Toyota under the leadership of its new boss seems to be altering the path set by its former chief Akio Toyoda who was the grandson of the founder of the company.
Now in a recent briefing, the company’s chief technology officer Hiroki Nakajima said, in order to catch up in electric vehicles (EVs) Toyota will introduce 10 new battery electric vehicle models by 2026. Toyota will also set up a new, specialized unit to focus on battery EVs and is targeting the annual production of 1.5 million battery-powered cars by 2026.
With this growth, Toyota would drastically boost its present levels of electrified vehicles. There are now only 3 battery-powered Toyota models available on the market, including the luxury Lexus brand, and less than 25,000 of those were sold globally in 2022. Investors and environmental groups have lambasted Toyota for its tardy adoption of battery-powered vehicles, claiming that it has lost ground to Tesla and other Chinese electric car manufacturers who have more quickly captured fast-growing EV demand.
However, the Japanese manufacturer has responded that EVs are just one alternative for customers and that gasoline-electric hybrids, such as the pioneering Prius, are a more viable option in some markets and for some drivers.
“In the next few years we will expand our line-up in the important battery-electric category,” Chief Executive Koji Sato told the briefing, which was his first after holding the top job, but added that hybrids would remain an important pillar for the company. Toyota claims that a variety of options, including gasoline-electric hybrids, is beneficial for its global customer base.
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