Toyota is poised to make affordability, not range, at the center of its EV play

Sunday, December 5th, 2021

Toyota is poised to put affordability, not range, at the center of its EV play:

“‘Nothing happens until you sell a car’ is an expression we have internally,” he summed. “To have a positive impact on the environment, you must sell a high volume of cars…so it’s really important that the price point is such that we can make an actual business model out of it.”

To that point, Toyota expects that it will be selling millions of electric vehicles by the end of the decade. In September, the automaker announced plans to spend $13.5 billion on battery development through then, with aims of cutting the battery cost per vehicle by 50% versus the bZ4X.


“The bottom line is, over time we view EV range similar to horsepower,” Ericksen said, comparing it to how almost any customer really wanted 400 horsepower but, at an affordability standpoint, might settle for 120 hp. “People who are affluent and can afford a really expensive vehicle can afford a lot of horsepower.”

“Batteries are expensive, and the bigger you make the battery, the more expensive it is,” Ericksen said. “So the trick, I think long-term is not all about range, range, range; the trick is matching the range and the price point to what the consumer can afford.”

“And as people become more accustomed to operating an EV I think the anxiety over range is going to dissipate,” he continued, saying that many EV shoppers are going to understand they don’t need 300 or 400 miles—and certainly not in a second or third car.

Although we tend to agree that range is a red herring, especially for that second or third car, Toyota will face some headwinds if it dives into the “just enough” category. In a study released earlier this year, J.D. Power found that EVs with more than 200 miles of range had higher levels of satisfaction than those with less. And back in 2017, a comprehensive Autolist survey on minimum range found that only 14.6% of individuals saw 200 miles of range as enough, while the largest group, 38.9%, considered 300 miles of range to be enough. It emphasized, then, that a jump from 250 to 300 miles yielded an increase of 30% more people willing to buy an EV.

Range really is like horsepower.


  1. Sam J. says:

    At some point I believe that flywheels will become important. Not because they are the best. They aren’t and have a lot of flaws, but I think they could be made cheap with long range.

    In the long run, solid-state batteries can be made with sodium or potassium that work well, or some sort of carbon battery will be even cheaper and likely work well also, but it’s difficult to get the right mix to make this happen. How do you test decades of battery use? You can simulate it by rapidly charging and discharging, but that’s not the same.

    The virtue of flywheels is since it’s a simple mechanical action, testing should be orders of magnitude easier. And we all know how good enough beats the best a lot of the time.

  2. Gwern says:

    So, how many flywheels do you use in your laptop or smartphone now?

  3. Bill says:

    And so it begins.

    Most people don’t realize it, but Tesla isn’t really a car company. Musk doesn’t care about cars or companies; he wants to get to Mars and leave a green Earth. He needed to make an electric car that bypassed nerds and appealed to the cool (and well-to-do) people, and he did.

    Toyota, on the other hand, might actually make electric cars that fulfill their promise. Cheaper than gas cars with 10x reliability.

  4. Gavin Longmuir says:

    It is winter-time. The rejected heat from internal combustion engines keeps the driver warm, which is important to safe driving. Electric vehicles need to drain their batteries to provide essential warmth. Houston, we have a problem!

    Actually, Houston we have many problems. Supply chains are a big topic these days. What about the supply chain for electric vehicles? Start with the need for exotic metals in the batteries, which depend on near-slavery abuse in Africa or on China.

    Then move to the supply chain issue of generating the electric power to recharge the batteries. Maybe we can find the space to triple the number of bird-killing windmills — but the power they produce will be expensive once subsidies go away, and they too require abusing young Africans in mines.

    But generating the power is only the first step. Then it has to be transmitted to the recharging stations. Since moving wholesale to electric vehicles will require approximately doubling the infrastructure for generation & transmission, that is a huge cost which the electric vehicle driver will have to pay.

    And of course there is the cost of hanging around while the car’s batteries are ever so slowly recharged — and of hanging around waiting for the line of vehicles ahead of you to finish recharging.

    None of that touches the high costs of dealing with recycling the batteries with their dangerous lithium content. Exposure of lithium affects the brain. Half-life of lithium — Infinite!

    Bottom line is that, once the subsidies & mandates prove to be unaffordable & unsustainable, electric vehicles will decline to a niche product.

