Toyota Australia expects ‘electrified’ vehicles to account for more than half of its sales by 2025, up from 31.5 per cent in 2022.

    The company wouldn’t be drawn on how much of this will be pure electric vehicles, of which it plans to launch three over the next three years starting with the bZ4x this year.

    It does, however, expect EV growth in Australia to accelerate over the next seven years and not take two decades to become mainstream as it took hybrids.

    Toyota is aiming to have an electrified option for every one of its models by 2030, excluding GR performance models.

    The company has touted the diversity of its electrified powertrain options, which currently comprise hybrid and hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles and will soon include battery-electric vehicles.

    Missing are plug-in hybrids, despite PHEV versions of models like the RAV4 and Prius being available overseas.

    “Plug-in hybrids offer other benefits and you know, [may] be part of the portfolio going forward,” said Sean Hanley, Toyota Australia’s vice president of sales, marketing and franchise operations.

    “I’ve often thought how practical is plug-in but you know there will be a market there for it and it does serve a purpose in terms of emissions and range and reducing fuel consumption in a far more economical way, so we won’t rule out plug-in hybrids at all as an option.”

    Toyota sold 72,815 hybrid vehicles in Australia last year, with hybrids now accounting for more than half of RAV4 and Camry sales.

    While Toyota offers hybrid versions of its entire crossover range, as well as the Yaris, Corolla and Camry, it doesn’t offer any electrified utes or body-on-frame SUVs.

    Indeed, GWM has beaten Toyota to the punch with the hybrid Tank 300 off-roader. While Toyota has indicated electrified LandCruiser, HiLux etc models are coming, it has yet to confirm when this decade they’ll appear.

    The first electrified body-on-frame Toyota is expected to be the Tundra, which is undergoing local testing this year and firming for a 2024 market launch. The US-built pickup will be remanufactured locally for right-hand drive.

    Toyota has invested heavily in hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles and suggests they – along with “potentially” H2 conversion vehicles – will grow in volume. For now, however, the Mirai is offered on a lease basis to “forward-thinking” organisations.

    “You’ve got to think more forward than to just say, oh a fuel-cell electric vehicle run by hydrogen is a small percentage of the market. Well, I’m sure when we had horse and carts, and we went to fuel stations everyone said ‘how you gonna fill this?’

    “It’s going to take time.”

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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