AD #3540 – Toyota to Make Major Pivot to EVs; Ram EV Gets 500 Miles of Range; Ford Debuts Small Electric Van

April 6th, 2023 at 12:00pm

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0:00 Toyota to Make Major Pivot to EVs
1:36 GMC Adds Diesel to Off-Road Model
2:39 Foxconn Makes EV Tractors in Ohio
3:49 Ram EV Gets 500 Miles of Range
5:33 Jeep Wrangler Updated
6:30 Hyundai Reveals Kona EV Details
8:09 Ford Debuts Small Electric Commercial Van
9:56 Toyota Prius Prime Will be Limited

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24 Comments to “AD #3540 – Toyota to Make Major Pivot to EVs; Ram EV Gets 500 Miles of Range; Ford Debuts Small Electric Van”

  1. Ron Paris Says:

    Too bad about Toyota and it’s new EV strategy. Just when they’ve perfected the hybrid (new Prius), they get new management that decides to go over to the dark side!

  2. Albemarle Says:

    I think Toyota’s new move is a good one.
    I enjoy watching America’s Cup sailboat match racing. Obviously the idea is to win, but it’s more important to stay with and ahead of your competition. You may think you have a faster line with more wind, but you don’t take it if you’re ahead. The goal isn’t to be the fastest, it’s to be first.
    Using this analogy, Toyota may be correct on their old path but if they’re wrong, they will be screwed. It is preferable to do what all others are doing and do it better than take the risk and strike off on your own.

  3. GM Veteran Says:

    They aren’t abandoning hybrids, just adding EVs in a push to keep overall Toyota sales up.

    Kind of a major fail if I have to adjust the tilt wheel every time I get into the car just so I can see the instruments. And, of course, adjust it again each time I get out. That alone is a deal breaker for me, and pretty surprising from a company as competent as Toyota.

  4. Drew Says:

    Sean, you reported the Kona EV has active grille shutters, but I don’t see a grille. All I see are a handful of sensor dots.

  5. Albemarle Says:

    No wonder Toyota lost money. It’s impossible to buy a car from them. My sister wants a Rav4 hybrid to replace her current one and it’s over a year out! Her husband waited 8 months to get his new Prius (not Prime).

    There has to be a bunch of people like me that won’t put a deposit down on a car they won’t get for months and have never driven. Don’t mind driving a demonstrator and ordering the one I want, but even there I draw the line at a wait of 1/3 of a year or so.

  6. GM Veteran Says:

    By the way, Toyota isn’t alone in their failure to read the market. That is pretty much the case for the entire Japanese auto industry. Nissan squandered their early lead in EVs and Honda and the others put resources into fuel cells.

    Their government has been pushing a hydrogen economy for many years now. But, to prioritize a technology with a longer development runway over a technology that would be fairly easy to implement, especially with all of their hybrid expertise, is just poor management. However, the government in Japan exerts more influence over major industries than ours does in the US. Too bad that in this case, they led the companies astray.

  7. Nc Says:

    I hope Toyota does get on board with some 3or 4 EV with great design and performance.

    Sean, have a Blessed Easter.

  8. Norm T Says:

    The Prius sales were down to 36k in 2022. That a 20-year low. Will Toyota he able to increase sales with the rise of less costly EV’s?

  9. Bob Wilson Says:

    If this Prius Prime had been available in the 2017 Prius Prime, I would not have traded it in for a 2019 Tesla Model 3. The major improvements: (1) usable EV range; (2) true EV mode; (3) much improved TSSP, and; (4) same price as $41,000 Model 3.

    No, I won’t trade in my 102,000 mile, 2019 Model 3 for the new Prime because Tesla has made substantial improvements over the years. I still marvel that my Tesla per mile price is 1/3d that of any Prius Prime.

    However, it next Toyota EV switches to the Tesla plug and connector, I might go back to a Toyota. The Supercharger network sells cars.

  10. George Ricci Says:

    On the new Prius Prime in EV mode the maximum output of the electric motor is 161 hp (no ICE help). In hybrid mode the combustion engine will join in so you can take full advantage of the vehicle’s available 220 hp.

    Traffic Jam Assist is available with a subscription once the trial period expires) on all Prius Prime models.

  11. Norm T Says:

    Both Tesla models passed Camry and RAV4 in California recently.

  12. Lambo2015 Says:

    Sean you didnt mention being off tomorrow but with most of the auto industry down for Good Friday I fully expected you to mention no AD tomorrow. Glad you’ll be here.

