Toyota, the brand that popularized the hybrid electric vehicle with the Prius, has been notably and surprisingly absent from the pure-electric vehicle market. That is about to change.
- Toyota to sell 5.5 million EVs by 2025 — five years sooner than it previously anticipated.
- 10 new BEV models to be revealed by early 2020s.
- Entire Lexus and Toyota lineup to be electrified.
- Revolutionary solid-state battery being prepared for debut in summer 2020.
- Toyota Executive Vice President warns that company survival hinges on quickly shifting EV business model.
Last week, during a conference created in order for the Japanese automaker to lay out its plans for future vehicle electrification, Toyota revealed that by the year 2025 it intends to sell 5.5 million electrified vehicles (EV). These include hybrid, plugin hybrid (PHEV), battery electric (BEV) and hydrogen fuel cell (FCEV) vehicles.
Previously, in late 2017, Toyota said it intended to sell that number of electrified vehicles by 2030. It has now pushed that goal up a half a decade, in part due to increasingly stringent environmental regulations in both Europe and China. In addition to creating new electrified models, Toyota expects to achieve its lofty sales goal by offering electrified versions of every Lexus and Toyota models by 2025.
Amazingly, the electrified declarations didn’t end there, as the carmaker dropped five years of car news in one sitting. I mean, for most automakers simply proclaiming you intend to electrify your entire lineup in just six years would be enough. Not Toyota, though.
The auto giant also made public that it will have 10 new BEV models by the early 2020s. And the battery powering them just might be revolutionary. Toyota also proclaimed it hopes to have a solid-state battery ready for debut ahead of summer olympics next year, which being are being hosted in Tokyo.
Solid-state battery technology, Toyota believes, would help revolutionize the BEV marketplace. That’s because the relatively lightweight batteries offer higher battery energy density and improved stability (i.e. safety). In short, solid-state batteries could go further with smaller batteries, making them more appealing to a mass market consumer. I mean, imagine how compelling an electric car might be, if it were able to go 600 miles per charge.
Toyota won’t take on all the electrified vehicle development by itself, however. The Japanese carmaker plans to team up with Subaru, Mazda, Suzuki, and Daihatsu to develop various models.
With Subaru, Toyota will jointly develop an EV platform for mid- to large-size vehicles as well as a crossover. Sold separately under both the Toyota and Subaru brands, that EV crossover will be primarily created for the U.S. market. Meanwhile, Suzuki and Daihatsu will work with Toyota on compact EVs.
For now, Toyota-brand EVs will will ride on the brands e-TNGA platform, which is the electrified variant of the new scalable Toyota New Global Architecture. From that platform, future Toyota EVs will take seven forms: large SUVs, medium SUVs, mid-size crossovers, mid-size minivans, as well as mid-size sedans and compact cars.
During the prolific reveal event, Toyota’s head of research and development, Executive Vice President Shigeki Terashi, warned that unless the company can shift quickly to a new business model, it might not survive. That’s because, as he asserted, it will be a long time before BEVs are profitable.
What new business models does Toyota believe it must engage in, in order to remain in the black during the switch to electrification? It will remain focused on vehicle sales while at the same time doubling efforts — or forging new ones out right — in vehicle sharing and services, used vehicle sales, and battery recycling and reuse.
“Unless we work on this at a very accelerated manner,” Terashi said, “we will not be able to ensure our future survival.”