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Toyota CEO Toyoda to head up new Toyota EV group; more execs and managers flow in as well

Effective today, Toyota CEO and President Akio Toyoda will assume the duties of president of the company’s newly formed EV Business Planning Department. (Earlier post.)

Mitsuhisa Kato, Toyota’s Executive Vice President, Frontier Research Center, will also function as an EVP for the new EV planning department.

Shigeki Terashi, Toyota’s EVP, Strategic Top Executive Meeting Office, will also become an EVP for the new EV group, as well as EVP of the Corporate Strategy Division and the Research Division.

At the managerial level, Kouji Toyoshima, chief engineer with Toyota’s mid-size vehicle company will also take a chief engineer role withi the EV group.


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That is clearly a message that Toyota means business this time. However, I am so disappointed about everything that Toyota has done (or rather not done) to create sustainable products that it needs more to get me convinced that Toyota is not just faking another attempt to look green as they do with FCV.

If Toyota does not make driverless BEVs of all sorts in volume by 2025 it will go bankrupt by 2025 because this is the only kind of vehicles that will have a market at that time.

The first time people get a taste of a driverless taxi they will decide not to buy another car that is not fully driverless. The market for non-driverless cars will start to implode by 2020 when Tesla has over one million driverless taxis in operation worldwide teaching hundreds of millions of people about the new reality of transportation.

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Correction to the above. By 2025 the only cars that will sell are the driverless cars. However, not all will be BEVs because it will take longer than 2025 to build the massive factories needed to make more batteries. The batteries are the real scaling problem here because each car will need 600 to 1200 pounds of batteries and we also need lots of batteries for renewable energy backup. We are talking millions of tons of batteries that will require about 100 of Tesla’s 150Gwh factories to be build at a price of at least 5 billion USD each. That might take until 2030. It will be financed from profits made from driverless taxis that will be hugely profitable for many years to come because it takes time to replace a global fleet of 1.5 billion vehicles with about 300 million driverless vehicles.


Henrik> each car will need 600 to 1200 pounds of batteries

If improvements to battery energy density continue at the current pace, 300 mile range will be possible with 600 lbs battery. So 200 mile range at 400 lbs is reasonable projection for most vehicles.


Toyota is the major manufacturer, with the most experience, with over 10,000,000 electrified cars produced in the last 20 years.

By 2020 or so, Toyota may very be the leader with mass produced ADVs of various sizes, shapes and technologies.

Advanced batteries required may not have to be produced in house. There are many competitive battery manufacturers in Japan and next door in So. Korea and China.

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E.C.I the Model S90 has a 1200 pound battery. The P100D battery is more like 1300 pounds as it use more of the same cells to get to 100kwh. You are right the weight will go down over time but only at a 5% rate per year. However, demand for higher kwh packs will work the other way.

Tesla is focusing a lot on getting the gravimetric energy density up for its battery packs as this is a way to make cheaper batteries because you will need less raw materials that currently cost 80 USD per kwh for Tesla. In super high volume production of batteries the raw materials for the batteries become the key costs to make a battery so this is why cost reductions primarily go through making battery packs with higher gravimetric density.

No matter what we are still talking million of tons of batteries per year in order to make the global transition from ICE to BEVs. It will take many years to build the 100 necessary giga factories. I say it could be done by 2030 but not by 2025. In 2020 Tesla will have just one such factory at full capacity and probably be at full speed building two more in Europe and Japan/China. No one else will have just one finished giga factory by 2020. In 2020 do expect a few of the old automakers to have begun construction of their first giga factory. My guess is VW will be the first of the old automakers to decide on a 5 billion USD giga battery factory.


Will one TESLA/Panasonic $5B mega factory perform better than the one hundred+ $1B factories being built in China, Japan and So. Korea, USA and EU?

From a development point of view, 100+ smaller factories, competing against each other, may produce higher performance units (under 15 minutes ultra quick charge, 4000 cycles and 700 to 1000 Wh/Kg at well under $100/KW) by 2025/2030 or so.


