Toyota plans to debut a large range of EVs in 2020 when the world spotlight will be on Japan for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, as reported by TMR previously.
With a requirement for the lineup of electric passenger cars to meet its core objective of ‘fun-to-drive’ and also provide a range between re-charges of at least 300kms, Toyota is accelerating battery development with partner Panasonic and flagged it may also seek to purchase batteries from other manufacturers (currently global battery production capacity is struggling to keep-up with growing demands from vehicle manufacturers).
Today, in a major development, Akio Toyoda – the company’s President and grandson of founder Kiichiro Toyoda – has announced he will personally head the expanding EV department.
2013 Rav4 EV
With global emissions regulations tightening, Toyota has brought EV development totally in-house in order to develop new EVs for a number of market segments and get them into dealerships as soon as possible.
“The President will directly oversee the department’s operations to enable decisions to be made quickly and nimbly,” explained spokeswoman Kayo Doi.
And Koji Toyoshima – currently the chief engineer for Toyota’s Prius petrol-electric vehicles – will also join the EV department to head the engineering team.
However the accelerating development of Toyota electric cars will not impact ongoing efforts with hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles – with Toyota Australia cuurently showcasing its hydrogen fuel cell program though a small fleet of Mirai sedans, which are currently being used for testing and demonstration purposes in Australia.