toyota fuel cell car

Toyota to have ‘more fun’ line-up of 30 EVs by 2030

Image credit: DT

Toyota president Akio Toyoda said the automaker is expanding its EV range to offer 30 new, fully electric models by the end of the decade, in a speech to media at a showroom in Tokyo.

Toyota is the world’s top-selling automaker, selling approximately 10 million vehicles annually. While most of the world’s largest automakers – including Ford, General Motors, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar Land Rover – pledged at COP26 to “rapidly” accelerate the transition to less-polluting vehicles, the two largest, Toyota and Volkswagen, did not join the pledge.

Toyota, which long been viewed as something of a laggard in the industry’s transition to less-polluting vehicles, has now laid out its ambition to expand its all-electric offering in the next decade.

The company plans to sell 3.5 million EVs globally in 2030, up from its previous target of two million hydrogen and battery EVs per year by 2030. It aims to offer a full line-up of EVs called the 'bz series' (“beyond zero”) in the coming years, including electrified versions of all sorts of vehicles: SUVs in various sizes, pick-up trucks, and sports cars. Its fully electric SUV, dubbed 'bZ4X', is set to be sold globally from next year.

Toyota also hopes to electrify its luxury brand Lexus by 2030 for the US, European and Chinese markets and by 2035 globally.

Speaking surrounded by more than a dozen future EV models, Toyoda said Toyota must respond to concerns about climate change, adding: “We can leave a beautiful planet and bring about many smiles for the future generation.”

He acknowledged that he had previously not been inspired by EVs, viewing them as mere “commodities”, but the new Toyota line-up has excited him: “They are safer, faster, and more fun to drive. I can say that as a driver.”

The Japanese automaker has certain strengths in green vehicle innovation, such as in hybrid (Prius) and hydrogen fuel cell (Mirai) technology. It raised investment in battery R&D to ¥2tn (£13bn) from ¥1.5tn (£10bn) announced earlier this year. Altogether, it is investing ¥8tn (£53bn) in green vehicle technology by 2030.

Earlier this month, Toyota announced plans to build a large EV battery plant near Greensboro, North Carolina, employing at least 1,750 people. It will begin production in 2025. Toyota is also building what it envisions as a futuristic city near Mount Fuji, designed to try out and showcase driverless cars, sustainable energy technologies, and domestic robots.

David Leggett, automotive editor at GlobalData, said Toyota was trying to prepare for the dramatic technological and societal changes that are coming: “Businesses have to think about how demand will look in 10, 20, 30 years’ time and the pathways that come back to their business plans over a foreseeable time horizon.”

In November, fellow Japanese automaker Nissan announced its electrification strategy for the coming decades, which involves spending more than £13bn on developing new EVs in the hope of EVs comprising half its global output by 2030.

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