  5. Bill says:

    Our biggest problem is not that burning oil creates climate change; the big problem is that we are running out of cheap, powerful fluid to burn in our engines.

    Oil and internal combustion engines ran the table for a century. Huge versions run container ships, small versions move everything from products to people, tiny versions perform a myriad of tasks.

    We’re treating lithium ion batteries and solar power “plants” like they’re a total substitute. @Gavin gives a good summary as to why that’s unlikely to happen. [The problem of winter is typical; in summer I get about four miles per kWh in my Model S, in winter I get three or sometimes just two miles per kWh of battery.]

    Is there any one technology that can replace oil and engines? Not that I can see.

  6. bob sykes says:

    A gasoline-powered car with 100,000 miles has significant resale value. An electric vehicle with that mileage needs a new battery, which will cost $3,000 to $10,000 depending on capacity. The EV has no resale value.

    Setting aside first cost ($7500 subsidy), range (75 mile in OH winter), recharge time (several hours), home rewiring, fire hazard, emissions (coal, natural gas), there is vehicle weight, road tax, pedestrian hazard (noiseless vehicle), need for 1,000 1100-MW nuclear reactor, tripling of transmission capacity from generator to house, incompatible connectors…

    and general mass idiocy.

  7. Wang Wei Lin says:

    GM’s Barra has said she will spend $34B on electrics by 2024/5. What could possibly go wrong? EVs will be a major component of GM bankruptcy 2.0 for many reasons. Consider the general EV industry. Besides what Gavin said of the reality of physics, there’s the reality of the EV market. What happens when multiple mfgs introduce quantities of high priced, ‘low value’ vehicles in the same time frame? Vehicles that a majority of drivers do not want.

  8. Wang Wei Lin says:

    …continued from above.

    A catastrophic collapse of the EV industry. It will be spectacular. I predict massive govt support for vehicles to the point that gasoline engines will be restricted as California has done. We will be mandated electric cars not because they are good, but because they suck.

    This whole electric vehicle push is being driven by the wealthy coastal populations that are for the most part out of touch with reality.

  9. Sam J. says:

    Gavin Longmuir says, “Start with the need for exotic metals in the batteries, which depend on near-slavery abuse in Africa or on China.”

    This is not true.

    As for flywheels for laptops, it’s not needed. The benefit for flywheels for cars is it’s a much bigger source of power needed, so the cost needs to come down.

    There are other alternatives like carbon based capacitor-batteries but they need to be proven.

  10. Gavin Longmuir says:

    Bill: “Is there any one technology that can replace oil and engines? Not that I can see”

    Agreed! There is a lot to be said for liquid hydrocarbon fuels like gasoline, diesel, jet fuel — large amount of energy per unit volume & unit weight. In fact, we can’t build a bird-whacker or a solar panel without substantial use of liquid hydrocarbon fuels.

    In the long run, if sanity prevails, we will probably use nuclear power to manufacture liquid hydrocarbon fuels — the technology exists today. It would make more sense than using nuclear power to generate electricity to power unsustainable electric vehicles.

  11. Gavin Longmuir says:

    Sam J: “This is not true.”

    Sam, we are all here to learn. There is lots of information out there about young boys in Africa working in dangerous cobalt mines, and children in Mongolia being affected by lithium mining pollution.

    Please don’t just make an unsupported assertion. Tell us why it is not true.

  12. Sam J. says:

    “Please don’t just make an unsupported assertion. Tell us why it is not true.”

    Chemistry changed. I would not mind explaining more except for I’m not so sure you are not trying to use another hasbara trick where they give you “task”. Oh explain this, explain that, etc. etc. and then argue constantly about the results of these “task” so no I won’t look it up for you to explain but it’s there if you want to find it.

  13. Gavin Longmuir says:

    Sam, you disappoint me. It was an honest question, an opportunity for you to inform and change minds, but you are not even trying to answer it.

    “Chemistry changed” What does that even mean? Is lithium no longer used as a medication for certain individuals with psychological problems?

  14. Freddo says:

    In order to store a worthwhile chunk of energy a flywheel has to be a somewhat sizeable mass spinning at very high speed. Safety and liability would be a huge issue. But regenerative braking and EVs go together well.

