Toyota creates skunkworks team to develop electric vehicles
Toyota has created a skunkworks team focused on bringing an electric vehicle to market.
The Aichi-based company has been an EV holdout for decades, throwing their lot in with hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. However, it announced this week that it was building an “in-house venture company responsible for developing electric vehicles” and will consist of only four people.
Toyota has kept the group small so that it can be flexible and work with unconventional methods compared to those in traditional Toyota system, which the company hopes will lead to accelerated progress and products that come quickly to market. The quartet will consist of one individual each from Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyota Industries Corporation and suppliers Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd. and Denso Corporation.
While Toyota maintains that fuel cell vehicles are the “ultimate eco-car” due to cruising ranges and fill-up times comparable to gasoline cars, it says it must develop EVs as a result of varying energy infrastructures found throughout the world. After many years of reluctance, it seems the company is admitting that there are many paths to zero-emissions cars.