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Nikkei: Toyota to begin mass-producing 300+ km BEV by 2020

Without citing sources, the Nikkei reported that Toyota Motor intends to start mass-producing battery-electric vehicles capable of a range of more than 300 km (186 miles) on a single charge by 2020. According to the report, the platform underlying the Prius or Corolla is being considered for an electric SUV.

Up to now, Toyota has envisioned using all battery-electric powertrains mainly in short-distance, urban applications; longer-range electric operation was to be handled by fuel cell vehicles. With GM readying the release of the 383 km (238-mile) Chevy Bolt for this year, Tesla plowing ahead for a release of the Model 3 next year, and other rivals such as Volkswagen accelerating their long-range EV efforts, however, Toyota apparently is broadening its strategy.

Reuters reported that Toyota said it would issue a response to the Nikkei report later on Monday.

According to the Nikkei, Toyota will rapidly create an in-house team for planning and development, and seek cooperation from group companies to start production quickly.

The report also noted that Toyota will increase its own efforts in developing next-generation batteries, but may also source batteries from third-parties to keep costs low.


Account Deleted

OMG 300km on the Japanese scale compares to an EPA rating of a 80 miles BEV by 2020!

Toyotas first BEV will have zero sales. The BEVs that will be in higher demand than the production can handle will be the 200 plus miles range and fully autonomous BEVs that Tesla will make possibly a 1 of in 2020. And each million Tesla BEVs can replace 7 million non-self driving vehicles because they can each do about 100.000 miles per year on the Tesla Network.

By 2020 Toyota will be heading full speed at bankruptcy because of falling sales of their earth destroying gassers. They will have nothing real to show in terms of zero emission vehicles.


The main question is battery supplier and battery cost. Taking into account annouced price of GM Bolt battery (by LG Chem) below $150 per kWh, I can even dare to dream about $100 per kWh for Toyota by 2020. In this case Toyota will be quite ok.

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Battery cost is a function of volume mostly. The only two volume BEV battery makers in the market seems to be Tesla/Panasonic and LG. 100 USD per kwh at the cell level may take longer than 2020. May mot happen until Giga factory 3 or so by 2025. Toyota may but batteries from LG. I think that Panasonic has their hands full with Tesla that are growing so fast that even Panasonic has trouble raising capital fast enough for the needed capital investments in the giga factories. Who knows maybe Tesla will buy Panasonics battery division because Tesla is in a better position to raise capital either from internal gross profits or externally through the stock market.

The key to making BEVs more economic versus gassers is not further reduction of battery price which is already low below 190 USD at the pack level. The key is putting as many miles per year on the vehicles and that is done by making them self-driving so they can do 100.000 miles or more as taxis. Another thing could be self-driving taxis using data centers to enable transport for more than one passenger in the taxi.


I completely disagree with you on the self driving cars. There are billions of individually owned cars on the road today and they not going anywhere for 15-20 years. And people are not going to shift to everyone using a self-driving "shared" car anytime soon.

Battery prices are VERY important as well as the infrastructure for fast DC charging for apartment dwellers to be able to participate. The largest parts of the US population live in suburban centers around large cities and they need their own transportation to get to the jobs they have today...and well into the 2020's.

Your vision is more likely a 2040-2050 timeframe.


Thing won't go so fast as they do in IT, it seems Toyota has missed the train, but has it really? Average car on the road is 10 years old, new BEV curently represent less than 1% market share in US and EU. In other parts of the world BEV market share is practically non existent.

Toyota is the only truly mass producing hybrid drivetrains (1.3 mil/year), I think no one will teach them a lesson when they chose to mass produce BEV, with very similar internals. They shoved they can make EV drive train with 133 MPGe EPA rating, without skiny tyres and drastic weight shawing. They will deliver when they chose to, without to much hype, don't worry.

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Dave my main point is that driverless taxis are coming now by the end of 2018 with some 500.000 driverless Teslas on Tesla Network. Compare that to less costly batteries that will take much longer like a decade or two to drop 50 to 75% in price from current levels at about 170 USD at the pack level. The Tesla Model 3 and the Bolt is not going to get much cheaper anytime soon. You need 35k USD for a 200 plus mile BEV because the battery pack is expensive.

