Toyota has revealed that it will be marketing and selling over 10 all-electric vehicle models around the world by the early 2020s and investing around or over ¥1.5 trillion ($13 billion) into the development of battery technology through 2030 as well.
Part of the reason for the decision seems to clearly be the increasingly strict emissions regulations going into effect in large markets like China, going on press statements on the matter. India is another hot market looking to electrify quickly that seems to be an inspiration for the shift. In order to meet these regulatory challenges, the company will need to accelerate the pace of battery development — hence the discussion of a ~$13 billion investment into the field.
“As a mass-market automaker we need to expand our offering of electric cars,” Executive Vice President Shigeki Terashi was quoted as saying at a press conference in Tokyo. “To promote the wider use of EVs, we need to increase our technical development capabilities and address the societal impact of the technology.”
Reuters provides more: “He said Toyota would introduce pure-battery models initially in China, followed by Japan, India, the US, and Europe. … Toyota has expanded EV development capabilities since last year when it announced it would add fully electric vehicles to its product line-up. The announcement surprised some industry players as the automaker had long touted a green-car strategy focusing mainly on plug-in hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles (FCVs).” (Note the order in those countries above: China, home country, India, US, Europe. Given Toyota’s reticence on true EVs, that is probably a good sign of where the company sees regulations forcing EV revolution quicker than later. In Europe, Toyota probably gets fine for a while with its long focus on conventional hybrids.)
“Terashi, who heads Toyota’s EV Business Planning Department, said the automaker was not shifting focus from FCVs to EVs, but rather planned to increase offerings in both segments.”
As a reminder here, Toyota was in the news last week regarding a possible electric vehicle battery development partnership with Panasonic (the top EV battery manufacturer in the world, arguably).
Also notable is that Toyota execs have stated that the expectation is for self-developed “game-changing” solid-state EV batteries to make it to market within the next few years (in its cars).