Featured Toyota vs. Electric Cars: Smart Strategy or Innovator's Dilemma?

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by Tideland Prius, Dec 7, 2019.

  1. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Full Article: Toyota vs. electric cars: Smart strategy, or Innovator’s Dilemma?
     
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  2. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Misconceptions tend to emerge when a new market stage begins. That's easy to identify. A new audience is drawn to the technology, which is exactly what we are witnessing now.

    In the past, we saw that with "hybrid" technology. There were countless incorrect assumptions, some fed by intentional efforts to mislead. People didn't understand and would often fall victim to simple answers to there questions, accepting the information at face value rather than questioning it. Lack of detail makes the situation worse. You end up fighting for years to debunk preventable problems.

    We are seeing the same thing happen with "Innovator's Dilemma" claims. Most don't actually know the full definition. They just hear about the challenges related to adopting new technologies and don't dig any deeper. Assumptions abound from there. You end up with scores of misunderstanding to address. Ugh.

    In this case, the dilemma is more involved than just what the technology itself seems to present. Success from innovation comes about from catering to a desire. You ask enthusiasts what they want, then build to satisfy that criteria. When the next generation design opportunity comes about, the manufacturer is supposed to reach out to other audiences.

    The reason for this is simple. The manufacturer must switch from proving the technology to making it appeal to a much wider market. This is where GM failed with Volt. The gen-2 design became even more specialized, targeting only niche buyers. GM's own loyal customers were not interested. The technology became a dilemma.

    That most definitely isn't the case with Toyota. We already see the hybrids taking the next natural step, to offer full EV driving. The addition of a plug and much increased battery-capacity (with resulting power increase) is already taking place with Prius, Corolla, and RAV4. That's a clear demonstration of the technology not being limited to a particular audience.

    That "Prime" technology can also be used in the next step to follow, going from plug-in hybrid to electric-only, since many of the components are shared. The motors, controllers, battery-cells, and even the heater & cooling are all on their way to becoming high-volume & profitably produced... which is the goal, not a dead-end as the "dilemma" is believed & portrayed to be.

    It's really unfortunate we have to deal with such misconceptions, but not at all a surprise. They are what comes about when a technology advances forward. In fact, that's how you know a new stage has begun.
     
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    who knows the future? everyone's guessing, even toyota
     
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  4. scona

    scona Active Member

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    Marketing, at best, is a roll of the dice..
     
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  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i couldnt disagree more with this article. on almost every point, the author is biased toward bev's, as much or more than toyota seems biased toward hybrids.

    it seems the lament of so many here: i want an all electric car, with toyota quality. but with no regard to the marketplace, except through their biased eyes that everyone seems to be going electric except toyota, and that will leave them in the dust.

    in all likelyhood, it is a long time horizen from a majority of gassers to a majority of electrics. and there are no barriers to toyota moving intothe fray as competitively as others, when the time is ripe.

    in the meanwhile, they are still the leader in hybrids and plug in hybrids. a great seguay to all electric in the distant future.
     
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  6. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    zakleee .......... he's simply trying to goad Toyota into following other manufacturer's time schedule, create drama, sell his articles, and Stirrup Toyota owners. Toyota will do just fine despite the drama queens
    as Ronald Reagan once said, "there you go again".
    This isn't about stirring up GM negative sentiment . It's simply about an off-base article.
    agreed. same as with Volt's tech getting passed on to the bolt & now - GM looking to make EV pickup trucks with what they learned from the volt .... remember ..... if such a rationale is damage control for the volt, then it's damage control for cars like the Mirai ....... both only surviving on subsidies. "Sauce for the goose" ?
    .
     
    #6 hill, Dec 7, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
  7. noonm

    noonm Senior Member

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    I wouldn't take that bet. New technology adoption often follows an exponential scale, starting off super slow then rapidly overtaking the market in a short period of time. I expect BEV adoption to follow the same trends.

    If gas prices spike or cost reductions drop BEVs below their equivalent gasser counterparts, don't be surprised if regular consumers switch to full electrics in a very short time.
     
  8. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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    The switch will not happen until infrastructure is fixed.
     
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  9. mikefocke

    mikefocke Prius v Three 2012, Avalon 2011

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    Those who live in metro areas, those who have a garage, those who have access to another car, those who can pay more than the average and/or have access to a charger. Is that group "regular'?

    New tech at $1k and new tech at $40k+ are different. I wanted an EV, settled for a hybrid at $20k less.
     
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  10. El Dobro

    El Dobro A Member

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    I guess Toyota will be making some dilemmonade. :p
     
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  11. JosephG

    JosephG Active Member

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    I would, BEV market share fell last quarter. Unless regulators massively change things (unlikely, look at the yellow vest movement) they will continue to struggle over the next few years as subsidies expire. (Then they will probably take off again.)

    BEV and hybrids are already cheaper to operate than ICE vehicles, especially with incentives, but that hasn't translated to a majority of market share of even hybrids.
     
  12. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    TOYOTA has probably a better focus than that article. They were spot on with the release of 3 new Hybrids HERE - selling like hot-cakes (if there is stock) - and saving considerable petrol. If they had released EVs and sold at the same rate, our infrastructure is just not there. The same in many countries. When Australia is ready - so will TOYOTA.

