Toyota has been a laggard in terms of embracing the electrical revolution, however the Japanese automaker has realized just how far behind they’re after performing a teardown of the perfect selling electric vehicle, the Tesla Model Y.
In a changing of the guards Toyota announced last month the present CEO Akio Toyoda will likely be stepping other than his role effective April 1st, replaced by Koji Sato who currently heads the Lexus and Gazoo Racing divisions. Sato could have his work cut out for him as Toyota races to develop their very own EV platform and production lines, after bumbling the launch of their first dedicated EV, the Toyota bZ4X, which is built on the identical production lines as gasoline-electric hybrids and a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.
To get a greater understanding of the competition, Toyota recently got their hands on a Giga Texas-built Model Y and broke it down piece by piece. In keeping with one Toyota executive who was involved within the teardown that spoke anonymously with Automotive News, the electrical SUV is a “truly a murals,” adding that the electrical SUV “unbelievable.”
A part of what makes it unbelievable isn’t only its simplicity, but in addition Tesla’s advanced manufacturing capabilities, which is undoubtedly a troublesome pill for Toyota to swallow as they’ve long been considered certainly one of the leaders in that area.
Tesla’s single piece front and rear casting, paired with a structural battery pack eliminated as much as 220lbs, boosted its range, but more importantly made the vehicle cheaper to supply, in response to the executives involved within the project. Even small things akin to the powertrain cooling hose surprised Toyota, which Tesla shrunk from 3.5mm to 1.5mm while at the identical time using a less expensive material to supply them.
“It’s a complete different manufacturing philosophy. We want a brand new platform designed as a blank-sheet EV,” said the executives.
Then after all there may be battery technology and software, each of which Toyota has long approach to go before they’ll compete with the likes of Tesla. “We cannot immediately compete when it comes to cost of producing and batteries with firms akin to Tesla or BYD,” said one Toyota executive.
The road is long for Toyota. They only expect to start production of an electrical SUV at their plant in Kentucky by 2025, with the eventual goal of manufacturing 1 million EVs per 12 months by 2026. Tesla got here inside inches of accomplishing that feat in 2021, constructing on that success to deliver over 1.3 million EVs last 12 months.