1. Attachments are working again! Check out this thread for more details and to report any other bugs.

Featured Toyota changing strategy?

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by bwilson4web, Oct 24, 2022.

  1. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    12,749
    5,244
    57
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    I don't see anything concise. Link? Quote?
     
  2. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    27,261
    15,454
    0
    Location:
    Huntsville AL
    Vehicle:
    2018 Tesla Model 3
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    Below 55 F, my Prime would turn on the ICE even when I didn't want it to run. In contrast, our BMW i3-REx was very good about staying EV at all temperatures. Your achievements in a colder climate always impressed yet defeated me.

    More importantly, the Prime 25 mi EV range was too small for my work commute that was a 20 mi round trip. I failed to get work charging installed.

    Bob Wilson
     
  3. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    6,205
    4,195
    1
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Vehicle:
    Other Electric Vehicle
    Model:
    N/A
    Who’s goal? Mine is to own a vehicle that meets my needs and allows me to emit as little GHG as possible.

    Toyota’s goal? That would be
    That is according to https://support.toyota.com/s/article/What-are-Toyotas-Miss-7654?language=en_US

    If you mean other EV producing companies here are Tesla’s:

    Their Goal:
     
    hill likes this.
  4. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    21,877
    11,397
    0
    Location:
    eastern Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    And the reports of e-TNGA being dedicated come from Toyota;)

    MEB is a RWD platform. The likely ICE platform candidates VW has are FWD. They could have started with an ICE one. It seems they put more work into adapting it for BEVs.

    I recall articles on Toyota and Subaru EV platform development stating it could accommodate hybrid and PHEV models, but no luck finding them..

    We could compare model dimensions. VW designed the MEB to shift freed up space from an ICE model to the cabin, as oppose to the a frunk. The Tiguan is a little longer in wheel base and length than the ID.4, but has less cabin space. The Rav4 is almost the same size as the ID.4, and it has less cabin space too. The ID.4 loses out in cargo space, because the other two aren't as concerned with aero. The Venza is a Rav with sloped rear window, and it has less cargo space than the ID.4.

    The bZ4X is a little bigger than the Rav4. Its wheelbase is the same as the Highlander's, which makes it longer than the ID.4. The Venza has the smallest interior of the models discussed so far. The bZ4X is smaller than it by 4 cubic feet.

    VW didn't get Tesla level space optimization with their MEB, but they've done much better than Toyota with e-TNGA.

    e-TNGA is also designed to be assembled along side TNGA ICE cars. That flexibility has a cost. It even had for just ICE models, and why there isn't a la cart feature options for all but the highest end cars these days. For the numbers of EVs Toyota forecasted to build in the next decade, it wasn't an issue. With it being more, the inefficiencies of assembling EV s on the same line with ICEs, combined with generally higher cost components, means they will have to charge more for the cars. Regardless of e-TNGA's status as dedicated or not, that something unacceptable for future sales.

    Yes, the timing of e-TNGA is a symptom of that mistake. If it came out around the time of, say the Model 3, when the others were getting more serious about EVs, then it would be improved or replaced now. Instead, Toyota is going to have to burn cash to correct for this mistake, and ditching e-TNGA could be part of that cost.
    A plateau still at a higher level than Toyota planned for.

    Toyota's seem to be trying to close the EV gap with Tesla.
    "The review was triggered in part by the realisation by some Toyota engineers and executives that Toyota was losing the factory cost war to Tesla on EVs."

    Then there is their home town market. The EV market is small in Japan, and last year wasn't even its biggest, but there was a major shift in it. Imports make up maybe 10% of auto sales in Japan. For EVs, it was even less than in the past, but now its almost 40%. It's because more EV buyers are finding the Japanese options lacking to the competition. Toyota didn't lower lease rates for the bZ4X just because of the recall. It is harder for them to ignore public reception of their EVs when it's at home.

    It's going to be 4 years since the Volt was last on sale. Is EREV still being used in China? It does have a valid use as a technical term, along side REx. It is better defined than assist hybrid.

    According to the Prius PHV manual, it behaves differently than its American sibling.

