Toyota Eyeing Mass-Market EV Production By 2020
Toyota wakes up to the potential of pure-electric vehicles, and will offer a range of electric cars that are capable of 300km+ on a single charge by 2020.
Toyota has never been that enthusiastic about fully electric vehicles. That’s evident in its strategy of developing plug-in hybrid (as used in the Prius, pictured above) and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. But now it seems the Japanese automotive giant is making a U-turn and looking to embrace long-range pure-electric vehicles, according to a new report by Nikkei Asian Review.
It seems that Toyota isn’t looking to just enter the EV market, but actually concentrate on zero emissions vehicles that are capable of traveling more than 300km on a single charge.
What’s perhaps more interesting is that Toyota is pledging to mass produce electric cars by 2020. To achieve such an ambitious goal, Toyota will now create an engineering team early next year which will be tasked with developing new pure-electric technology.
In fact, rumours say that Toyota is calling for an “all hands on deck” approach from all its group companies in order to expedite the production process of these models and get them ready for the 2020 deadline. That deadline also happens to coincide with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, of which Toyota is a major sponsor.
A driving factor in Toyota’s decision to focus on pure-electric vehicles is apparently a report published by the Chinese government that announces new plans to see 40% of vehicles on public roads be pure-electric by 2030.
At present, no specific details about Toyota’s first EV model have been released. However, the goal is to make it run for at least 300km on a single charge. How Toyota will achieve this remains a mystery, but the firm is ramping up its development of batteries, thanks largely to its new battery material research department, which was created earlier this year. And, let’s face it, if any car company has the capacity to develop something innovative, it’s Toyota.
Another possibility is that Toyota will outsource the production of these batteries to reduce costs. It wouldn’t be the first automaker to do so, after all.
With Toyota now fully-committed to developing its own lineup of electric cars, we should expect to see a significant shift in the market in a short space of time.