According to the Japanese company’s president and chief executive officer, the pluggable EV development program will kick off in December 2016. At first, the in-house EV program will be managed by four people. Aisin Seiki, a company specialized in transmissions and owned by the Toyota Group, as well as Denso, which is specialized in automotive electronics and it’s also owned by the Toyota Group, will help Toyota’s EV development venture.
Toyota suggests that the push for pluggable electric vehicles comes as a result of two things. First and foremost, the manufacturer shifted its focus from hybrids and FCVs to electric vehicles because the latter are a helluva lot more viable as mainstream cars. Secondly, R&D time and costs are lower than in the case of a fuel cell-powered vehicle. Another factor that’s worthy of mention is the world’s burgeoning charging station infrastructure.
Mazda also confirmed that it’s working on an electric vehicle of its own, slated to roll into dealer lots as soon as 2019. Mazda and Toyota, for all intents and purposes, are bound by a technical technological partnership since 2015. Hence, the two Japanese outfits could join forces in order to develop EVs.
On an ending note, the head of research & development at Toyota Europe suggested that the next-generation Aygo city car could go all-electric.