Toyota CEO Appointed Head of EV Division, Toyota EV Due by 2020

Akio Toyoda, who is the head honcho of Japan’s biggest automaker, happens to be a motorsport enthusiast. He once took a Lexus LF-A prototype racer to the 24h Nurburgring. Be that as it may, Akio isn’t clueless as to what the automotive industry is heading toward. Hence, Toyota’s board of directors appointed Toyoda as the head of the brand’s newborn EV skunkworks.
2017 Toyota Prius Prime 6 photos
Photo: Toyota
2017 Toyota Prius Prime2017 Toyota Prius Prime2017 Toyota Prius Prime2017 Toyota Prius Prime2017 Toyota Prius Prime
Effective December 1, 2016, the EV Business Planning Department is overseen by Akio Toyoda and three other high-ranking officials within the company: Mitsuhisa Kato, Shigeki Terashi, and Koki Konishi. Important personnel changes at the sub-executive managerial level were also made.

Not much is known about what sort of battery-powered EVs Toyota will be working on, save for a deadline: 2020. According to previous reports, the Aygo city car is a candidate for electrification. But whatever the future may hold, it’s a certainty Toyota won’t settle for that. If the company wants to take on the likes of the next-gen Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Bolt, Tesla Model 3, and an upcoming flurry of all-electric vehicles from the Volkswagen Group, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW, it needs a cohesive range of electric vehicles.

Whatever the future holds, the engineering side of the Toyota EV division is headed by Koji Toyoshima, the chief engineer of the Prius and the Prius Prime. The pressing question is, why did the board of directors appoint Toyota's most talented managers and engineers? To my mind, the answer is simple.

Having focused on hybrids and plug-in hybrids, Toyota is very far behind the EV competition. Thus, engineering needs to be top notch is Toyota’s upcoming EV lineup wants to duke it out with the big boys. Regarding managerial roles, Akio Toyoda and the other three higher-ups will enable the EV unit to make haste. With these guys around, the electric vehicle division is sure to deliver its first-ever finished good before the 2020 deadline.
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Editor's note: If Toyota were to make it, would a Prius EV be tempting enough for you?

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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