  15. Wang Wei Lin says:


    Imagine the gyroscopic influences of a flywheel while making turns. It’s a horrible technology for transportation. Maybe some benefit in stationary applications.

  16. Sam J. says:

    Gavin Longmuir says:,”Sam, you disappoint me. It was an honest question.… “Chemistry changed” What does that even mean? Is lithium no longer used as a medication for certain individuals with psychological problems?”

    Don’t be silly. People are not eating the batteries.

    I’ve answered you personally before on this exact same subject. Does that not give you any pause at all on why I do not wish to preform “task” for you? In the past you have taken things I have said out of context and tried to say things I did not say.

    I’m not so sure you’re in any way trustworthy to have conversations with. Are you not paying attention or are you just jotting a line or two then wasting peoples time looking for things???

    If you are Jewish in reality the large majority of Jews are not worth having any conversations or dialog or any interaction with at all because they as a group are so untrustworthy and view any interaction with people as some sort of event to feed on them like parasites, spread doubt, distrust, false ideas, rip them off somehow, etc. I only answer these things to show people that this is what you are doing. It becomes apparent to others then also. This in turn allows them to see through the constant gas-lighting.

    I have a theory that once people have seen this enough times and it is pointed out to them then a large majority of the various mind tricks Jews play becomes VERY evident and it really pisses people off. I enjoy this. This lifting of the veil and with world wide communications you can’t just run off to another country after you have looted one. No, everyone will know.

    So I’ll answer your questions with links to stuff as I have already answered the same questions here. Let it be shown that you personally have already asked much the same questions and they have already been answered yet you keep asking those or similar questions over and over.

    The guy who I bet knows more about lithium batteries than most people on earth Musk says there is absolutely no problem with lithium supplies. There’s plenty. All the lithium mined and in batteries will be recycled when the batteries go bad so only a set amount for conversion to electric will be needed. Musk talks about this is in the links below. Also about cobalt.

    Here(also includes rough cost on flywheels based on Wh/kilogram for a cheap material)


    “…cobalt mines and young Mongolians endure the pollution of lithium mining…”

    The answer carbon batteries, flywheels,etc.

    Here Wh/kg of various materials some of which have astounding values. In further comments I took out large amounts of mass for enclosures made of the same material.

    Other batteries tech based on Flow Batteries

    Ferrocene Catholyte for Aqueous Organic Flow Batteries

    Freddo says, “In order to store a worthwhile chunk of energy a flywheel has to be a somewhat sizeable mass spinning at very high speed. Safety and liability would be a huge issue.”

    No depends on the material. Some I linked about have very high strength and you have enclosures for them. There has been testing on this and we have the exact same sort of testing done extensively for jet turbines. The high strength stuff is fibers and they wad up and melt when they fail and the enclosures hold them. We have other stuff that spins fast like jet turbines but no one says we shouldn’t fly jets because heavy fast stuff is spinning around and may come loose. You design for it.

    And by the way gasoline is not exactly harmless. Which is safer a liquid that can spread around, lite on fire and burn you up or a flywheel in a enclosed space?

    Just for fun I looked this up and found,

    “Each year, from 2014 to 2016, an estimated 171,500 highway vehicle fires occurred in the United States, resulting . in an annual average of 345 deaths; 1,300 injuries; and $1.1 billion in property loss.”

    But…gasoline in cars is safe, snicker…

    Wang Wei Lin says, “Imagine the gyroscopic influences of a flywheel while making turns…”

    One way is to have two next to each other turning opposite directions to cancel the torque. Another is we will have to have enclosures anyways these can be gimbaled so the flywheel stays the same orientation and the car turns around it.

    The advantages I see for flywheels are

    1. Easier to predict lifetime and if you get them to work they are much easier to predict the functional life time. Most of the ones built so far have sort of one off things and not been optimized for mass production.
    2. Low cost of materials. Look at the klinks. I found cost for UHMWPE Synthetic Ice for Ice Rink
    FOB Price: US $ 3-4.9 / kg leading to a material cost for 100 kW-hr, (larger Tesla model S battery) at $1,666.66. If we could get the cost of UHMWPE, $4/kg, to regular high-density polyethylene (HDPE) $0.82 a kg we get a battery cost of $341.53. It’s very cheap.
    3. The numbers do work for flywheels so it is likely that with a bit of inventiveness and cash they can be made to work.

