Is Toyota changing its tune? 10 new EVs in the pipeline

Toyota RAV4 EV 2

Toyota, the world’s second-largest automaker, and one of the largest electrification skeptics (its execs have made statements disparaging battery EVs, and its Lexus subsidiary has run ads mocking EVs), now says it plans to launch 10 new pure EVs by “the early 2020s,” and to add electrified variants to its entire lineup by 2025.

“As a mass-market automaker we need to expand our offering of electric cars,” said Executive VP Shigeki Terashi at a recent press briefing in Tokyo. The company has set an annual sales target of around 1 million battery EVs and fuel cell vehicles by 2030, which will require an investment of over $13 billion in battery technology.

Terashi also said the company’s recently announced partnership with Panasonic to develop solid state-batteries may not be enough to meet its battery needs by 2030, and that Toyota was open to additional partnerships. “Even if we develop an advanced solid-state battery, there’s no way we could mass-produce it on our own.”

Before breaking out the sake however, let’s note two caveats. First, Toyota says its new EVs will be launched initially in China, where new government regulations leave it no choice, and introduced to Japan, India, the US and Europe at an unspecified point in the future.

Second, the company forecasts that pure EVs will represent only 20% of electrified vehicle sales by 2030, with hybrids and PHEVs making up the rest. As Electrek’s Fred Lambert notes, improving battery technology is starting to make this look like a backwards-looking strategy. If Toyota succeeds in commercializing solid-state batteries by 2020 as it says it plans to do, then surely it will begin to see that hybrids have had their day.

 

Source: Reuters, Electrek