Toyota has been slow to adopt EVs into its lineup. It’s not because it lacks the technology, it’s been the king of hybrids since the introduction of the Prius. It’s also been investing in fuel-cell vehicles like the Mirai, and it sells the UX300e in Europe and China. But as sales for EVs tick up, the automaker seems finally ready to expand its portfolio.
Today the automaker announced that it had developed an electric SUV for Europe that will be based on Toyota’s e-TNGA modular EV platform and will be previewed sometime in the next couple of months.
As for the US, Automotive News reported last week that Bob Carter, head of sales for Toyota North America stated that an EV is coming to the United States. We’re not sure which brand will be the first with an EV, but at least we know something electric will come from the Japanese automaker.
During a presentation for its European market, Koji Toyoshima Toyota’s deputy chief officer of its ZEV Factory said that the automaker intends to globally sell 5.5 million electrified vehicles every year by 2025. In that same time frame Toyoshima said that Toyota would introduce 60 new electrified vehicles. These numbers include hybrids, plug-in hybrids, EVs, and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.
Toyoshima also noted that Toyota would have a mass-produced electric vehicle using a solid-state battery pack in the first half of the 2020s. A bold statement and potentially an EV game-changer since solid-state batteries charge quicker and offer more range in the same size pack as traditional lithium-ion batteries. It’s also potentially a few years earlier than the company has previously stated when it said it would have the technology ready in 2025.
As for why Toyota has waited as long as it has to enter the EV market, Andrea Carlucci director of product and marketing for Toyota Europe said that its hybrid technology has allowed the company to comply with tough emissions standards in Europe without jumping too early into EVs. “However, hybrid success has given us the foundation we need, for other electrified powertrains – which will be introduced when the time, the market, and the infrastructure are right. And that time is getting closer.”