During Toyota’s annual Kenshiki Forum, the Japanese automaker outlined a hardened strategy for electrification in Europe, which will include five additional fully-electric models to join the bZ4X overseas by 2026. Toyota hopes these BEV options will accelerate its sales goal of being 50% electric by 2030 and carbon neutral by 2040.
Despite years of dragging its feet while simultaneously keeping its head buried in the oil-rich sand, Toyota has come around somewhat on EVs – although, one could argue that global legislation enacting expiries on combustion vehicles has been the catalyst more than the automaker’s goodwill toward the planet and our children’s future.
Nonetheless, Toyota has delivered a fully-electric model – the bZ4X, which kicked off the automaker’s new “bZ” line of BEVs, but not without its struggles. Still, the bZ4X is back on sale and has since been joined by a new bZ concept that debuted at the LA Auto Show last month.
During its annual Kenshiki Forum, Toyota outlined a much more proactive EV strategy (for Europe at least), teasing five new “bZ” models, including a smaller car/SUV next year.
Toyota is on track to be carbon neutral in Europe by 2040
The Japanese automaker shared the news above in addition to several sustainability updates during the event in Brussels. Toyota Motor Europe president and CEO Matt Harrison spoke about the automaker’s future as well:
Broadly speaking, there are two key focus areas: the first is carbon neutrality and how we plan to achieve it in areas of our business, and the second, as we transition for a manufacturing and sales company to a provider of mobility services, is the future of mobility.
Top comment by EhCanadian
Several news sources reported in October that the bZ4X's e-TNGA platform (an EV conversion of Toyota's ICEV TNGA platform) is not cost-competitive to manufacture. Toyota formed a "business revolution" group (headed by Shigeki Terashi if you need to google it) to evaluate whether to "retire" (scrap) e-TNGA, and suspended future EV projects for the time being.
This new announcement suggests Toyota has figured out how to move forward from the e-TNGA fiasco. But the real tell will be whether those new EVs will hobble along on the uncompetitive e-TNGA platform, or be built on a more competitive platform licensed from a 3rd party (e.g. VW's MEB platform), or if Toyota is fast-tracking development of a new EV platform?
Part of this strategy also includes the five additional Toyota bZ models for Europe, beginning with the small electric car next year, according to Toyota Motor Europe president and CEO Matt Harrison. Per Automotive News Europe, a separate source at Toyota said the upcoming BEV will be an SUV.
Harrison went on to say that Toyota’s news of expanded bZ models in Europe indicates its “clear commitment to battery electric vehicles.” Other BEVs planned for sales overseas over the next three years include compact SUVs and crossovers, in addition to three larger models.
The aforementioned bZ SUV concept was also on display in Brussels, and a person with knowledge of Toyota’s product timeline said the concept’s design offers a preview of the production version slotted for the compact SUV segment in 2025. It will likely be named the bZ3X.
Good job, Toyota. More of this, please. How about bringing all those new BEVs to the US as well while we’re at it. Let’s hope so. We’ll be watching!
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