The question on everyone’s mind is – when exactly is Toyota going all electric? Toyota Motor Europe’s chief operating officer recently gave some insights into when the automaker could be planning to sell 100% EVs.
After establishing itself as a pioneer in hybrid technology with the introduction of the Prius in 1997, Toyota has fallen behind in fully electric vehicle tech.
With newly elected CEO Koji Sato at the helm, Toyota has accelerated its EV strategy with a series of announcements over the past few weeks.
Although Toyota is sticking with a hybrid strategy, including PHEVs and fuel cell vehicles (FCEVs), the Japanese automaker has recognized the urgency of having fully electric models in its lineup.
Toyota revealed it would develop its own dedicated EV platform to power its next-gen electric vehicles. The platform, set to be launched in 2026, corresponds with its newly announced EV battery tech plans.
By 2027, Toyota aims to have two next-gen EV batteries – a performance and popularized version. Compared to the battery used for the bZ4X, Toyota says its next-gen batteries will increase driving range by 20%, with a 20% to 40% cost reduction.
The news came shortly after several Toyota shareholders said they planned to vote to oust chairman Akio Toyoda over the automaker’s failure to set a date to go all-electric.
Is Toyota going 100% EV in Europe by 2035?
During an interview at Automotive News Europe Congress, Toyota Europe COO Matt Harrison explained the automaker does not support the Euro 7 standard proposed by the EU to slash harmful emissions.
The Euro 7, part of the European Green Deal, is the EU’s latest vehicle exhaust emissions standard designed to support ultralow emissions with stricter regulations.
Harrison said he expects the new regulations to be “something more realistic” or toned down. The current standards require automakers to reduce CO2 emissions by 55% by 2030 compared to 2001 as a base level.
Toyota Europe’s leader forecasts Toyota’s EV share in Europe to rise from 0% in 2022 to 15% in 2025 and 55% in 2030. Harrison added:
We will be ready to sell 100 percent BEVs from 2035.
As far as localizing production in Europe, Harrison claimed, “There’s no point in localizing until we’re at the right scale, and at 15 percent in 2025, we wouldn’t be there yet far.” He added the Japanese automaker has no plans to produce EV batteries in Europe in the near term. However, in the future, it could be a possibility.
Don’t get too excited. Toyota’s Europe leader is essentially claiming if they are forced to go 100% electric by EU regulations, it will be ready.
From Harrison’s comments, it still doesn’t sound like Toyota is thrilled about the idea of going all-electric, but it is acknowledging it as a possibility. Either way, 100% electric by 2035 is still late to the game, and if Toyota doesn’t begin moving production capabilities to support EVs, it could risk falling further behind.
Toyota is targeting 1.5 million in EV sales by 2026 with 10 new models, which would amount to roughly 14% of sales (based on 10.5M in 2022).
While many automakers are already achieving double-digit or 100% EV sales, Toyota continues investing in inferior hybrid and fuel cell technology, which will likely delay its transition further.