Toyota is speeding up its electric vehicle manufacturing timetable, promising to deploy 30 EVs by 2030 rather than the previously announced 15 EVs by 2025. By 2030, the Japanese automaker plans to sell 3.5 million battery electric vehicles worldwide, and by 2035, Lexus will be an all-electric brand.
The business announced a US$17.6 billion investment in battery vehicle technology, up from a previous pledge of US$13.6 billion.
Toyota was an early leader in electrification, demonstrating that automobiles with alternative powertrains could be quite popular, paving the way for firms like Tesla and others. However, since then, the corporation has slipped considerably behind its competitors.
Toyota has yet to release an electric vehicle with a lengthy range. And the company's senior executives, including billionaire CEO Akio Toyoda, have gone on record as calling the electric car movement is just hype citing emissions from power plants as an example, which is a favorite talking point of the oil and gas industry.
But recently Toyoda has taken a different stance emphasizing the necessity for the firm to release more electric vehicles in order to cut exhaust emissions. He said:
“I believe that achieving carbon neutrality means realizing a world in which all people living on this planet continue to live happily. We want to help realize such a world. This has been and will continue to be Toyota’s wish and our mission as a global company. For that challenge, we need to reduce CO2 emissions as much as possible, as soon as possible.”
Toyota displayed a number of concept vehicles as part of the announcement, including sedans, sports cars, crossovers, SUVs, pickup trucks, and even a couple of boxy shuttles. The BZ4X compact SUV, Toyota's first long-range EV, is set to arrive in the United States in mid-2022.
BZ4X compact SUV Interior
Despite its growing commitment to electric vehicles, Toyota continues to spend heavily in Washington, DC, lobbying against President Joe Biden's efforts to encourage Americans to buy more of them.
Democrats in Congress have suggested raising the federal EV tax credit from $7,500 to $12,500 for sales of electric vehicles built in the United States by unionized workers, angering non-union corporations such as Tesla and Toyota.
Elon Musk has spoken out against President Joe Biden's flagship economic package, questioning the need for legislation to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles due to fears that government spending is out of control.
Toyota’s BZ4X compact SUV Specs
Toyota has revealed fresh information on the BZ4X, its future electric compact SUV, which will have an optional solar roof and a steering yoke similar to that found on the Tesla Model S.
The steering yoke has a wing-shape and it uses a steer-by-wire system, which means there is no mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the tires. The yoke only needs to rotate 150 degrees from side to side, and the driver never has to take their hands off the wheel. This will eliminate the need to switch grips while steering, allowing for easier U-turns and other maneuvers, according to Toyota.
For those who don't want to go full yoke, the BZ4X will also come with a normal steering wheel and system.
The car's interior boasts a novel instrument cluster, with the screen positioned back from the steering wheel to increase driver sight, according to Toyota. Rather than being incorporated in the dash, the primary infotainment screen appears to float above it. There are also a handful of physical buttons in the center console and on the steering wheel, indicating that Toyota is not as committed to the digital user experience as Tesla.
It will be available with two powertrains: a 201-horsepower front-wheel-drive and a 215-horsepower all-wheel-drive with ranges of 310 and 286 miles per charge, respectively.
Toyota first unveiled the BZ4X at the Shanghai Auto Show earlier this year, along with an electric car plan that the corporation claims will result in the production of 15 new battery-electric vehicles by 2025.