It seems like a past not too distant – just two months ago, in fact – when Toyota was accused of slowing the industry’s transition to fully electric vehicles by an EV advocacy group in North America.
Now, the Japanese giant has unveiled 16 battery-electric vehicles across the Toyota and Lexus brands which are being prepared for market launch, starting with the bZ4X that is scheduled for debut in the middle of next year. This is part of Toyota’s updated investments into the development of carbon-reducing and carbon-neutral vehicles and technologies between now and 2030, now totalling eight trillion yen (RM298.1 billion).
The 16 BEVs unveiled today is the start of a major push into the zero-emissions vehicles category, that will come to a total of 30 BEVs which Toyota Motor Corporation will roll out by 2030 across passenger vehicles, SUVs and commercial vehicles, it said.
Starting with Lexus, there is the RZ which is an SUV that will start the brand on its new direction. Next up is a Supra-esque two-door sports car, which is aimed at producing a 0-100 km/h sprint time in the low two-second range, while a more sedate manner of driving will yield range of up to 700 km. This will be joined by two more as-yet unnamed models, which will be a sports sedan and a large SUV.
These is also the bZ, or Beyond Zero range, comprised of a small crossover, compact SUV, a mid-sized and a large SUV. There are also electric iterations of bodystyles familiar to the Toyota range, such as a pick-up truck that resembles the Tundra and an SUV in the fashion of the FJ Cruiser.
From these upcoming products, Toyota will be aiming for a BEV sales target of 3.5 million units a year by 2030, president and CEO Akio Toyoda has announced, which is up from the two-million unit BEV sales target announced in May this year.
Of these, the manufacturer aims for Lexus to account for one million units, through a 100% BEV product line-up in North America, Europe and China. From its fully battery-electric product line-up slated for 2030 in those markets, Lexus then aims to have a global model range fully comprised of battery-electric vehicles by 2035.
From the aforementioned eight trillion yen (RM298.1 billion) total investment into electrification, battery-electric vehicles account for four trillion yen (RM149 billion), with half of that figure earmarked for batteries, while the other four trillion yen has been allocated for the development of hybrid electric vehicles, including for plug-in hybrids and fuel-cell electric vehicles.
This of course means that while Toyota is sharply ramping up its BEV roll-out plan, it hasn’t abandoned its view of achieving carbon neutrality through a variety of powertrain strategies.
“At present, the energy situation varies greatly from region to region. That is exactly why Toyota is committed to providing a diversified range of carbon-neutral options to meet whatever might be the needs and situations in every country and region. It is not us, but local markets and our customers who decide which options to choose,” Toyoda said.
In terms of vehicle charging, there is only so much manufacturers can do when it comes to charging infrastructure, said Toyoda; that said, the Japanese manufacturer plans to eventually provide 2,900 EV chargers in Europe, 1,700 chargers in China and 5,000 chargers in its native Japan, Toyoda said in the briefing.
Toyoda also said that the area of charging equipment is where different parties in the EV ecosystem must cooperate. “[The] OEMs for battery-electric and fuel cell-electric vehicles can certainly establish some infrastructure by themselves, but that should not be left to the usage of customers only those OEMs; the infrastructure should be commonly shared, and that is an area that Toyota would like to work harder to realise,” the firm’s president added.
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