Toyota has fleshed out its electric plans, with the Japanese company also showing off a flurry of concept cars in its strategy update as a preview of future battery-electric models. Lexus is expected to play a key role in the BEV plans, with the premium brand set to offer only BEVs from 2035.
Specifically, Toyota and Lexus plan to launch 30 BEV models worldwide in the passenger car and commercial vehicle segments by 2030, reaching global annual sales of 3.5 million BEVs by then. One million of these are to be accounted for by the Lexus brand, which plans to offer only BEVs in Europe, North America and China from 2030 and worldwide from 2035. In Europe, the Toyota brand also plans to sell only zero-emission models from 2035, as announced in early December - in line with EU targets.
Under the Toyota brand, the bZ series is set to expand. That the recently unveiled bZ4X won't remain a one-off was predictable given its dedicated electric platform, but now there are details. Toyota president Akio Toyoda showed off a few more near-production concept cars at the strategy update, a smaller SUV, a mid-size sedan and a large SUV with three rows of seats.
According to Toyoda, the developers have put a special focus on efficiency. "The more batteries you add to increase the range, the bigger, heavier and more expensive a vehicle becomes," the Toyota president said. For the small SUV, the Japanese are aiming for a power consumption of 125 Wh/km, or 12.5 kWh/100km. However, Toyoda did not give further details on the powertrain or battery system.
Lexus relies on solid state batteries
The Lexus brand announced the RZ, an electric crossover model, at the event, but it also unveiled the concept of an electric sedan and a Lexus-logoed sports car. "We believe the Battery EV will become the future symbol of Lexus," said Koji Sato, chief brand officer at Lexus.
The "acceleration time" - presumably to 100 km/h - is said to be "in the low two-second range", with a range of more than 700 kilometres. Sato also spoke of a "possible use of solid-state batteries", which would be used to develop "a really powerful battery electric vehicle".
"Through battery EVs, we will develop Lexus into a brand that offers a variety of experiences, take advantage of performance development that only a carmaker like Lexus can do, and by refining the craft of making increasingly personalized products," Sato continued. Sato does not mention plans for fuel cell cars at Lexus, referring only to "battery EVs."
Akio Toyoda wants to build on his company's many years of experience with the upcoming BEV offensive. Even though Toyota has recently attracted more attention with its hybrid marketing and hydrogen vehicles, the company has been working on electric vehicles since 1992. In 1996, a RAV4 EV was launched - in manageable numbers. In the same year, Toyota founded a battery subsidiary, which has since been merged into the joint venture Prime Earth EV Energy.