With buyers’ preference for zero-emission electric vehicles soaring, Toyota looks to (finally) join the movement. Toyota is expected to begin producing electric SUVs in the US in 2025 as it aims to capture a piece of the booming market.
Toyota to make US-built electric SUVs from 2025
After falling far behind the industry over the past several years, insisting on a hybrid approach rather than going all in on fully electric vehicles, Toyota has significant ground to make up.
Toyota’s longtime CEO, Akio Toyoda, has been one of the most outspoken critics of the EV industry. However, “to advance change at Toyota,” the 66-year-old grandson to the company’s founder will pass the baton to Lexus chief branding officer Koji Sato.
Sato is tasked with dragging the Japanese automaker out of the past and into the modern electric era – a challenge he seems up to, at least from his recent actions.
Set to take the reins on April 1, 2023, Sato has addressed the situation, claiming Toyota is committed to building better cars through “concrete actions and products, such as accelerating the shift to electrification.”
Last week Sato built on that promise, announcing that the “time is right” to begin accelerating battery electric vehicle development with a “new approach.”
According to a new report from Nikkei Business, the new approach Sato is referring to may include Toyota manufacturing electric SUVs in the US as early as 2025. In addition, the report claims Toyota looks to achieve over 10,000 EV output monthly by 2026.
A spokesperson from Toyota said the details in the report have not been announced by the company and that no decision has been made on when to begin US-based EV production.
Toyota is striving to reach 1 million in electric vehicle sales globally by 2026, according to Nikkei.
If Toyota is serious about ramping EV production, manufacturing them in the US would be a big step.
Toyota has already invested $3.8 billion in a battery plant in North Carolina that’s expected to become operational in 2025, allowing for complete production and assembly, so why not?
After selling a mere 1,220 units of its first electric SUV, the bZ4X, in the US last year, Toyota could use some help scaling production. Producing electric SUVs in the US would allow Toyota to streamline production and get EVs into customers’ hands quicker while avoiding expensive transport fees.