Toyota wants to sell as many EVs as possible, prioritising price over range

Is this a sensible idea or a bad one?

Being stress-resistant is probably crucial for CEOs. You always have to juggle more things at once. Take Akio Toyoda as a prime example. The CEO of Toyota is in charge of a global automaker and he has to report to shareholders who, of that I’m sure, are constantly applying pressure because they want EVs. Maybe they believe in it, maybe they just see it a market opportunity no one can afford to miss, but either way, they want them.

And then you’ve got Toyoda himself, the head of one of largest car makers in the world in terms of sale, and a hybrid pioneer, who is adamant electric cars are just a stopgap measure and not an optimal solution. It seems to me, Mr Toyoda has figured out a way to promote EVs while fighting them at the same time.

Not that long ago, Toyota launched a new initiative called ‘Team Japan’, involving other Japanese manufacturers (cars and motorcycles) to develop alternatives to BEVs - namely hydrogen cars and synthetic fuels.

BUT, and it’s a huge *but*, Toyota, as a company, can’t really afford to ignore EVs when every other automaker in the world is selling them, and that’s why they’ve also revealed the bZ4X, which is basically an EV version of the RAV, and they’ve got many more in store. But there’s a catch.

Cooper Ericksen, VP of Toyota North America, said nothing really changes if “you [only] sell a car. To have a positive impact on the environment, you must sell a high volume of it’s really important that the price point is such that we can make an actual business model out of it.”

In short, Toyota will prioritise pricing and affordability, rather than range. This is interesting because everyone else is doing the exact opposite, which means EV cars are getting better in terms of range, but they’re still expensive. Especially when you compare them to an equivalent ICE model.

“Batteries are expensive, and the bigger you make the battery, the more expensive it is,” said Ericksen. “I think long-term is not all about range; [you have to match] the range and the price point to what the consumer can afford.” For reference, he upcoming 2023 bZ4X will reportedly have about 250 miles of range.

What do you think? Does this argument make sense? Or should Toyota prioritise range like everyone else? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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Comments (25)

  • I think that makes sense for Toyota. There are lots of mid and high priced and range EVs and they are very late to market so going to be hard to compete initially on the same playing field.

    So maybe best for them to go for a relatively underserved part of the market - lower cost and range that could fit well for city and 2nd cars.

    Also as long as they have high charging speeds being late to market means there should be a bigger network of ultra rapid chargers, which makes the shorter range less of an issue with short charging time

      1 month ago
    • This. As a disabled man I am now removed from the market place. I simply cannot afford any of the EV's being offered due to cost to entry. Get the price point to a place where the poor people can get into one and they will fly off the lots. Most...

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        1 month ago
  • Bit of a misleading headline. I thought they were trying to push EVs but they're just making cheap ones

      1 month ago
  • this is exactly very true .......look at cars like the renault zoe ...perfect example of dirt cheap electric transport

      1 month ago
  • I think they have a good idea.

    most people can't buy an EV.

    A Renault ZOE is smaller, less practical and a lot more expensive than a Megane.

    who has enough money and a brain small enough to buy something as stupid as that?

      1 month ago
    • EVs are too expensive. We’ve been saying this for years and they’re actually getting *more* expensive

        1 month ago
    • when they make something cheaper like the batteries they will instantly add something like heated seats to keep the price high.

      I don't understand things like automatic folding door mirrors on small cars like a Clio. They should make this...

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        1 month ago
  • Great idea! Average American drives far less than 100 miles per day and just has staycations. Rent a car for long trips.

      1 month ago