TOYOTA ELECTRIC VEHICLES
Toyota forecasts that by the year 2050 there would be hardly any combustion powered vehicles left, down from the current 85% of car sales and that the market would consist of hybrids, plug-in hybrids, electric and fuel cell vehicles. The Company’s roadmap includes cutting emissions from new vehicles by 22% from its 2010 level and 90% by 2050. To achieve this would mean the company has to sell around 7 million gas-electric hybrid vehicles by 2020.
It is no secret that the Company prefers the backing of fuel cell vehicles rather than committing to battery electric vehicles and therefore targets to sell at least 30,000 fuel-cell vehicles a year worldwide by around 2020. The Compay’s Mirai is the first fuel cell vehicle commercially produced.
The Japanese automaker announced that it would roll out a plug-in hybrid version of the Levin exclusively for the Chinese market by 2018 and a pure electric version of the Toyota C-HR in 2019. Production of trendsetting Prius stopped in 2015 with an upgraded version released in 2017.
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TOYOTA ELECTRIC VEHICLES IN THE NEWS
2017 Week 30 - Toyota pursuing solid state battery technology
A Reuters report lifted the veil on Toyota’s electric vehicle plans further this week. The Reuters report claims the Japanese automaker is developing a new electric vehicle platform, based on solid state battery technology to enter the market in 2022. The advantage of solid state battery technology is that it addresses range and charging shortcomings of current lithium technology. A solid state battery can be charged in only a couple of minutes and has more storage capacity for longer range. Toyota, which has been lagging in the EV race is set to enter the EV market in China from 2019 with a mass market SUV based on the C-HR SUV. The C-HR EV will be developed using current lithium technology. Other automakers pursuing solid state batteries includes BMW who has set a 10-year plan to bring solid state EVs to market.
2017 Week 22 - Toyota confirms it sold its historical Tesla stake
Toyota confirmed this weekend that it divested from Tesla as it exited the co-operating agreement the companies had on electric vehicle technology. Toyota acquired 3.15% in Tesla in 2010 for $40.5 million, a stake which would have been worth $1.75 billion at Friday’s close. According to the Japan Times Toyota announced that the sale of the stake, which happened in trances between October 2014 and the end of 2016, is “a part of a regular review of business alliances.” The partnership resulted in the development of an electric Toyota RAV 4, which was abandoned as the company changed course away from EVs to hydrogen fuel cell technologies.
2017 Week 20 - Toyota still not fully behind electric vehicles
Toyota still has not completely put its full weight behind electric vehicles is it continues pursuing Hydrogen Fuel Cell (HFC) technology. The Japanese automaker this week announced that it signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ten companies to jointly develop 300 HFC stations of the next 10 years in the country. Even though Toyota pioneered the first mass-market Plug-in Hybrid the company forsook the lead it had on the technology for a hydrogen future. Last year the company admitted that electric vehicles have some relevance by creating a new division to build its first pure electric vehicle. The CEO, Akio Toyoda personally took leadership of the division but the company has not changed its strategy away from the HFC path with it sees as the relevant technology from 2025. The HFC strategy is in conflict with most recent analysis which sees electric vehicles becoming the dominant technology from 2025, some forecasts this week even says it will completely replace combustion engines.
2017 Week 10 - i-Tril unveiled
Although light on new commercial electric vehicles the Geneva Motor Show this week offered some great eye candy in the form of new concept vehicles, which included:
- Italdesign and Airbus unveiled the world’s first ground and air passenger vehicle, the Pop.Up, also know as Vahana
- Toyota unveiled the i-Tril electric concept. (If somebody at Toyota can just please look at the meaning of the name in some cultures, I cringe every time I use it.)
- Bentley unveiled its EXP 12 Speed 6e electric concept car.
- Mercedes unveiled its Mercedes-AMG GT Concept vehicle.
Nissan announced the unveiling of the new version of its popular Leaf EV expected in September, with commercial sales shortly after that. The Leaf is expected to have a range of 200 miles and some autonomous driving ability through its ProPilot system.
2017 Week 8 - Geneva Auto Show Line-up
- Porsche will unveil a powerful Panamera E-Hybrid;
- The Chinese start-up Techrules will unveil its Supercar, the GT96;
- Toyota will reveal it’s I-Tril concept, speculated to be a three-wheel city vehicle; and
- Renault is said to reveal a new electric vehicle.
2016 Week 48 - Toyota change strategy on electric vehicles
3. More signs that Toyota its shifting strategy in favor of electric vehicle’s, away from its previous skepticism of the technology, emerged this week when Reuters reported that the automaker appointed its, President Akio Toyoda, who is also the grandson of its founder, to oversee the company’s newly formed electric vehicle division. Other personnel changes to the new unit include the chief engineer of the Prius, Koji Toyoshima, as the head of the units engineering team. Toyota’s strategy is to develop EV’s for short distance commute while developing hydrogen vehicles for longer distances.
2016 Week 44 - Toyota improve lithium battery
1. Reuters reported things might be changing at Toyota as the company announced that it cracked safety issues relate to the volatility of lithium-ion technology, signaling a change in the automaker’s aversion to the technology. Although being a trendsetter in the plug-in hybrid vehicle space with the Prius, the company has mainly pursued hydrogen as its preferred technology. Toyota made the breakthrough with its battery technology partner Panasonic and presented an opportunity for the carmaker to enter the electric vehicle market at this late stage.
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