    Except they are concerned that Tesla is making cars cheaper than them to the point of considering megacasting investment.

    EVs do have different requirements than ICE cars. There is knowledge that transfers, but try to leverage too much ICE into the EV for the sake of costs, and you'll end up with flaws in the product.

    The Aztek was a bomb in a bad way. It got made because everybody loved the concept car. If that car was actually made, the crossover craze would have started sooner. But the engineers and designers were told to leverage an existing platform, resulting in a bloated pre-Prius minivan thing. For a more recent example, look at the Mirai. The hydrogen tanks could be better packaged if they weren't sticking with an ICE platform.

    As I said above, the problem with e-TNGA was timing. Really, it should have been part of TNGA to begin with. It wasn't like they weren't making PHEVs at the time.
     
    Tideland Prius and Zythryn like this.
  5. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    12,749
    5,244
    57
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    Bingo! When someone draws a conclusion, it tends to be their own opinion. So, I ask for the who & what.

    Most importantly was Toyota never rested. We saw that evolve into RAV4 Prime, which spawned a BEV variant in UX300e. Soon we will see Prius Prime itself get a next-gen upgrade and UX300e get a mid-cycle upgrade.

    As for me, I'm moving on to bZ4X. Reviews have been extremely favorable for those who seek similarities to Toyota's established priorities. I don't desire extreme range or speed. I care more about the variety of refinements we've become accustom to from generational rollouts.

    Unfortunately, public infrastructure is far from being practical. I just happen to be with 6 miles of a highway corridor approved for IRA funding. So, I will get to witness a proposed 6 new DCFC locations emerge within the next 2 years. I also know of 3 other commercial locations on the way for 2023, as well as 16 for parks in the county I live over the next few years. That will help transforming expectations my immediate area, a small pocket of BEV bliss.
     
  6. PiPLosAngeles

    PiPLosAngeles Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    1,549
    720
    0
    Vehicle:
    2021 Prius Prime
    Model:
    LE
    But are those real cars in the sense that anyone who wants one can get one when they want one? That was never true for the RAV4 Prime even before covid production difficulties. Call me jaded, but I'm skeptical that Toyota has any real plans to make EVs widely available. I suspect they're going to remain a product you have to get on a waiting list for and pay dealer markups for quite some time. Toyota will milk this situation for as long as the market will bear.

    My real worry is that Toyota will ride that gravy train until so late in the game that the only hope they have of not becoming a third or fourth-tier manufacturer with the reach of something like Mitsubishi today is to cut corners on materials and quality and then I'll be left without a manufacturer that I can mostly count on for reliable cars.
     
  7. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    13,538
    4,070
    0
    Location:
    Austin, TX, USA
    Vehicle:
    2018 Tesla Model 3
    Model:
    N/A
    I doubt it really matters if it was designed as a dedicated EV platform, or designed to use most of the current ice platform and modify it for EVs. Such is a question that you can't even tell from results, you would have to be in the meetings. My guess is that it is vastly inferior to tesla's architecture in terms of cost and speed of production.

    Megacasting is kind of a red herring. Old line auto companies move rather slowly, and it is a fairly radical change. The rav4 is high volume, but the bev suv bz4x is expected to be fairly low (given toyota's current battery capacity, that is until at least 2025). The rav 4's structure is mainly steel, where die casting prefers a metal like aluminum alloy which is what tesla is using in their megacasts. The equipment and molds are expensive, so megacasting only belongs to high volume production. If it works, making 1 part instead of 70, should drastically reduce labor and qc times. Toyota is using steel parts I believe with the fenders, hood and liftgate aluminum. Still if toyota sees things going large volume, it seems like an obvious choice. We still don't know if tesla has everything dialed in, but if they do I would expect other manufacturers to follow.
     
    Zythryn likes this.
  8. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    27,261
    15,454
    0
    Location:
    Huntsville AL
    Vehicle:
    2018 Tesla Model 3
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    Good! I look forward to how you measure and track battery degradation.

    Bob Wilson
     
  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    108,164
    49,161
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    i'm considering a bz4x as well. how long do i need to wait to be sure the wheels won't fall off?
     
