After lagging behind the rest of the industry when it comes to electrification due to being entrenched in fuel cell hydrogen, Toyota is now announcing today a major expansion of its electric vehicle plans.
The Japanese automaker is aiming to launch 10 new BEVs worldwide by “the early 2020s” and it wants to have electric options throughout its entire lineup of cars by 2025.
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The new plan is being announced today in Tokyo.
Here are the bulletpoints:
- By around 2030, Toyota aims to have sales of more than 5.5 million electrified vehicles, including more than 1 million zero-emission vehicles (BEVs, FCEVs).
- Additionally, by around 2025, every model in the Toyota and Lexus line-up around the world will be available either as a dedicated electrified model or have an electrified option. This will be achieved by increasing the number of dedicated HEV, PHEV, BEV, and FCEV models and by generalizing the availability of HEV, PHEV and/or BEV options to all its models.
- As a result, the number of models developed without an electrified version will be zero.
- Toyota will accelerate the popularization of BEVs with more than 10 BEV models to be available worldwide by the early 2020s, starting in China, before entering other markets―the gradual introduction to Japan, India, United States and Europe is expected.
- The FCEV line-up will be expanded for both passenger and commercial vehicles in the 2020s.
- The HEV line-up will also grow, thanks to the further development of the Toyota Hybrid System II (featured in the current-generation Prius and other models); the introduction of a more powerful version in some models; and the development of simpler hybrid systems in select models, as appropriate, to meet various customer needs.
- Toyota also aims to expand its PHEV line-up in the 2020s.
I don’t want to be too critical because this is a major step in the right direction for Toyota.
For too long, Its zero-emission strategy has been too heavily invested in fuel cell hydrogen, which has proved to be inefficient for passenger vehicles compared to batteries.
This marks an important change from that strategy.
But now I am seeing another needed adjustment to their strategy: they are planning for all-electric vehicles to represent only one-fifth of their electric vehicle sales by 2030 with HEVs and PHEVs accounting for the rest.
I think that will prove to be a(nother) bad call.
Everything points to the industry going all-electric and hybrid powertrains are starting to look like bad compromises. Take Chevy’s declining Volt sales in the wake of its Bolt increases as a canary in the coal mine.
Toyota is biased toward hybrids due to its early success with the Prius, but those days are over. Automakers need to commit to fully-electric vehicles. Our review of the Prius Prime is a *prime* example of Hybrid thinking messing up BEV technology.
The transition is resulting in rapid improvements in battery technology, which is only going to increase the advantages of the batteries as the only energy storage system in cars. I mean even Toyota says that their strategy is based on launching solid-state batteries in 2020.
If they are truly able to commercialize solid-state batteries with better economics than current li-ion cells, then there’s no reason for them not to see that BEVs will represent a much better offer to consumers than hybrids.
There’s no doubt that this change from Toyota is driven by changes in regulations. It’s why their BEVs are being launched in China first where the zero-emission mandate is the strongest.
I think they need to embrace those changes instead of fighting them and change the mix of BEVs, HEVs, and PHEVs, in favor of BEVs.
With this said, again, this is a major step in the right direction for Toyota when it comes to their zero-emission strategy.