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The Future of Toyota, Here's what to expect

The Future of Toyota, Here's what to expect

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In this era of motor manufacturers flying headlong into building electric vehicles, pushed along by public sentiment and the legislation both implemented and pending, Toyota has taken a far more pragmatic approach to the issue.

 

In a recent interview with an online magazine, Mike Sweers, a chief executive engineer for Toyota, spoke of the more pragmatic and measured approach that Toyota is taking to the question of electrification of vehicles. 

 

Aikido Toyota has stated that within five years, the entire Toyota range will be represented in the EV environment, but that did not mean a change to electric only. The manufacturer balances plug-in hybrids (PHEV), battery-powered electric vehicles (BEV), fuel cell power, and series and parallel hybrids.

 

This is an important distinction as it indicates that Toyota has seriously considered the needs of various population segments. Not all customers can change to pure electric power. In many cases, the technology is not quite there yet, and infrastructure challenges exist in many parts of the country.

 

With the retention of several different power trains, Toyota is still meeting the needs of all population segments. It is not limiting itself to selling to only those where pure EVs are a viable option.

 

Engine Plants to Build Batteries

 
Engine Plants to Build Batteries

 

While Toyota is taking a considered approach to EVs, it does not mean that the company is ignoring the infrastructure they will need to move toward this steadily. Toyota’s engine plant at Shimoyama and the power train factory at Myochi will be upgraded to produce batteries as part of Toyota’s new infrastructure plans. These batteries will be made by Prime Planet Energy & Solutions, a joint venture company between Panasonic and Toyota.

 

This is another insight into Toyota’s evolutionary, and not revolutionary, approach to EVs. The company is taking all the steps to prepare for an eventual move but, at the same time, protecting jobs and keeping its options open.

 

Is There an EV Truck in the Mix?

 
Is There an EV Truck in the Mix

 

In his interview, Mike Sweers poses some pertinent questions regarding EV trucks. He is not discussing the leisure market but rather the daily workhorse. He questioned whether EV trucks could tow the same loads as gas-powered trucks. Can they pull for the same distances and meet the same speeds? Can EV truck owners find a recharge point, etc.? All of these questions have plagued the businesses that use trucks daily. Toyota has correctly identified that this segment is not yet at the point where pure EV vehicles will fit the bill.

 

Final Thoughts

 
Final Thoughts

 

Toyota has stated it will not build a vehicle that fails to meet customers’ expectations. Their evolutionary approach to EVs shows that the company is still very aware of the limitations of the EV infrastructure and the EV vehicle itself. While continuing to develop extremely attractive EVs for markets where they are a good fit, the company recognizes that there is still a massive demand for a mix of both technologies globally.
 
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