Toyota Teases Next-Generation EV, First Concept Will Land at Japan Mobility Show in Fall

Toyota teases next-generation EV 7 photos
Photo: Toyota | Edited
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Toyota has been harshly criticized for its reluctance to embrace electric vehicles. Still, things appear to have changed under Koji Sato, who replaced Akio Toyoda as the company's CEO. Toyota announced a new dedicated EV platform and teased the next-generation EV that will launch in 2026.
Toyota's strategy has puzzled many people, as the Japanese carmaker refused to concede that electric vehicles are set to replace combustion engine vehicles. Instead, Toyota pushed alternative solutions such as hydrogen fuel cells and hydrogen-powered combustion vehicles, which many think are not viable. In December 2021, Toyota's former CEO Akio Toyoda wowed everyone when he promised 30 new EV models to launch by 2035. Still, nothing changed in the carmaker's strategy following that event.

In January, Toyoda announced his surprising departure, and many attributed this to his inability to deliver the promised EV future. Toyoda left the stage with the intriguing words, "The new team can do what I can't do," making people believe his departure was not his choice. For a while, his successor Koji Sato appeared to sing the same tune, speaking about a multi-pronged approach, with hydrogen and the combustion engine still holding an important role in Toyota's future.

Yet, Sato promised a new dedicated EV platform by 2026 to underpin the next generation of electric vehicles. Sato also said that in 2026, Toyota would sell 1.5 million electric cars, a very ambitious plan, considering where the Japanese carmaker is now in the EV segment. On Wednesday, Toyota announced it would show concepts of the next-gen EVs as soon as this fall at the Japan Mobility Show at the end of October. If you were wondering, this is the new name for the Tokyo Motor Show.

Toyota presented a teaser image of the upcoming concept, which looks like a streamlined Prius. The picture is accompanied by words such as "higher efficiency" and "heart-pounding." The elongated silhouette features a long wheelbase, short overhangs, a raked windshield, and a fastback rear. Although the fifth-generation Prius doesn't look half bad, we expected more from Toyota for their groundbreaking new EV range.

Toyota needs this badly to succeed, considering how far behind the competition is in the EV game. Although Japan hasn't embraced electric vehicles, Toyota faces an existential struggle in China, where the market is dominated by young Chinese companies selling EVs. To up its game, Toyota pledged an additional 1 trillion yen ($7.44 billion) to EV development through the decade's end. This brings the total EV investment to 5 trillion yen ($37.2 billion) in that period.

Toyota also announced a new EV development center called the "BEV factory," which will help Toyota develop everything from chassis and batteries to software for its latest crop of electric vehicles. Toyota also aims to overhaul the entire manufacturing process it pioneered many years ago. This will imply halving the length of the production lines, which is something that Tesla has done in its gigafactories.

According to Automotive News, Toyota wants to add 10 new EV models in the Toyota and Lexus lineups by 2026, most on evolved versions of the current e-TNGA. The new dedicated EV platform will take over in 2026 and will be critical to Toyota selling 3.5 million EVs annually by 2030.
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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