Toyota to introduce 10 new EV models by 2026

On Friday, Toyota Motor Corp announced plans to introduce 10 new battery electric vehicle (BEV) models by 2026, marking a significant step-up in a domain where the Japanese automaker has been relatively slow to expand. As per the announcement, Toyota will establish a new unit specifically dedicated to next-generation battery EVs, according to senior executives speaking at a briefing. This move appears to be a response to growing concerns that the company is falling behind its competitors like Tesla.

toyota to roll out 26 nee models by 2026
Image credits – HT Auto

For years, investors have criticized Toyota for its slow progress in developing a battery-powered vehicle lineup, instead focusing on hybrids like the Prius, but the Japanese automaker has argued that a combination of options, including gasoline-electric hybrids, is more suited to its global customer base. New CEO Koji Sato recently stated that Toyota will accelerate its efforts in battery-electric vehicles, but emphasized that hybrids will remain a crucial part of the company’s business strategy. “In the coming years, we will expand our offerings in the crucial battery-electric category,” he said, adding that the company will adopt a practical approach to promoting electrified vehicles, including hybrids.

Next- gen EVs

Toyota will also create a specialised unit to develop next-generation EVs, led by one person with “full authority” and in charge of everything from development and production to business, according to Vice President Hiroki Nakajima. The leader of the unit has already been decided and more details will likely be announced in May, he said. Toyota sold 21,650 battery-powered vehicles in 2022, taking just a 0.3 percent share of the market, according to data by S and P Global Mobility. Nikkei Asia said it is far behind top-seller Tesla’s 1.27 million units and runner-up BYD’s 810,600.

Although it aims to sell 3.5 million by 2030, the past year has been plagued by the recall of its first mass-produced battery-powered model, the bz4X. The president and CEO of Toyota Motor during his speech pledged to pursue electrification “practically,” matching the carmaker’s product offerings to the demands of particular regions.

The world’s top automaker has been performing unimpressively in the fast-evolving industry, most notably lagging in sales of electric vehicles. Nikkei Asia reported that as young rivals like Tesla of the US and BYD of China threaten to conquer the rapidly expanding market, Toyota’s reshuffled management faces the urgent task of ramping up development in the field. Further changes are expected to be revealed soon with other details including features and the new lineups planned.