As far as publicity stunts go, whipping the covers from an entire range of physical electric concept cars, SUVs and commercials is a pretty evocative one.
Toyota president Akio Toyoda today outlined TMC’s drastic acceleration in planned electric vehicle output, and the accompanying investment therein.
And to put an exclamation point on top, the ever-ebullient Mr Toyoda stood among an armada of concept Toyota and Lexus battery electric vehicles (BEVs) as he did.
The world’s biggest car maker now plans to offer 30 electric models globally by 2030 in passenger and commercial segments. That’s beyond the 15 by 2025 it pledged earlier this year.
The company is targeting 3.5 million annual electric sales by then – hydrogen and hybrid not included – up 75 per cent on its existing target. Lexus will be BEV-only in core regions by then.
To match the ramping up in output, Toyota Motor Company (TMC) will invest a further 500 billion yen ($6.2b) into “more-advanced, high-quality, and affordable batteries” by that time, taking its battery budget by decade’s end up to a smidgen under $25 billion.
“Please take a look. This is Toyota’s greater battery EV lineup. Welcome to our showroom of the future,” Mr Toyoda added.
From the Toyota vehicles displayed, the five we know most about are from the ‘bZ’ series, led by the already-revealed bZ4X medium SUV which goes into production in 2022. We expect to see all five emerge in select markets before 2025.
The other four bZ models include:
- bZ Small SUV: micro car for Europe and Japan, looks rather like the Aygo X, super-low 12.5kWh/100km energy use target would enable smaller and cheaper batteries
- bZ Medium SUV: crossover with coupe-like roofline, à la Ford Mustang Mach-E
- bZ Large SUV: a seven-seat family hauler with US-market design language
- bZ Sedan: a mid-sized sedan aimed at markets like China
Beyond this were seven “lifestyle” models: a future kei car “made for sharing”, a larger last-mile delivery van, a small red crossover, a chunky little blue 4×4, and a small gold funky hatch.
But the two clear standouts were the Gazoo Racing (GR) branded sports coupe concept and the electric pickup truck concept, previewed here by a barely disguised existing Tacoma. Clearly, it’s early stages for that one.
Still, these cars demonstrate the scope of Toyota’s expected BEV portfolio expansion.
Then there’s Lexus, which will be electric-only by 2035 at the latest, says the company.
Its first ground-up production electric vehicle will, like the Toyota bZ4X, be a medium-sized SUV, called RZ450e. It already offers the internal-combustion based UX300e.
But it’s also promising an insane sports car that does the 0-100km/h dash in the low 2-second range, offers a 700km range, uses lighter solid-state batteries, and “inherits the driving taste, or the secret sauce” of the iconic LFA supercar.
The other Lexus-branded show cars included a cute little Mercedes-Benz EQE-style GT sedan, and a large crossover that we expect will be a version of the Toyota bZ Large SUV.
“The future that we showed you today is by no means far away. Most of the Toyota battery EVs that we introduced here are models that will be coming out in the next few years,” Mr Toyoda finished.