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• Toyota wants to catch up in the electric car market
• New electrical strategy to be presented in early 2023
• Toyota President still refuses to commit to a drive option
Toyota was a very early adopter of part-electric hybrid engines, and it received a lot of praise from environmentalists. But then the Japanese car manufacturer rested on its laurels for a long time and only announced the complete switch to pure electric cars at the end of 2021. In order to catch up with Tesla and other competitors in the booming electric car market, Toyota is apparently revising its electric strategy significantly. According to “Reuters” information, the new strategy will be presented to the most important suppliers in February 2023.
The aim of the new strategy is to make Toyota’s future e-cars more powerful and cheaper to produce, based on the Tesla model. In order to achieve this, the development of electric driving systems and motors as well as battery and heating/cooling systems should be accelerated. This will have an impact on current development programs.
The changes would particularly affect the successors to Toyota’s first two major EVs, the bZ4X and Lexus RZ models. They should help to close the gap to Tesla. However, other EV development programs could experience delays. So be some running electric car-Projects have already been put on hold.
Reuters reports that it is even being considered to give up the e-TNGA architecture, which is only three years old. Accordingly, e-TNGA, which is a modification of a platform for gasoline-powered vehicles, could be replaced by a newly developed platform specifically designed for e-cars. The background is that certain important innovations can only be implemented to a limited extent in the production of electric cars using e-TNGA. In addition, e-TNGA was designed to produce around 3.5 million electric cars annually. However, according to current industry forecasts, this assumption is no longer correct. Instead, faster growth is now expected.
Toyota President remains skeptical
But the Toyota management is probably not that convinced of the path taken. According to the “Wall Street Journal” (WSJ), Toyota President Akio Toyoda explained that one should not just commit to one drive option, because even if the general trend is currently towards electric cars, the right answer is still not certain. Incidentally, his doubts are secretly shared by a “silent majority” in the automotive industry, he claims without going into detail. Numerous competitors have already committed themselves to producing exclusively or almost exclusively electric cars in the future. In the past, the grandson of the company founder had repeatedly expressed skepticism about battery electric vehicles, referring to the high costs and CO2 emissions of generating electricity.
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