Toyota to ramp up manufacturing of battery EV models by early 2020s

Earlier this week, Toyota Motor Corporation has announced that it will market more than 10 all-electric vehicle (EV) models globally in the early 2020s. It also said that the investment on the battery development will most likely exceed 1.5 trillion yen (A$17.4bn) through 2030.

With tightening global regulations on emissions and to counter its market rivals in EV development, Toyota’s electrified vehicle strategy centres on a significant acceleration in the development and launch plans of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).

Overall, the global electric vehicle (EV) market is growing at a CAGR of 21.27 per cent for the forecast period of 2017-2026. The market is driven by growing emissions of CO2 and greenhouse gases, the availability of low cost of Li-ON batteries and various government initiatives that are encouraging the use of electric vehicles. Toyota is the latest among global auto manufacturers to commit a greater part of its manufacturing efforts towards EV production.

According to the press statement by Toyota on its global website, Toyota says that it aims to reduce global average new-vehicle CO2 emissions by 90 per cent from 2010 levels. The announcement is the main pillar of a mid-to-long-term initiative to achieve this challenge.

“As a mass-market automaker, we need to expand our offering of electric cars,” executive vice president Shigeki Terashi said. “To promote the wider use of EVs, we need to increase our technical development capabilities and address the societal impact of the technology.”

Aside from the electrification across the entire Toyota and Lexus line-up, it will look to head towards the development of zero-emission vehicles by accelerating the popularisation of BEVs with more than 10 BEV models to be available worldwide by the early 2020s, starting in China, before entering other market – the gradual introduction to Japan, India, United States and Europe is expected. The FCEV line-up will be expanded for both passenger and commercial vehicles in the 2020s.

Hybrid Electric and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) will also grow according to Toyota, with further development of the Toyota Hybrid System II (featured in the current-generation Prius and other models); the introduction of a more powerful version in some models; and the development of simpler hybrid systems in select models, as appropriate, to meet various customer needs. The company also aims to expand its PHEV line-up in the 2020s.

At the moment Toyota says it has been actively developing next-generation solid-state batteries and aims to commercialise the technology by the early 2020s. In addition, earlier this month, it was also announced that Toyota and Panasonic will start a feasibility study on a joint automotive prismatic battery business in order to achieve the best automotive prismatic battery in the industry and to ultimately contribute to the popularisation of Toyota’s and other automakers’ electrified vehicles.