We're probably mostly in agreement, Henrik. A lot of big battery factories are the bottleneck.

On point though - Musk is on record as saying Tesla will probably not go past 300 miles range for the foreseeable future. It makes sense - 5 hours of driving and unless you're wearing diapers, you're going to need a break. Given the few number of times people make that kind of trip, faster charging, like Porshe's solution, is better than just making ridiculous batteries that are only really used in that regime a few times. Its a bad use of resources.

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Harvey the production cost goes up for smaller factories. Tesla’s 50 to 150Gwh factory is so large that Tesla can invite all the battery materials suppliers like powder and film makers to join the factory and set up production for their supplies inside the factory. That saves cost because there is no need for packing supplies transport them long distance and then unpack them. They are produced inside the factory and goes directly from one production line to another. There are over 100 different companies that are building their own production lines inside Tesla’s giga factory (the largest one by far is Panasonic but there are many others). The goal is that only raw materials go in at the back of the factory and finished products go out at the front. Had the factory been smaller it could not pay to gather so much different kind of production in one place and take advantage of the better logistics it enables.

Musk will make the next Giga factory even larger and more integrated. The goal is to make nearly everything that goes into a Tesla car in one massive building that produces one million cars per year. That factory will contain car assembly, battery cell and pack production, production of seats and glass for the cars, plating and chassis, power electronics, electric motors, etc. A modern car has about 7,000 unique parts that require their separate assembling line. The Giga factory 2 will probably employ 50,000 people that will make nearly everything that goes into a car except the raw materials and a few other components like processors for the driverless system.

It is super complex to build such a large factory. This is why it takes about 5 years to get into full production from braking ground on such a new factory.

E.C.I. I think that 300 - 350 miles is the range that we need for the high end of the market. The Model X is not there yet. It may need a 110kwh battery. Tesla will also make a pickup truck that will be bigger and less aredynamic. It may need a 130kwh battery to get 300 to 350 miles. But that is about it for cars that are not busses or semis.


I wouldn't worry too much about future extended range (400+ miles) BEVs. They will be around by 2020/2025 with lighter batteries than today's 300 miles.

Automated (hands free) Ultra quick charging facilities using 800 to 1200 volts will also be developed (by 2025) to reduce quick charges below 15 minutes.

Many future BEVs will automatically drive to the nearest charging station (after 23h) and return to home base (by 5h) in time for regular daylight duties.

Somebody will have to design a much better vehicle sharing program to reduce the number of e-ADVs on the streets, rodas and highways and reduce traffic jams.


Tesla has already said that the new batteries for the Model 3 are 30% lighter than anything else they've had before. And they are now dropping between 8-10% a year as research that picked up the last 5 years is starting to finally get to market.

That P100D battery will be well below 1,000lbs by 2018. I think E.C.I. is right and we'll see 200-250mile range EVs by 2020-2022 with battery packs around 400lbs. At that weight, you're starting to get to parity with ICE cars on the weight of the overall powertrain. Much smaller and lighter transmissions for EVs help make up more of that weight by comparison too.

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Dave. Tesla has and will implement three battery pack changes that enable the 30% increase in energy density in model 3 battery packs over the energy density packs of the old 85kwh packs (year 2012) that were used in model S. First Tesla changed battery cell chemistry slightly to increase the battery from 85 to 90kwh. The second change was in packing design and has made it possible to squeeze more of the same cells into the same pack size. The firewalls and cooling system in the battery pack is taking less space to allow for more cells. The P100D is using this new packing design and the same packing design will go into model 3. The third change is a battery cell change in both chemistry and size. Tesla’s giga factory will produce a new 21700 sized cell with a new chemistry instead of the 18600 sized cells that go into current Teslas. Production of battery packs with the new cell and packaging tech will start in the Q2, 2017 and go into Model S and X first and thereafter go into Model 3 at launch. I expect to see a 110kwh pack for Model S and X in Q2, 2017 because of that. At that time I also expect Tesla to sell two battery packs for model S and X. A 80kwh pack and a 110kwh pack. Model S will sell a 60kwh version that you can software upgrade after purchase to unlock the full 80kwh battery. Model S and X will sell a 80kwh version that can be unlocked to 110kwh after purchase.

