Toyota has announced that it plans to accelerate the electrification of its fleet, bringing forward its target of having 50 per cent of its sales as EVs to 2025 – five years ahead of its original schedule. It has also joined forces with Subaru to develop a platform dedicated to battery electric vehicles including mid and large passenger cars, and a C-segment SUV.
Toyota has been at the forefront of hybrid drivetrain development and within its plan to electrify its fleet; hybrid drive technology will continue to feature heavily. It will sit alongside a renewed development focus on both fuel cell systems and battery electric vehicles.
Toyota's Executive Vice President, Shigeki Terashi, said: “We haven’t changed our policy towards battery EVs. We are not shifting our focus to prioritise battery EVs, nor are we abandoning our FCV strategy.” He also noted, however, that it was also Toyota's aim to “popularise BEVs”.
As part of its EV offensive of ten electric models within the next five years, Toyota is aiming to launch six global EVs based on its newly developed e-TNGA platform. Much like VW's MEB platform it allows for a host of different drive, passenger and battery configurations depending on the application. Furthermore, the plan extends to personal mobility solutions designed for use in urban areas and to meet future mobility needs, however it is envisaged that these will be most applicable to the Japanese market.
Since first signing a collaborative agreement in 2005, Toyota and Subaru have worked together on not just vehicles, but also R&D, production and sales. Recognising that the new wave of electric vehicles is bringing with it a renewed requirement for brands to work together – especially with regards powertrains and platforms – Toyota and Subaru have announced that the existing partnership will continue.
A key part of this will be the development of a platform for mid-size and large passenger vehicles, so we can assume C through to E segment cars. Furthermore, the partners will work together on a dedicated C-segment SUV platform which, like the GT86, is designed to be sold under both brands.
Like we have seen across the industry, such as with the recent Jaguar and BMW partnership announcement, the trend of carmakers working together is continuing. Both Toyota and Subaru aim to overcome various costly challenges faced by the industry. This includes creating appropriate infrastructure, establishing new ways of selling and – fundamentally – reducing the costs to the individual manufacturer of developing EV technology and establishing a supply chain.
With the early 2020s being Toyota's target for rolling out its new generation of EVs, expect more news to emerge very soon.