Toyota is only just getting its feet back on the ground after a three-month stop-sale of its first mass-market electric vehicle (EV), the bZ4X, but the company is now reportedly considering increasing production.
Reuters has reported the Japanese carmaker is mulling ramping up production of its bZ4X by either six or 12 times from its current monthly output of around 1000 cars from 2025, if it can secure enough components, according to three people with knowledge of the developing plans.
This means from 2025 Toyota could theoretically be producing between 6000 and 12,000 bZ4Xs per month.
The potential increase in production would reportedly see Toyota add production at its Takaoka factory, according to the three unnamed people, which is where vehicles such as the RAV4, Corolla, and Corolla Cross are currently produced.
This potential ramp up in bZ4X production comes in the wake of multiple sources within Toyota telling Reuters the company is considering a drastic overhaul of its EV plans, with a working party currently examining options and due to report back at the beginning of 2023.
When Toyota and Lexus announced late last year they would invest billions in EV development, as well as revealing 16 EV concepts with production intent, its projections indicated it would only need to build 3.5 million EVs per year by 2030 to meet demand. It currently produces around 10 million cars per year.
Now it believes it will need significantly more than that. Toyota is also keen to bring the cost of its EV technologies down in order to be more competitive against the likes of Tesla, Rivian, and Ford.
While the carmaker is considering its options, it has reportedly paused several of the EV projects, including the EV version of the Crown, and the Compact Cruiser crossover, which had styling reminiscent of the FJ Cruiser.
Toyota only resumed production of the bZ4X on October 6, after finding a solution to the wheel hub bolt issue that caused a global recall in June this year.
The Japanese carmaker also said it identified and fixed a potential problem with the airbags in the bZ4X.
Toyota Australia plans to bring small numbers of the bZ4X here in 2023, having originally spoken about a late 2022 launch. The company’s local arm has previously warned the car would “be expensive”.