    But they're about to launch their first EVs in China, and there was speculation that it might also release some in parts of EU. But no point releasing a vehicle into a market which is at saturation point for that type of vehicle.

    Undoubtedly - when it's a viable marketing proposition, TOYOTA will join the party. In the meantime, they're selling lots of hybrids which is a huge fuel saver.
     
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  13. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Your country is a prime example of “why doesn’t everyone just buy EVs?” Selling lots of hybrids can have a significant reduction in fuel consumption, local emissions, owner’s fuel budget while having familiarity and little to no immediate change in routine*.

    Also, pricing has shrunk considerably to allow for profits (and thus you’d hope more R&D into EVs and PHEVs).

    There are many countries that can benefit from hybrids and PHEVs that can have much sooner reduction in consumption and emissions and that can only help those of us that are fortunate enough to be able to purchase and maintain EVs. (Garage/personal power outlet and possibly income)

    *initially. The Eco gauges will eventually guide owners to more fuel efficient driving.
     
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  14. Rmay635703

    Rmay635703 Senior Member

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    Around here the drops coincided with fixed tax increases on said cars

    and don’t forget the Volt is alive and expanding in China.
     
    #14 Rmay635703, Dec 10, 2019
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  15. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i had no idea. thats nice to hear, where can one find sales figures?
     
    #15 bisco, Dec 10, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2019
  16. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Carsalesbase.com has China figures. The Volt drive train is in the Buick Velite.
     
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  17. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    just over 4,000 - just a little drop in a big bucket;
    Buick Buick Velite 5 China auto sales figures
    sales started ¼ of the way thru into 2017, & iirc they are switching to an all electric version.
    .
     
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  18. vvillovv

    vvillovv Senior Member

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    Innovators Dilemma Strategy? So Dumb lol
     
  19. Pripearl

    Pripearl New Member

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    I choose to believe that Toyota is interested in developing all-EV vehicles but just doesn't want to show its hand. I understand that people are screaming the world is burning and we need to stop using gas cars NOW but an instant conversion isn't possible or advisable. There are tons of obstacles that stand in the way of conversion. The first and foremost is the supporting infrastructure. Many people don't really think about this, just that the car itself is zero emissions. While Tesla and governments are pushing for the construction of charging stations, the ratio of it is still staggeringly in petro's favor. There's also the fact that developed nations with large capital can invest in infrastructure constructions, that's not always the case with poorer nations. While battery technology is more advanced it also has many more failure points and requires a much larger initial investment than petro technology, capital that is already precious and strained. There's also the matter of the convenience of petro over electricity. First is storage, electricity requires a battery that is very sensitive to temperature, could fail due to damage, and requires time to charge. The storage medium also requires a much larger investment, a battery's cost is directly related to how large and what capacity it has, where as anyone can buy a jerry can for a few bucks. Scaling the two, the battery cost will rise much quicker than a literal buck with some oil in it. Even as the technology advances, I still see petro having the advantage when it comes to storage. For EVs to completely replace petro, it needs to completely over take all of petro's advantages, barring that, offer alternative advantages.

    The way I see it is that Toyota knows the technology is still in its infancy. There's too many unaccounted factors in making a reliable product they can stamp the Toyota quality on to. I foresee Toyota's strategy as thus. They began with the full gas cars and then introduced the hybrid vehicles. Having proved their durability and quality, they started introducing Plug-in-hybrids that is built on top of the quality hybrid platform. A plug-in-hybrid offers the advantages of both worlds, the convenience and access to petro infrastructure and the cost cutting and environmental protections of electric. As the infrastructure for electric vehicles improve, we'll begin to see a shift into even smaller petro engines paired up with more advanced batteries and motors. Like evolution, we'll see the petro engine shrink in its role going from primary drive, to backup and finally removed from vehicles completely once the infrastructure for petro cars are converted to support for electric. During that time, Toyota will improve their electric drive tech while riding on the back of their already proven hybrid drive trains.

    This is all my personal opinion, so take it with a grain of salt.
     
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  20. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Also, the irony is that for those that have short distances, the Prius Prime is the most affordable way to significantly reduce your local emissions.

    It's cheaper than an electric car and is very efficient (On a cold stretch in early December, I was running at 17kWh/100km while two of my friends with Model 3 SR+ were at 20kWh/100km and they both have different commute types. Now I'm at 14-15kWh/100km as the temps have risen above freezing. They're at 17kWh/100km and my friend with a 2018 LEAF 40kWh is at 16kWh/100km).

    So the only "inconvenience" is plugging in every night (or throughout the day if you have longer trips) to stay in EV mode. Otherwise, you get an EV for US$27,300 (less incentives) or CAD$32,900 (less incentives) compared to US$39,990 (less incentives... expiring Dec 31, 2019) for the SR+ or CAD$55,990 (less incentives).

    In HV mode, I've gotten 2.8L/100km over 20km (84mpg over 13 miles) or 3.7L/100km (64mpg) over a middle-of-the-day traffic type scenario. (Both are city driving scenarios)
     
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