I am impatient I want to see the world change into BEV much faster than it currently happens. The only way you can make BEVs quickly become the only kind of cars made is by making them self-driving so that their high cost can be shares by many and its cents per mile price can go down. You can buy a Model 3 and own it without sharing it with others and you end up paying about 65 cents per mile. Now buy that Model 3 awith the autonomous options (43.000 USD) and share it with others using Tesla Network when you do not use it yourself and the average cost of driving a mile for you and others will drop to 20 cents per mile. This is revolutionary. To begin Tesla Network could charge 100 cents per mile because it will still be far lees than the 140 cents per mile that Uber charges for Taxi driving. If you get 1 USD per mile and only have about 20 cents cost you make 80 cents per mile in profits to be shared between Tesla and you as a vehicle owner. Tesla has said most of the profit will go to vehicle owners. Driving 100.000 miles per year and exclusively as a taxi a Model 3 could make 80.000 USD per year in profits!

Tesla is going to solve all their capital problem as soon as that Tesla Network start operating and they will get the money to build many more factories all over the world in record time. For Tesla to make enough autonomous vehicles to replace the entire global production of non-autonomous gassers they just need to make 12 million vehicles per year. In 2020 they will make 1 million per year and in 2025 they could be making 6 to 8 million per year and Toyota Honda and FiatCrysler will be gone.

True that there is 1.5 billion gassers out there but remember they will all be scrapped within 20 years. By 2025 no new gassers will be produced and by 2045 we could see a world without any gassers.


What is this? Some kind of Tesla religion?

Self-driving and driver-less cars are two very different things.

Thomas Pedersen

I agree with Casper.

Q: What technical knowledge does Toyota lack to become a major player with BEVs?

A: Nothing.

Where they are perhaps slightly behind is on having a BEV platform (large, flat, rectangular battery pack beneath the seats) to accommodate a large-enough battery. OTOH, if VW can reach 300 km (theoretical, NEDC) in a current Golf, Toyota should be able to do the same in the larger, yet more aerodynamic Prius.

Given the time-frame though (the same as the VW I.D.), they could be talking about a new BEV platform. The the Nikkei report is true, and they will use a Corolla or Prius platform in 2020, then they are truly behind. The battery pack(s) will simply be too complex and expensive.

Moreover, the VW I.D, being shorter than a Golf but with larger wheel base than a Passat, has really highlighted how much space is wasted in a conventional platform when used as a BEV. It'll be interesting to see whether that can be competitive (new platform + cheap battery pack vs. written-off platform + expensive battery pack).

Account Deleted

No religion here just engineering at its best. You can order a Tesla with full self driving capability here (level 5).


Expect to get the needed software uploaded for that by the end of 2017 and expect the legislation to allow you to use it for revenue generating taxi services on the Tesla Network by the end of 2018.

Driverless tech is developing as fast as other IT tech because it is IT tech. It is not automotive tech like batteries and electric motors and power electronics or gas engines that all take more time to develop because it involves transforming millions of tons of materials requiring massive factories that takes time to build. It will not take any time to make driverless hardware available on all cars once you have designed it like Tesla has as we are talking tiny components that are already in mass production in the IT industry.

Account Deleted

Toyota could still save itself from bankruptcy if they decide today to go all in on self-driving BEVs. IMO by 2020 it will be too late to make that decision. It will take many years to build the massive factories needed for batteries and power electronics and electric motors.

By going all in for self-driving BEVs I mean stop all R&D for gassers and FCV and use it all on self-driving BEVs instead. Toyota has nothing that can compete with Tesla today and to compete with Tesla in 2020 you need something really extraordinarily not another 80 miles Leaf.


I like Tesla, because they are kicking everyones butt to do something, but the hype is getting out of proportion. Toyota, bankruptcy don't make me laugh.

Self-driving on current road infrastructure can not be make 100% possible. In best case scenario driver-less car will in certain situations stop and won't be able to continue in worst case someone will die.

In the 60s every one thought we will have flying cars and for vacation we would visit Mars, but sometimes a small detail prevents it all from happening, and with self driving there are many small things that can prevent a complete driver-less car.


