Toyota is at last embracing the world of pure-electric motoring, unveiling six new battery-electric concepts that is says are being "readied for global deployment".
The company most famed for pioneering hybrid technology - and for its work with hydrogen fuel cell tech - says it is working on as many as 10 new battery electric vehicles that will be sold worldwide from the early 2020s.
The company made the announcement as part of talk entitled "aiming to popularise BEVs”, revealing a new fleet of EVs spanning hatchbacks, SUVs and even vans.
Toyota's executive vice-president, Shigeki Terashi, says the company will commence "mass production of proprietary BEVs" next year, starting in China, across both Toyota and Lexus, with what the company calls a "gradual worldwide introduction" in Japan, India, the USA and Europe.
The first six vehicles - a small car, a medium crossover, a medium SUV, a medium sedan and a large sedan, and a people mover - will be either jointly developed or built alongside products from Subaru, Daihatsu and Suzuki. The range will be available globally by the early 2020s.
The cars will be built on an electric version of the brand's global architecture, dubbed the e-TNGA, and according to slides released by the company, will be a combination of single- and twin-motor EVs, allowing for front-, rear- and all-wheel-drive models.
"Much work lies ahead to achieve the popularisation of BEVs. Specifically, we will be focusing on vehicle development and the stable supply, improved durability, and reuse of batteries," the brand said in a statement.
"Toyota is steadily preparing a framework to respond thoroughly to the challenge, putting all the pieces in place, including the construction of new business models."
As we reported today, Toyota had thought that half of its global sales would be electrified by 2030, but unprecedented global demand has seen executives pull that date forward to 2025.
In fact, demand for its electrified vehicles has forced Toyota to look for new battery suppliers, with the auto behemoth eyeing China as a new supplier, with the brand's in-house resources already stretched. Toyota also confirmed it was finalising its solid-state battery technology, ahead of an expected launch in 2020.
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