I think the 5% annual improvement rate of battery density is more realistic. However, the invention of driverless cars will change the focus for battery development. When most driverless cars will be able to drive 1 million miles in 10 years you will need batteries that are made to last that long without a costly midlife replacement. As E.C.I also said a more fruitful battery focus is charging time. High durability and high charge batteries typically mean chemistries that are less energy dense. So I expect Tesla will not make 5% energy density improvement per year after 2017 but focus on charging time and durability.

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Actually at second thought I think the focus on higher energy density will continue unabated because it is the key way to make cheaper batteries through less use of expensive raw materials and because less weight means better MPGe that means better fuel economy and better range. All this is more important than better charging time especially when we have self-driving cars that can always charge themselves at an off-peak hour.

One thing is sure. 2017 will be a fantastic year for Tesla. They will get much better battery tech and they will become fully self-driving by the end of 2017 and not least they will get into mass market production with Model 3 and start selling grid batteries and solar power in volume as well.


We started with lithium in the early 90s, lithium batteries have gotten safer and more energy dense over 20 years. To assume 300 mile range will be 300 pounds of lithium cells in the next 5 years is not realistic. Dream all you want, but try to be based in reality.


To extend the range of affordable BEVs to 300 miles with 300 lbs battery pack would require:

1) Improved 3X batteries, from 250 Wh/Kg to 750+ Wh/Kg.
2) Much lighter carbon fiber vehicles, wheels, tires, drive trains and accessories.

All the above is possible by 2030 or so but it may not be that affordable or below $50K USA?

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Some facts:
GM Bolt battery 435 kg and 60kwh so 138wh/kg. It is the best in its price segment.

Model S90 battery 540 kg and 90kwh so 167wh/kg. This is the best for any BEV.

If you really want to make a serious battery weight cut you need to make a driverless two seater in tandem without any human steering controls and in carbon fiber. Such a vehicle will have very low weight and could do 6 miles per kwh so you would only need a 50kwh battery to go 300 miles EPA rated. This is the future for affordable mass transportation. It could be profitable at only 12 cents per mile or less than 1/3 of the price of the least costly gassers. I expect Tesla to make such cars shortly after 2020.


Yes, a 3 or 4 (seat) rows, ultra light, ADV Model IV or equivalent could be programmed to pick up 8 to 12 passengers and transport them from A to Z at a much lower cost than current ICEVs (cars and/or buses).

In many cases it would be from home to closest train/e-bus station etc.

Could UBER like larger ADVs do it at a low enough price while reducing traffic density in city cores, streets, roads and highways?

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Harvey most people like to drive alone and not be bothered by strangers. They also like to go strait from a to b and not shift vessel several times. So two-seaters is going to be the main form of transportation. Tella will make a minibus on the model x that is fully driverles and without human controls and that can carry 9 people on three rows.


300 mile range 1200 pound battery pack now.
300 mile range 300 pound battery pack hopes and wishes.

You can see that a 4 to 1 improvement in energy density in 5 years may not be realistic. You might say 10 years, but that would just be a wild guess.


Ten and even 15 years may be required but it will come.

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To go from a 1200 pound to a 300 pound battery pack with 5% reduction in weight per year (as is the historical improvement rate for batteries) will take exactly 27 years or until 2042.

However, we do not need battery improvements for BEVs to succeed. We just need driverless tech so that current BEVs can travel much more per year and thereby fully exploit their lower cost per mile and much better durability than gassers. The more you drive a BEV the lower the total cost per mile and the more economic they are versus gasses. Tesla will start the BEV revolution in 2018 when they boot the Tesla Network and start selling rides on demand. That service will also make the money needed to fund Tesla’s expansion to ten million BEVs per year or more.

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Correction in the above should have said "will take exactly 27 years or until 2043"


If battery development rate is increased from 5%/year to 8%/year, current batteries performances could be tripled in 14.4 years.

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