Toyota currently makes excellent, long lasting, very efficient HEVs, PHEVs and FCEVs and could make excellent competitive BEVs by or before 2020.

Japan has many excellent battery makers-manufacturers and could mass produce more at very competitive price. However, buying (some) lower cost batteries from China could make Toyota's BEVs even more competitive.

Eventually, Toyota could produce many of their BEVs in China for the local and export markets? It could have the most positive impact on GHG and pollution.

Not so sure that very low cost driverless taxis would lower current traffic jams in large cities. It may make them a lot worst unless people learn to share ADVs to reduce the number of vehicles in the down town area and on highways.


I doubt the market will wait for Toyota in 2020.


@Thomas Pedersen
"Q: What technical knowledge does Toyota lack to become a major player with BEVs?
A: Nothing."

Real answer: Toyota currently use Ni-MH in small batteries. They need technical knowledge in large packs with Li-ion cells, thermal management and hi-power charging systems. But this should be reasonable quick to learn.


Toyota used li-ion in Prius+ (EU) and Prius plug-in in 2012. Now they are using it in normal Prius and Prime. They are getting over 60kW of power out of 8 kWh pack, scale that to 40 kWh pack and you have potential of 300 kW power without liquid cooling. But those cells will probably be overkill and pricey for their EV, they will probably chose something with lower C rating.

Account Deleted

Harvey the main reason that Toyota has a good track record on reliability is that they don’t innovate. They keep designs as they are not risking anything with innovative products. Tesla is the opposite. It innovates at a blistering speed and as a result they have reliability issues with the first few production units. However, they are very good at finding and correcting their unavoidable innovation errors. For example, the Model X now has 92% less issues a year after the first units were made. The acid test of whether you are doing well with your customers is nevertheless not the rate of issues that will be fixed under warranty but how well your customers rate you. And Tesla has despite its issues with new production cars the most satisfied customers of any automaker.

Toyotas current strategy of not innovating will be their downfall. Toyota is controlled by an imbecile family owner that cannot be dismissed by the shareholders because he controls most of the votes. IMO it will take a miracle to safe Toyota from going bankrupt when the fully autonomous BEV taxi revolution come at full force after 2020 where millions of new cars will go into service every year quickly eroding demand for self owned gassers. By 2020 even if Toyota decided to go all in on driverless BEVs they would have no money to invest to do it because of losses from diminishing gasser sales and it would take years to build the entirely new factories needed for making driverless BEVs.


I don't think Toyota will have any problem being relevant.

I don't know why many on here have a hard time imagining automakers that existed before 1990 would have a hard time bringing a bev or some other innovation to market to save themselves. The big three and the others have decades and decades of battery research, they have countless r&d divisions, they will build the things when they feel they can sell them to the general public, not likely much before.

It's one thing having a few loss leaders, but another entirely flooding dealerships with cars they can't sell.

In the near term I believe we will see hybrids reach their potential.

It will probably be 2025 before we see any sweeping changes with BEVs. I figure tesla will have some growing pains and ramping issues. It'll be probably after 2025 before BEVs break 10% market share.

I honestly thing thier biggest contributions are not to cars but to solar and battery backup. Their powerwall is looking very enticing. And they make a strong case for their solar roof.

If all new houses came with solar installed, wed have a chance to divert 15%+ of our nations energy consumption.

I can't wait till oems and the aftermarket offer used batteries for home backup, 40-80kwh packs would be amazing.


REs, Batteries, Super caps, BEVs and FCEVs evolution will pick up speed between 2020 and 2030/2035.

Many people living in warmer/sunny areas will capture solar energy and store it for 24/7 usage. Higher efficiency solar panels/singles will capture enough energy for the house + 2 small short range BEVs. Others will rely on shared and/or unshared UBER like ADVs and public electrified transportation.

Manufacturers like Toyota-Nissan/Renault-Honda will not go bankrupt but progressively adapt with major join ventures to mass produce lower cost batteries, e-motors, FCs and other e-components required.

GM-Ford-Chrysler will also have to join forces or join with Chinese manufacturers to compete and survive. This trend as started 5+ year ago and will continue.

Eventually, re-enforced plastic much lower cost e-car will be available. Traffic jams are here o stay?

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