By on April 21, 2013

In the past, Toyota had tried to resist the urges of the Chinese government to establish new joint-venture brands. The company also had been highly skeptical of the viability of the electric vehicle. All doubts have been tossed over board. Toyota launched two new brands and two new EVs in China.

In September last year, Toyota’s designated Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada said:

“The current capabilities of electric vehicles do not meet society’s needs, whether it may be the distance the cars can run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge.”

The needs of the Chinese society appear to be different. Toyota shows two new electric vehicles side-by-side at the Shanghai show.

One is made at Toyota’s joint venture with FAW. The Corolla-based EV will be sold under the new Ranz brand.

The other EV is made at Toyota’s joint venture with Guangzhou Auto. The Camry-based EV will be  sold under the new brand of – well, you figure it out.

Despite generous subsidies, EVs remain largely unsalable in China. But if the Chinese government wants something, it gets it.

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4 Comments on “Shanghai Auto Show: Two New EVs, Along With Two New Brands, Both From Toyota & Co....”

  • avatar

    CAFE, People’s Republic style.

  • avatar

    The white car is our (US) 2003-2008 Corolla with different front & rear. Guess they needed to use the tooling…

  • avatar

    So Toyota is now supporting six different brands.

    and…??? TBD

  • avatar

    “Despite generous subsidies, EVs remain largely unsalable in China.”

    Depending on what sources you believe, 20-30 million electric bikes were sold in China in 2012.

    A typical Chinese electric bike costs the equivalent of $400 (about a month’s salary), has a top speed of 20-25 mph, and provides around 10 miles of electric assist (almost exclusively from lead acid batteries .. chinese electric bikes use approximately 20% of the world’s lead production).

    Electric bikes work well because they’re inexpensive (huge volume) & cheap to operate (vs a gas moped), have no hard range limits (but are heavier to pedal after batteries are depleted), and can tap into any mains outlet for charging. Lower speed limits vs cars are fine for urban environments. Electric bikes are largely unregulated, but this is changing (if irregularly enforced) as ridership increases.

    Electric cars are expensive (low volume), have a hard range limit, and require significant infrastructure investment for charging.

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