Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff


HERE IN PART 2, we’ll continue our timetables of automaker transitions from internal combustion to one form or another of electric propulsion. Our survey today includes a recent automaker merger, Chinese plans, and even a relative outlier to the electric car parade.

Chrysler. Dating back to 1925, Chrysler has had an interesting history since 1998: There was DaimlerChrysler, 1998–2007 (“a merger of equals;” now you tell one); Chrysler and Chrysler Group LLC, 2007–2009, 2009–2014, (investment groups not renowned for their ken of auto manufacturing); Fiat Chrysler, 2014–2021 (yet another Chrysler fire sale); and just lately Stellantis.

The word comes from the Latin verb stello, as in “bright with stars.”

Stellanis? Stellantis N.V. is a new (January 16, 2021) Dutch-domiciled multinational involving FCA (Fiat Chrysler) and the French PSA Group of Peugeot, Citroën, DS (only BEVs and HEVs beginning in 2025; don’t wait up), and Opel and Vauxhall (from GM’s European 2017 exodus). Through FCA , Stellanis’ portfolio also includes Alfa Romeo, Abarth, Lancia, and Maserati. Not a bad heritage, enthusiast-speaking. 

Michael Wayland, CNBC, writes July 8, 2021, “Electric Dodge Muscle Car and Ram Pickup Part of Stellantis’ $35.5 Billion EV Plans.” This expenditure is planned through 2025 by what is now the world’s fourth largest automaker. 

The CNBC article notes, “The company said it expects to have 55 electrified vehicles in the U.S. and Europe by 2025. This includes 40 all-electric models and 15 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. It’s a different strategy from other automakers such as GM that have announced plans to eventually only offer all-electric vehicles.

Meanwhile, in China…. Evelyn Cheng, CNBC, June 15, 2021, reported “China’s Electric Car Leaders Predict New Energy Vehicles Will Dominate the Local Market by 2030.” As described in Wikipedia, “The Chinese government uses the term New Energy Vehicles (NEVs) to include hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery electrics, and fuel-cell electrics.”

And At Toyota, the World’s Largest Automaker. On May 14, 2021, Bengt Halvorson at wrote that “Toyota Thinks 85 Percent of Its New U.S. Vehicles Will Have Tailpipes in 2030.” 

That is, the rest of the world’s automakers—and many of its governments—are all-in for what the Chinese call NEVs. Yet, the world’s largest automaker (vying year-to-year with Volkswagen Group for this honor) appears less enthusiastic.

Not that Toyota has ignored NEVs. Its Prius was a pioneer hybrid in 1997; ditto for its fuel-cell Mirai in 2014. 

Above, Toyota’s original Prius, 1997. Below, its fuel-cell Mirai, posed before my old R&T office. By the way, the latest is that 1499 Monrovia is being restructured to have a third floor and elevator (optional in the original design).

In 2030, Toyota predicts, EVs will make up 70 percent of the overall new car market. The majority, though, will be hybrids, with BEVs and FCEVs making up only 15 percent of U.S. sales. 

“From that,” Halvorson said, “it’s interesting to note that even by 2030, Toyota sees models with an internal combustion engine under the hood making up 85 percent of its U.S. sales at the end of the decade—and that 30% of its U.S. lineup won’t have any form of electrification.”

As might be said, the opera ain’t over ’til the fat lady plugs in—or doesn’t. ds 

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2021 


  1. Andrew G.
    July 25, 2021

    At least Toyota is being pragmatic. I’ve never owned my own home, so the idea of trying to recharge a car really scares me. Many apartments I’ve rented didn’t even have enough parking for residents (much less their guests), so imagine the brawls that would erupt over too few charging stations. Just like lack of access to broadband internet in the US, urban food deserts, and NIMBY zoning battles to exclude affordable housing, mandating BEVs is just another way for the Elites to leave us riff-raff behind.

  2. Mike B
    July 25, 2021

    What ever happened to the BEV RAV4 with Tesla guts? Also note the original RAV4 EV from the early 00s – cute, urban short range but it worked, NiMH batteries, and some are still on the road. That said, the current PHEV RAV4 Prime is a very nice vehicle (and a too-high, to me, price – mid $40Ks). And the regular hybrid option is available even in the base trim-level RAV4. And the Prius C is still around in the form of a Corolla with the Prius’ drivetrain. So Toyota knows how to do EVs; they just haven’t been very interested in pushing more than the basic hybrid system in any volume.

    If I were looking right now (no need at the moment, with a Prius and a Bolt), I might also investigate the new Ford Maverick (hybrid *is* the base model, at around $20K, seating 4-5 with 4 doors and a smallish bed) or Escape hybrid (both regular and PHEV available, at a price). If you want a true BEV in the real world right now, though, and want to walk out the door having paid mid-$30Ks or less, you pretty much have to buy Chevy (Bolt) or Nissan (Leaf), or get a short-range compliance car like the Ioniq. I don’t see that changing soon – the crowd of new BEVs released or announced in the last year or so, other than the Bolt, Leaf, and Ioniq, and perhaps the Tesla Models 3 and Y), are all huge beasts that (will) cost a fortune (maybe $40K for a fleet special, but $50-100K (or more) for typical production, At those prices, the profit will be high, but the production volume won’t be. Toyota probably has it closer to right for ordinary mortals.

  3. Eustaquio Silveira
    July 25, 2021

    Electric vehicles and communism are 2 things to be extirpated from Earth. Hope to see this happen some day.

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