  10. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    5,850
    4,023
    0
    Location:
    Westminster, Colorado
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    I considered it, and even drove an Ionic5 and EV6. But the more I get 75 miles/kWh on my e-bike, the more I realize how wasteful large cars are - even "efficient ones".

    I suppose I realized that on 1996 when I got rid of my 91 Ford Explorer for a Mazda MX6 followed by a Prius and Prius Prime.

    I really just want a better Prius. A BZ4X is just a much less efficient vehicle.
     
    mountaineer likes this.
  11. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    12,749
    5,244
    57
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    Measuring degradation may not be realistic. It looks like Toyota may be allocating a buffer to offset aging. In that case, the software will compensate to keep delivering the same usable size even as the years tick by.
     
    bwilson4web likes this.
  12. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    12,749
    5,244
    57
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    Yup, I won't be seeing the same mi/kWh as with my Prime. An owner who managed 3,400 miles prior to the recall was averaging 3.4 in So. CA. A/C was on all the time and it included a lot of highway driving. That's no too bad.

    I'm quite curious how the winter here in Minnesota will play out. With the infrared heater, along with seats & wheel, range impact should be reduced. We'll hopefully find out in a few months.
     
    bwilson4web likes this.
  13. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    12,749
    5,244
    57
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    The very idea that Tesla is the example to follow is flawed. A recent Seeking Alpha article summarized the situation with:

    Tesla's success thus far can be attributed to a few things, such as a lack of model diversity, simplicity and similarity in design across its models, and limited options. If the market forces Tesla to increase the number of models, offer varying designs, or provide more options, the complexity and cost will increase for its manufacturing line.

    That if is really a when. It is only a matter of time before the niche becomes a crutch. The opportunity was great for advancing the market as a whole, but it can only be milked so long before something gives. Some other type of innovation could do it or maybe people will just desire something different.
     
  14. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    13,538
    4,070
    0
    Location:
    Austin, TX, USA
    Vehicle:
    2018 Tesla Model 3
    Model:
    N/A
    idiot shorters at seeking alpha have been wrong so long it just isn't worth quoting them as they are almost always wrong.
    In 2013 they said no one would buy the S and they were losing huge sums on every one. They said battery costs would never decrease, that the model 3 would never be released. Then how others would kill it. Don't quote idiots. What is wrong about your quote? Simplicity of design is a strength not a weakness of BEVs. Lexus has 5 SUVs, but does a car company really need more than the NX and RX? Tesla greatly outsells both with the model Y. They do need to build a RX competitor, but that will come. How about sedans. Do you need an ES and IS, or just one that can be rwd or all wheel drive. LS is low volume. Model 3 and S vastly out sell, in fact in Q3 in US Tesla outsold every luxury mark.

    They need a pick up truck, and to get the roadster finished, but when they sell every vehicle they can produce there is no rush, and manufacturing costs should be lower than competition.




    That seems to be the false thinking that seeking alpha has pushed for how X, Y, or Z would kill tesla. The model 3 and model Y are breaking out of niche when you consider that they are dominating vehicles in their price class, and its only a matter of time before costs fall further. They will lose plug-in market share as competitors catch up, but until then the prices keep rising with demand. where is the demand for the mirai? Didn't toyota invest in that instead of improving the the Rav4 BEV because bev suvs weren't desired by the market?
     
  15. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    21,877
    11,397
    0
    Location:
    eastern Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    "The review was triggered in part by the realisation by some Toyota engineers and executives that Toyota was losing the factory cost war to Tesla on EVs, the sources said."

    Tesla sells in the luxury market, as prices and margins were better to foster growth. They have been improving their manufacturing process to increase those margins.
    The bulk of Toyota's business is in the 'commodity' car market. Where competition is stiff, and margins slim.

    The idea isn't follow Tesla. It is acknowledging that they have an advantage. A big one if they enter that commodity car market, as it is already helping them against luxury Toyota products.