    Now batteries can do these things too but the chemistry is difficult and predicting what happens in the battery is difficult. Some newer carbon batteries that prototypes have been made might very well be THE answer and I have great hope for them but they will take a good amount of time to test and get right.

    It may very well be that some sort of flow battery will be the answer. I linked some new flow battery stuff above with low cost active material. Flow batteries could use refilling of already charged up material.

    And to make sure and forestall other nonsense comments I’m in no way against burning coal, nuclear power or any other hydrocarbon based fuel. I like electric cars because I believe solar will come down in price, batteries will come down in price and then we can be fee of the oil Oligarchies. The same people that are screwing up the supply chain now and who will eventually try to starve us all out and bankrupt us. The Oligarchy KNOWS that there is a lower level of food, fuel etc. that is needed. So they meet that level and then lower it slightly and the price shoots through the roof because to get by a certain amount is needed at any price. They will continue to do this until possibly we have another “off with their heads” revolution.

  17. VXXC says:

    Technology changed: Irrelevant. As we speak and up to this moment and at least the rest of the day the lithium and cobalt industries are the GULAG* of our times.

    Not that I care, I do care that Americans will have tech that sucks mandated.

    To the main point: it’s because it SUCKS that we shall have it mandated.

    Until you can accept our elites mean harm, nothing they do makes sense. IF you can accept they mean harm THEN all makes sense.

    And yes as they are morally deformed children they will be chauffeured around in gas guzzlers whilst we the peasants queue in line.

    *the GULAG and Communism were always resource extraction by slaves to send the resources to Western Bankers.

    *In sum True Communism=Banking + Slavery.
    Western Bankers provide the money, Communism provides the slaves.

  18. Gavin Longmuir says:


    Thanks for your response.

    Sorry, I am unconvinced. Effectively, you are saying that at some point in the future some technology breakthroughs may become competitive with gasoline & diesel (without today’s assist from mandates & subsidies).

    Can’t argue with that! Yes, indeed, future technological breakthroughs may change things, just as the breakthrough of the gasoline-fueled automobile replaced the horse & cart.

    However, those breakthroughs are merely glints in the eye at present. Reality today is that there is nothing which can compete on a level playing field with hydrocarbon fuels (outside of certain niches, such as electric forklifts in confined warehouses).

    “then we can be fee of the oil Oligarchies. The same people that are screwing up the supply chain now and who will eventually try to starve us all out and bankrupt us.”

    Sam! Sam! If you imagine that future Big Lithium, Big Cobalt, Big Wind, Big Solar, Big Carbon are going to be any more altruistic than today’s Big Oil … you need to stop & think. Seriously!

  19. Sam J. says:

    Gavin Longmuir says, “Effectively, you are saying that at some point in the future some technology breakthroughs may become competitive with gasoline and diesel.”

    More evidence of crooked behavior. You constantly make up stuff and say that I say it. A very Jew trait. I in no way said that gas engines and electric engines were the same. I said, over and over, that I believed that electric cars could make it where the oligarchs have less control over us by us not needing oil. I also said that there are technological paths that could make electric cars much cheaper and gave material facts to prove that this is so. If batteries could be made as cheap as I think they could be then I do not believe IC cars could complete except for long range driving. Most cars sold would be electric.

    As for comparability electric cars are most likely right now cost less over the life of the car.

  20. Gavin Longmuir says:

    Sam: “I in no way said that gas engines and electric engines were the same.”

    That’s great! Because I did not say that either.

    “I said, over and over, that I believed that electric cars could make it where the oligarchs have less control over us by us not needing oil.”

    Who do you think is going to control Big Flywheel? It may be a different set of oligarchs, but it is still going to be a set of oligarchs.

  21. Seven Laughing Skulls says:

    I’ve been reading this comments section for a while, and I’ve got to chime in to say that there’s no fucking way that “Sam” — or should I say Samuel, or Shmuel — isn’t Jewish. His ranting about Jews at the slightest (perceived, often imaginary,) provocation is the hallmark trait of a Bobby Fischer type personality.

