Toyota will co-develop BEVs with Subaru.
Soon, the world’s largest automaker will introduce a new run of electric vehicles to the U.S. market. Toyota recently announced it would co-develop a new compact crossover with Subaru, which each company will sell separately as its own model. While Toyota has been in the hybrid game for more than two decades, we haven’t seen many electric vehicles out of them just yet.
The last fully-electric vehicle Toyota sold here was the ill-fated RAV4 EV, which went out of production in 2014. That was a California emissions compliance car developed with Tesla, and only around 1,500 were over sold. Now, though, the company aims for up to 10 percent of its global sales, or less than 1 million units, to be electric cars by 2025. On top of that, Toyota wants half its global sales (5.5 million units) to come from electrified models.
According to an Automotive News report, Toyota R&D head Shigeki Terashi noted the recent surge in demand for electric cars as the reasoning behind accelerating the company’s EV goals. Progress has surpassed the target,” Terashi said. “We have entered a new age.”
Toyota’s next EV wave
Currently, the electric car market represents a slim share of total U.S. sales. However, it is substantially growing. Last year alone, automakers sold over 194,000 electric cars in the U.S., according to the Automotive News Data Center. China is by far the world’s largest EV market, and Norway is the third. Particularly with the Chinese market on their doorstep, Toyota aims to start building EVs there next year. Ultimately, it will launch at least 10 battery-electric models by 2025.
The company has dedicated a new platform exclusively to EVS, called e-TNGA. That platform will resemble the Toyota New Global Architecture, hence the name, that is already in production for most of the brand’s current models. Toyota also leads a nine-member group to co-develop and share components for electric cars. Other automakers in that group include Subaru and Mazda, as well as companies that are no longer in the U.S. market, like Suzuki and Daihatsu.
Part of that co-development is new solid-state battery technology, which should improve charging times and range dramatically, whenever it arrives in retail models.
For now, the plan is in its nascent stages. Toyota will develop smaller battery-electric cars like the one pictured above for the Japanese market. However, the U.S. is a critical component to the company’s EV rollout, so we will see several more models in the near future. And if these models are anything to go by, they may look drastically different than the Toyotas we are accustomed to seeing on American roads.