Toyota is known to be lagging behind as the auto industry is focusing on electrifying its fleet. Being the world’s second-largest car brand, the company’s hydrogen fuel-powered vehicle Mirai was successful. The second-generation Mirai was released recently. For some time now, the Japanese automaker has been open about its skepticism in battery electric vehicles.
Toyota’s Chief Scientist, Gill Pratt, recently spoke at a Reuters event and stated, “(Toyota) believes in diversity of drivetrains. It’s not for us to predict which solution is the best or say only this will work.” Clearly, Toyota is going in the way of not putting all its eggs in one basket. Because despite the delay, the company is working on launching its electric vehicle. The first electric vehicle the company is going to launch will be the bZ4X concept, to be launched by next year.
Their electric vehicle push isn’t ending with a model, there is an investment of $13.4 billion by Toyota in battery production. Though it is comparatively lower than competing automakers, EV production is expected to continue in mass production. In the US under Trump’s administration, Toyota was one of the major supporters who were against California’s zero-emission goals. This year the company dropped its support.
Electric vehicle production
General Motors and Ford are spending around $30 billion on their electric vehicle production line. While most automakers are bringing electric vehicles or hybrid vehicles recently, Toyota started early promises in the 1990s. However, there wasn’t much progress until Mirai was launched into the market.
By 2025, the company plans to launch 15 BEVs. During this announcement, it mentioned the concept of “home planet”. And the first electric vehicle comes under the partnership with Subaru. Having an outstanding AWD technology partnership with Subaru will give an advantage Toyota despite a delay in the launch. Among various characteristics, one crucial characteristic of Toyota bZ4X is said to be, “Using a BEV-specific platform, the bZ4X combines a long wheelbase with a short overhang; this results both in a distinctive design and in an interior space comparable to a D-segment sedan.”
It is unclear whether Toyota will successfully be able to launch electric vehicles. Their support being inclined towards hydrogen vehicles is causing speculations stating that the company is failing to develop the required technology. However, it is to be noted that Japanese automakers have been skeptical when it comes to electric vehicles. Other than Nissan, more automakers took their time or are taking time with the EV acceptance.