Toyota believes that electric cars aren’t yet ready for mass production. Speaking during the launch of the redesigned Prius model in Frankfurt, the chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan, Takeshi Uchiyamada, told a German magazine that Toyota does not consider pioneer Tesla as its role model.
He added, “Battery-powered vehicles with an extended mileage are too expensive, and we cannot embark on their mass production at the moment.”
A German magazine quoted Takeshi as saying,” In addition to being expensive, electric cars are just too slow to charge, and we do not have the right program to cater for their demand at this time.” In September, Toyota partnered with Mazda to establish a venture that they could use to develop the plug-in electric vehicle technology.
The two car manufacturers are far behind their peers, and neither of them has a fully electric car in their portfolio yet. On the contrary, Tesla launched a heavy-duty electric truck along with a brand-new roadster on Thursday. Toyota and Mazda are seeking to catch up with their contenders in this increasingly frenetic foray to build more battery-powered vehicles.
The Toyota Motor Corp boss stated that his company neither viewed Tesla as a role model nor an enemy, but somewhat a problem for the German car makers. He said,” We do not consider Tesla as our enemy or our role model. I tend to think that the German car manufacturers are the ones seeing Tesla as a competitor.”
Tesla Model 3 is going to steal Toyota Prius enthusiasts
Takeshi’s statement is true to some extent considering that Tesla has stolen an enormous market share from the German luxury manufacturers in recent years. However, the same manufacturer has also taken away a lot of Prius buyers.
Several allegations maintain that the Tesla Model 3 is going to steal Prius enthusiasts to a higher degree. Hence, Uchiyamada’s point will only make sense when Tesla starts selling cheap car models that are enough to compete with Toyota’s mainstays. Until then, his statement remains null and void.
Mercedes and BMW are betting they are going to defy all odds and mass produce new plug-in electric vehicles based on conventional ones. The two giant firms believe they can challenge skeptics, who claim that more radical designs are essential to counter the threats from Tesla and other manufacturers.
Takeshi mentioned that his company was working around the clock to come up with a solid-state battery that would store more power. He added that this type of battery would recharge faster than the ones we find on the market today. He said, “This technology will mark a great milestone for us as a company. However, it will take time to become a reality. We will require about four to five years to start mass production.”
On Friday, Toyota and Suzuki said they have agreed to cooperate in developing and selling plug-in electric cars in the fast-growing market in India from around 2020. The two firms are considering a joint venture that will give each other a leg up in low-emission technology and emerging markets. In yet another recent story, Toyota expressed its hopes to produce hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles in the future.