Shocking: Toyota Plans to Zap Nearly a Dozen EVs to Life by Early 2020s.

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

Toyota, one of the original purveyors of hybrids, has recognized the need to juice its EV profile. Chevrolet, Nissan, and a bevy of other automakers already have an answer for customers looking to totally shun gas stations. Toyota does not.

The plan, unveiled Monday in Japan, calls for “more than ten” all-electric Toyota cars to be available worldwide by the early 2020s. This is quite a jump for a company that’s experienced in hybrids and PHEVs, but doesn’t currently offer a single example of EV technology here in America.

I had to re-confirm that detail to make sure it was correct. It is. Toyota is well known for its hybrid efforts – a 10-minute drive in L.A. proves that the Prius is outrageously popular in some markets, growing like wild kudzu on the roads – but it doesn’t have a true competitor for the Leaf or Bolt.

Toyota’s electrified vehicle strategy centers 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).

Further to that goal, the company also expects to have an electrified version of every model in the Toyota and Lexus lineups by 2025.

This detail perks up my truck-loving ears, as that statement seemingly includes pickups and SUVs. Sure, “electrified” can simply mean a mild hybrid system and not a full-on PHEV drivetrain, but it sure seems like the next generation Tundra will be a lot greener than the existing model.

Toyota has plenty of options for customers looking to reduce their fuel bill, most of which can be found in the Prius line (ranging from a compact hybrid to the alarmingly styled Prius Prime plug-in). Purely electric choices are currently in short supply at your Toyota store, a situation that will be remedied by the plan announced today.

The company has pontificated for ages that the relatively scant range of an EV would assure that mode of transport’s relegation to the fringes. This announcement marks a change in tune, undoubtedly in response to government regulations in Europe, China, and other nations that favour zero-emissions vehicles. Seeing the sales numbers of their competitors surely plays a part as well.

In America, sales of EVs remain small, if nothing to totally sneeze at. Chevy has shifted more that 20,000 Bolts so far this year, while Nissan has moved about half that number despite a new model looming on the horizon. The stuck-up corporate behemoth that is Tesla does not follow the auto industry standard of monthly reporting, so it is impossible to tell how many of their EVs were delivered in 2017.

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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  • Luke42 Luke42 on Dec 18, 2017

    That's good news! I'm up to 3 kids now, and am an EV/hybrid fan. An EV Sienna or Sequoia would be a perfect fit for my daily driving needs, and could be pretty good for my usual roadtrips if a few CCS fast chargers are installed in the right places (or if they make a deal with Tesla for supercharger access). I'm eagerly awaiting information on the 2020-ish Ford Transit EV, as well. That would be a nice fit for my needs as well -- especially if we have a 4th kid. (I prefer vans over SUVs, but the EV drivetraine I've driven are nice enough to get me to compromise on sliding doors.)

  • Pete Zaitcev Pete Zaitcev on Dec 18, 2017

    Finally beginning to realize the futility of hydrogen.

    • FormerFF FormerFF on Dec 20, 2017

      Hopefully. You can't cheat the laws of thermodynamics.

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