the electricity comes from coal. Far better, if they have the option available they should contract with their electric utility to deliver 100% wind or renewables power.


How about if they buy a PHEV and actively pressure utilities to convert to NG?? That increases acceptance of PHEVs AND lobbies for cleaning up the grid.

Joanne Ivancic

Right now the Washington DC area is threatened with brown outs as electricity producers try to pollute our viewsheds and reduce our property values with more transmission lines. Imagine the drain on resources as PHEVs are plugged in each evening. If we don't build more power generation plants, don't count on the supply meeting the increased demand.

Then, imagine the costs associated with increased demand on stretched supplies. Remember on average, 2/3 of electric power created is lost before it reaches that PHEV, so 3 units of power needs to be generated to give that PHEV 1 unit of power.

Do you get impatient waiting to put gas in your tank at a gas station? Think of the hours your car is unavailable as it recharges. For people who commute more than 40 miles, where will they recharge before driving home?

And cost of replacement battery packs is not even estimated--current hybrid owners get them free--now. As a speaker from GM asked at a conference last week, "Who is satisfied with the performance of their laptop or cell phone battery? That is the level of performance we can expect at this point from PHEV batteries at this point."
I'm convinced the nuclear power industry is jumping with glee with all this talk of PHEVs. Never mind the huge carbon footprint created by constructing such plants--or the question of in whose back yard rests spent nuclear waste.

So, what's a better alternative that is likely more viable a solution to personal vehicle transport (and jet fuel for military and commercial purposes)? Sustainable advanced (3rd generation) biofuels. Non-food, low input/high yield crops and agricultural residues. If the amount of financial support that is being put into developing PHEVs went into R&D, pilot programs and commercialization of the many ideas in research, we'd have designer bio gasoline providing green fuel for all types of vehicles, not just ones that live in secure suburban garages.

Henry Gibson

The demand for high horsepower is what makes cars, batteries and electric motor systems expensive. TZERO demonstrated a lead-acid plug in hybrid a decade ago with their charging trailer. A 15 horse motor would be ok for most trips. But no car manufacturer would try to enter the market without the latest greatest electronics and super fast speeds. Getting rid of the 55 mph speed limit also helped the demise of the electric car. There were many years when electric locomotives did not have a single transistor in them. What about trying for a street legal PHEV or even just an electric without a transistor. With gasoline costing six times electricity per mile efficiency can wait for mass production. An EV-1 with a ZEBRA battery set would frighten any oil company. The lead battery set could do it even. And the lead battery set used in the first. TZERO was much better. Its no wonder they were crushed; they dared not leave one on the road after the CARB chairman was bribed with a fuel cell job. ..HG..


Lead-acid is a terrible choice for EVs - why do you think hobbyists are so desperate for Cobasys to make NiMH packs for the conversion market?

And 2/3 of electric power generated is NOT lost in transmission & distribution (T&D) - where do people get such ideas?

"Transmission and distribution losses in the USA were estimated at 7.2% in 1995" (wikipedia)

check 123

Check out these videos of electric cars. There is also really good information on the Kentucky electric car plant

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