Toyota Was Late to the Party, Now Wants To Ramp Up EV Production To Catch Up With Tesla

Toyota ignored the EV trends for quite a while. But now they realize they got it all wrong and changed their minds and shifted strategy. They are now planning to ramp up EV production. It is an attempt to keep up with BYD and Tesla, they say. From where we are standing,  it is more like a damage limitation in a market in which they have fallen behind.
The bZ4X was Toyota's first EV 9 photos
Photo: Toyota
The bZ4X was Toyota's first EVThe bZ4X was Toyota's first EVThe bZ4X was Toyota's first EVThe bZ4X was Toyota's first EVThe bZ4X was Toyota's first EVThe bZ4X was Toyota's first EVThe bZ4X was Toyota's first EVThe bZ4X was Toyota's first EV
Toyota started out early with the electrification. They rolled out the Prius, the first mass-market hybrid electric car. And everyone thought they would be way ahead of all other carmakers when it came to 'green' cars. But then they did not seem to keep up with the car industry that was going electric with the speed of light.

Toyota introduced the bZ (beyond Zero) sub-brand back in 2021, and the first model of the series was the bZ4X SUV, developed in partnership with the Chinese giant BYD. The model entered production in April 2022. And that was obviously not a good start, first of all, because the moment they chose for it was way too late.

For 2023, the target is to produce a total of ten million units, including around 150,000 EVs.

But Toyota is trying to make up for the time they have lost over the years. The automaker has notified suppliers of the company's plans to produce 600,000 electric cars in 2025.

Toyota plans to triple the production of electric cars in 2025 compared to the numbers set for 2024: 194,000 units. They are thus trying to reduce the gap between them and Lexus, on the one hand, and BYD and Tesla, on the other hand.

The carmaker will manufacture electric cars at two of its main production centers in Japan. Furthermore, they will produce EV batteries in the United States and will convert the Georgetown, Kentucky, plant into an all electric car manufacturing facility in 2025. The Kentucky plant is currently Toyota's largest global manufacturing facility. It is capable of producing 550,000 vehicles per year. But no target has been set for after conversion.

Toyota's Prime Planet Energy & Solutions battery subsidiary will also ramp up production, while the company will also be supplied with battery packs by Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) and BYD.

The brand's electric cars are underpinned by the e-TNGA architecture. But Toyota is working on a new architecture that should be ready by 2026. The Japanese car manufacturer is hoping to sell 3.5 million EVs in 2030. 1.7 million should be based on the new platform, as Asia Nikkei reports.

Tesla and BYD are still a long way ahead. The American car company sold 1,313,581 cars in 2022, while the Chinese sold 1.85 million. Toyota only sold 24,000 electric cars last year.
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