    Toyota's path, as is, wasn't going to help them reach competitiveness with Tesla in production costs. Addressing that doesn't mean having to follow Tesla, but they do have to address it.

    Tesla can lose market share while still increasing total sales. Weren't ICEs the real competition? Isn't that were Tesla sales are coming from, and where the others will likely get their EV sales?
     
    #55 Trollbait, Oct 31, 2022
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2022
    hill, Zythryn and austingreen like this.
  16. PiPLosAngeles

    PiPLosAngeles Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    1,549
    720
    0
    Vehicle:
    2021 Prius Prime
    Model:
    LE
    Right now Toyota is basking in the moment, being able to command huge price premiums on PHEV and EV vehicles. Their prices are very near to the Model 3. If it's true that their production costs are already lower for similar models, Tesla could decide at any time to jump into the commodity EV market and eat Toyota's lunch. If I were running Tesla I would at least investigate the possibility of massively increasing my manufacturing capacity as secretly as possible and then surprise the market with an affordable EV priced lower than comparable Toyotas. Competition is great.
     
  17. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    5,599
    3,774
    0
    Location:
    So. Texas
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Other than the hype/marketing speak thrown about, I know very little about this tech. Can these presses serve more than one design on the assembly line? Can "molds" be switched out like in other techniques? If not, how quickly and at what costs can they make a change on the line? Is it best to think of this tech as one machine=one purpose?
     
  18. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    27,261
    15,454
    0
    Location:
    Huntsville AL
    Vehicle:
    2018 Tesla Model 3
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    There are some excellent YouTube videos from Tesla open house and Munro who visited the manufacturer:
    • Injection time is in milliseconds
    • Cycle time looks to be 2-3 parts per minute
    • No subsequent heat treatment needed
    • Molds are can be change
    Bob Wilson
     
    Zythryn likes this.
  19. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    19,765
    8,110
    54
    Location:
    Montana & Nashville, TN
    Vehicle:
    2018 Chevy Volt
    Model:
    Premium
    Yes - interchangeability
    ~¾ of model y parts are also model 3 parts.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Model_Y#:~:text=Tesla%2C%20Inc.,-Production&text=It%20is%20based%20on%20the,a%20seven%2Dpassenger%20seating%20capacity.
    Tesla is not the 1st company to share parts with different models - by a long shot. But something like the mega casting not only makes it possible to reduce parts - but amortize big costs over more vehicles.
    .
     
    #59 hill, Nov 8, 2022
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2022
  20. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    13,538
    4,070
    0
    Location:
    Austin, TX, USA
    Vehicle:
    2018 Tesla Model 3
    Model:
    N/A
    From what I understood, tesla has ordered bigger versions (semi custom) of standard big die cast presses. You can create molds for many small parts in a casting or large ones as tesla is doing. Many designs can be done on a single machine, and there are many shops with big machines that do parts for other companies under contract to pay for them. With the volume of model 3/Y, I'm sure these will be dedicated to tesla.

    I have no idea how long it takes to change over molds, but these have handlers to clean the mold after each casting, so the first time the change over probably takes days, but after that it is probably in the nature of hours. Typical die cast molds for cold chamber (heated in a separate furnace than the casting machine to liquid) aluminum 100,000-200,000 times.

    Die casting versus forged metal allows for more complex, bigger, and fewer parts, lighter total weight. In Tesla's case for 2022 they replaced 172 parts (many of them bolts and rivets) with 2 mega castings in the texas built model Y. This significantly reduces manufacturing costs, but the material costs will be higher than steel.
    https://www.tesmanian.com/blogs/tesmanian-blog/first-look-of-the-tesla-model-y-one-piece-rear-casting-underbody


    I would think the next generation camry and rav4 would benefit from mega casting a lot more than Toyota's supply constrained bev and hydrogen vehicles. The reason I don't expect them to follow is simple. They have spent a lot of money of forging equipment and its paid for, and design for its current platforms. I expect toyota sales to not increase beyond their current forging capacity, and higher efficiency means layoffs. But as the current equipment wears out there are big advantages.
     
    #60 austingreen, Nov 9, 2022
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2022
    Trollbait likes this.