  22. Jim says:

    Seven Laughing Skulls, Sam J. is one of the greatest internet commenters of all time. His Jewishness is beloved by all. Glory to G-d!

  23. Jim says:

    One interesting property about electric cars is that batteries are getting better at a low single-digit exponential rate while petrol energy density remains constant. Another interesting property is that they provide an opportunity for a new regulatory regime in which neither you nor your mechanic can own or control anything about your car’s behavior, including where it is (because it can drive itself) and if it starts when you turn the key (because it’s connected to the internet at all times).

  24. Harry Jones says:

    Wrap your car in tinfoil to keep it from driving off without you.

    The day is coming when this advice will make perfect sense.

  25. Sam J. says:

    “Who do you think is going to control Big Flywheel?”


    Bobby Fischer was a great man.

  26. Sam J. says:

    Jim: “…batteries are getting better at a low single-digit exponential rate while petrol energy density remains constant…”

    If you look at some of the possibilities of flywheels in the above links they are extraordinary. Even if a fraction of the possible values are achieved the results would be most promising.

    There’s probably a great deal that can be done with IC engines. Back in the day before everyone decided that there was only one way to make engines like we have now there were all kinds of experiments. Something they didn’t have the money or materials to do in the past that they tried was using the cylinder as a compressor and the output was through a turbine.

    With some work I bet you could make a pre-compresssed ceramic engine with no radiator. Take some of the power off to run the vehicle, some for a supercharger and then rest of the gas a turbine. Much better efficiency. Electric hybrid because you not need peak HP for very long in most cases.

    I don’t believe the auto manufacturers are even looking at this sort of thing. At GM their early electric vehicle they leased a few then called them back and shredded them. They could have had the whole market.

    Sandy Monro of Munro & Associates talks a lot about how the auto industry was taken over by MBA’s who really have no idea what they are doing. Sure they know how to read spreadsheets but they can only work with what they are given in the past. They have no real future because they have no real understanding of what they are doing or what can be accomplished.

    Sandy Monro owns a company that tears apart cars and other products and finds way to more efficiently produce them. He also works on production design for all other kinds of stuff like missiles, panes, etc.

  27. Sam J. says:

    “His [Sam J.] ranting about Jews at the slightest (perceived, often imaginary,) provocation…”

    If Jews are going to blow up buildings in New York, use the financial system to rip off the whole of the western world, move all the productive enterprise they can with financial engineering to China (hoping they could move there which didn’t work out, OOPS!, big failure, BIG serious fuck up), control all the press in which they push the death vax( for which virus they created) when there’s a perfectly good cheap drug that has high efficacy(Ivermection) and myriad of other abuses then they should be criticized. It’s only in fantasy Jew world where they believe that no one should criticize such psychopathic behavior. That they should even expect no criticism shows how mentally ill they are.

    If you notice in the past this works great for the Jews, until… it doesn’t. Eventually people realize their leaders are blackmailed, bribed and controlled by the Jews who are fucking up and destroying the entirety of the country.

    Oh and by the way don’t tell me it’s “our” people who are doing this. No it’s the people, I say that loosely, actually the cheats and deviants, that the the Jews prop up in power that do this for the Jews.

    Notice that every single country in all of history when they finally either throw the Jews out completely, my favored recipe, or they completely remove them from power the country rapidly improves by a vast amount. Just like people who get rid of blood sucking parasites rapidly put on weight and have much better heath profiles.

  28. Harry Jones says:

    Global warming brought the Twin Towers down. It melted the steel.

  29. Sam J. says:

    FREE FALLIN’ starring BUILDING 7

    NEW 9/11 Molten Metal WTC2 – Loud “collapse” audio

    “Global warming brought the Twin Towers down. It melted the steel.”

    Here fixed it for you

    “Global Jews brought the Twin Towers down. They melted the steel.”

  30. Jim says:

    Harry Jones: “Global warming brought the Twin Towers down. It melted the steel.”

    LMAO bro, global warming doesn’t melt steel beams!

  31. Jim says:

    Sam, I looked up flywheels and am duly impressed. They have superb characteristics and we should see more of them everywhere. Except in vehicles.

  32. Sam J. says:

    Jim says, “LMAO bro, global warming doesn’t melt steel beams!”

    Good line

    Ok you got me there. I will admit defeat in this case.

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