Why did Toyota suddenly partner with Panasonic on EV batteries?
Hybrids are stepping stone vehicles until electrics become completely useable. Now, with 250 mile plus range and supercharger stations covering the US an electric vehicle can (almost) replace all of your vehicles. There are no current electric pickups available for delivery as of writing which could be used for construction or other errands.
Customers and now manufactures are starting to realize BEV (Battery Electric Vehicles) have simplicity advantage over hybrids. Combining gas and electric motors increases the potential long term expense of the vehicle by adding a gas engine and all its complexities to a simple electric motor.
Aside from the coolness and technological advancements of Tesla over “other” electric vehicles. These drivers may have chosen Tesla because of its large Supercharger network enabling long term travel. Yes there are DC fast chargers available for all electric vehicles, but currently they do not have the coverage of the Tesla supercharger network.
Toyota in full sprint mode after waited too long
Toyota and other manufactures are now in full sprint mode playing catch up to Tesla on the electrical vehicle front. Have they waited too long? No, not if they act quickly. The old-style dealership model has some advantages they could use over Tesla. For one they have dealership networks already in place over much of the country. If they acted very quickly they could turn the dealerships into DC fast charge stations with solar on top. They could also add more amenities such as dining and kids’ areas for drivers to eat while charging or service. These additional amenities could bring in additional revenue offsetting the losses from traditional vehicle service.
They would have to break the mold very quickly to change the dealership service mindset and into sustainable fast charging stations with amenities. Texas and other states have significant barriers to entry to convert dealerships to sell and service plug in hybrids and electrics: sometimes amounting up to $100K a dealership to upgrade and train service personnel to handle plug in vehicles. To survive and flourish dealerships and service centers around the country will have to undergo a significant monetary and mindset change.