Toyota’s new president Koji Sato has promised what he called an aggressive shift on “electrification,” while acknowledging criticism that Japan’s top automaker has fallen behind in actual volumes of electric vehicles sold compared to its rivals.
Toyota is a leader in hybrids, which have both a gasoline engine and electric motor, and Sato stressed that different markets have varying powertrain needs, with emerging markets being slower to adopt pure electric vehicles.
But he said pure electric vehicles allow for more software functions because of their connectivity and other features, stressing that Toyota’s electric vehicles would highlight “intelligence,” such as services and entertainment.
In a press conference, Toyoda stated that “Toyota has lagged behind rivals in electric vehicle development” and that the company needs to “change faster” in order to stay competitive. He also acknowledged the increasing demand for electric vehicles, particularly in China and Europe, and the importance of addressing climate change.
As part of this new push towards electric vehicles, Toyota plans to release 15 new battery-electric models globally by 2025, including seven that will be built on a new electric platform. They also aim to have 70 electrified models available by 2025, including hybrids and plug-in hybrids.
Additionally, Toyota is investing heavily in battery technology and plans to have solid-state batteries in its electric vehicles by the early 2020s. Solid-state batteries are seen as a potential breakthrough technology that could offer a longer range and faster charging times compared to traditional lithium-ion batteries.
Overall, Toyota’s new president has made it clear that the company is committed to transitioning towards electric vehicles and keeping up with the changing demands of the automotive market.