Toyota is now mulling the idea of selling locally designed and manufactured all-electric vehicle models in China — rather than continuing to design models outside of the country and then adapt them to the local market (which is now the largest auto market in the world and also by far the largest electric car market).
The move would represent quite a change of strategy for the Japan-based auto manufacturer, and it seems is partly the result of China’s recently revealed and quite strict electric vehicle production and sales quota plans.
“To respond to expanding demand for EVs, more widely and more comprehensively, we have begun considering the possibility of having our China joint-venture partners provide us with EVs,” commented Hiroji Onishi, Toyota’s head of operations in China, at a press event at the Guangzhou motor show.
Reuters provides more: “Foreign car manufacturers are allowed to operate in China by forming joint ventures with Chinese partners. Toyota’s joint venture partners in the country are China FAW Group Corp and Guangzhou Automobile Group. Apart from the all-electric battery car models developed by its local joint ventures, Toyota also plans to launch an EV model, designed in Japan, in China in 2020.
“But the EV engineered in Japan would have to be produced in China to qualify for NEV credits, but it was not immediately clear whether Toyota planned to locally manufacture the EV.
“When China’s green car quotas take effect in 2019, automakers will need to accumulate credits by producing and selling enough NEVs to hit a threshold equivalent to 10% of annual sales. That level would rise to 12% for 2020.”
Notably, though somewhat confusingly, Toyota is continuing to “study” the feasibility of selling hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles in China as part of its efforts to meet NEV sales and production quotas.
Onishi stated: “We plan to continue to study fuel-cell cars’ feasibility in China and have decided expand its scope to include fuel-cell buses.”
More on Toyota’s fuel cell fantasies and anti-BEV bias coming in a moment.
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