    The new Pruis does look considerably better and should help sales. However the steering wheel blocking the dash is a huge flaw. Sean I know you said you’re 6’4″ and I thought maybe that’s why but sounds like John reviewed the car. So a small think like that would be so annoying I would avoid buying it.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Toyota’s sales are down, because they apparently have major supply chain problems and can’t build cars. I can’t find a Sienna to even sit it. Their approach with hybrids is the right one for a lot of us. Great gas mileage, good reliability, and now, with the new Prius, adequate acceleration in all of them.

    8 I’d expect Prius sales to increase, if they can build and deliver them. The new one looks much better and is faster, fixing two of the biggest complaints of Prius haters. I’ll have to see what things are like with the instruments. I suspect I could put the wheel all the way down, or nearly so, and get in and out of the car without moving the wheel.

  14. Wim van Acker Says:

    @9 Wow, 102,000 miles on your 2019 Model 3. You drive a lot! Great that the TESLA performs very well for a high-intensity user like you.

  15. JoeS Says:

    3. I move the tilt wheel in my Silverado every time I get in and out. It goes from bus-like to near vertical and in my lap, where I like it when driving. My wife’s TourX tilt wheel barely moves at all so I don’t bother adjusting it. I assume the Prius is similar to the TourX, also her past Vibes. I’m not sure if it’s worth checking an option box for it, if that’s all the adjustment you get.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    15 If it’s like other Toyotas, the control for the wheel would be under the steering column, with “infinite” range, not like the older GM ones that have, as I remember, 7 positions. The Prius might be tilt and telescope. Most newer Toyotas are. It would not be an option box. All of them would have it.

  17. JoeS Says:

    16. The TourX has infinite stopping points over a very narrow range that you move the wheel manually up or down then lock it in position. The Silverado has the old GM style that has a limited number of positions but much greater range. It is also spring loaded to go up all the way and out of the way when you pull the lever. To me it is the only tilt wheel worth having.

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 I’ve always set tilt, and more recently tilt and tel columns where I like them to drive, and leave them alone. I still have what is probably one of the old GM ones, in my 1989 Dodge Caravan. With the old GM ones, with only a few settings and no telescope, if you move it routinely to get in and out, it’s probably becomes automatic to find the same driving position.

    I remember being annoyed when ordering a Pontiac 6000 wagon, that I had to spec a tilt wheel, because without it, the wheel blocked view of the speedometer. I needed the tilt wheel a notch higher than the position of the non-tilt.

  19. wmb Says:

    Wow! While the Ram Rev may be the last of the Detroit Three to field a BEV pickup, they sure know how to make a lot of noise: 400-to-500 miles of EV range?! The styling may have disappointed and let many down, with it not looking like the Revolution concept, but, IMHO, that range and horse power make up for a lot of that! It’s no trick that to get that range, they simply dropped in a bigger battery pack, yet, being so far behind the others, they had to come out the gate with something that moved the needle, was accessible and attainable for production and the Revolution concept, while impressive, may have come with a number of things that could potentially give them problems in production trim, with some many ‘geewhiz’ showstopping attributes on the production vehicle! This simpler approachon the first generation vehicle, may be better, to be sure and show that they have the fundamentals right, before the they the dog and pony show’ on the road!

  20. wmb Says:

    #19.) ….take their Revolution concept ‘dog and pony show’ out on the road, with the Rev’s second generation, that is!

  21. Sean Wagner Says:

    Given batteries’ cost and weight penalties, which are not about to vanish (despite continuing, incremental improvements), I just don’t see the case for giving vehicles that breach 2.0-2.5 tons even in ICE guise a long electric range, never mind towing. There is such a thing as diminishing returns.

    Mercedes’ OM654 2l turbodiesel weighs 0.168t.
    gm’s 3l Duramax six 0.212t (467lbs).

    Paired with a 20-70kWh battery, depending on application, and 200-400 extra electric hp, they could make excellent hybrid powerplants.

    If Toyota wanted to build something truly attractive in the hybrid segment, such a pickup would be it. And not niche either.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21 Yeah, diesel plug-in hybrid would make imminent sense for larger vehicles. If done right, it should nearly double the mpg of the ICE version in city driving, even with the battery depleted, and it could make most peoples’ daily trips on plug-in power. Then, it would work well for long trips, with extra power for climbing hills with a heavy trailer, and recovered energy downhill, improving fuel economy.

    Somehow, Toyota didn’t do very well with the Tundra gas hybrid, which is thirsty compared to the F-150 hybrid.

  23. Sean Wagner Says:

    22 I think fuel economy aside, the smooth and abundant power is a major selling point. And as you say, properly dimensioned, the battery would suffice for local driving. As mentioned previously in autoline, some kind of automatic ‘plug-in’ would also help a lot. Even is it was wireless, modern systems can outperform consumer electronics grade tech.

  24. JohnnyJavelin Says:

    Hey, I like the set. It looks like you are in a high class restroom! Your Youtube award tops it of as a paper towel dispenser!