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Toyota Readies for Electrified Future

Toyota aims to have a hybrid or electric type of its entire range of vehicles in the next seven years after announcing the phasing out of combustion-engine models…

Photo: Toyota

Toyota aims to have a hybrid or electric type of its entire range of road vehicles in the next seven years, after recently announcing plans to phase out its combustion-engine models.

The world’s largest automotive manufacturer also announced that it desires to capture 50 percent of its sales from electric vehicles by 2030, and wants to ensure that more than 10 new EV models can be available by 2020.

The initial market to benefit from its new objective will be China, which is forecast to be ‘the game-changing nation’ by industry analysts when it comes to global EV acceptance over the next decade. The Toyota models will then become available in Japan, U.S., India and Europe.

A figure of $13.3 billion in development for the new EV cars was stated by Toyota executive vice president, Shigeki Terashi at a special press briefing last week in Tokyo.

“We have a strong wind helping us toward our goal: we are ready for electrification,” he said.

The foundations for Toyota’s new investment into EV cars comes after rumors circulated in Japan that it would also invest in new generation battery technology known as “prismatic cell” lithium-ion batteries engineering.

This would likely be in conjunction with Panasonic, which has historic links with Toyota in both automotive and motorsport programs.

As well as Panasonic being a major partner to Toyota in its F1 program between 2002 and 2009, the company also had a major involvement with the ChampCar series in the 1990s largely through Hiro Matsushita.

Matsushita was the grandson of the original Panasonic holding business Matsushita Electrical Industry Company.

Panasonic currently has a sizable deal with Tesla as the exclusive battery supplier for the mass-market Tesla Model 3, Model S and Model X SUV.

In Formula E, the company is also currently a significant partner with Jaguar Racing, enjoying title sponsorship with the British-entered team.

Akio Toyoda, Toyota’s president, stated last week that the carmaker intends to hit annual sales of 5.5 million electrified vehicles by 2030.

“Electrification is a major part of the once-a-century transformation taking place in the auto industry now,” said Toyoda.

“In order to make ever-better cars, we need to collaborate with a specialized battery manufacturer.”

The anticipated forecast of sales for Toyota’s new range is about 4.5 million petrol-hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, and 1 million pure EVs and fuel-cell vehicles. Toyota is ultimately aiming to cease production of all combustion engine cars by 2040.

A continuation in the FIA World Endurance Championship for Toyota was officially confirmed earlier this month until at least the end of 2019.

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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