The Japanese automaker, which often describes itself as a mobility company that wants to change the future of automobiles, said on Friday it will launch 10 new electric vehicle models by 2026 and sell 1.5 million battery electric vehicles. annually, while “strengthening hybrids and plug-in hybrids” to honor its commitment to halve emissions by 2035 and become carbon neutral by 2050.
“We have to do what we can first and start by electrifying,” Sato said in his first public appearance since becoming CEO and chairman on April 1. But he hasn’t fully embraced a 100 percent electric future, as many other automakers have, with several slides during the presentation reinforcing Toyota’s strategy of taking a multi-track approach to carbon neutrality.
In developed markets, Toyota’s plan is to improve the performance of the bZ series of electric vehicles in North America as well, to have a locally produced battery SUV by 2025, as well as to increase the production of the battery factory. In China, it plans to add two locally developed electric models by 2024. In Asia in general, Toyota will also focus on battery-powered pickup trucks and compact electric cars.
Building a platform dedicated to electric vehicle production from the ground up while dealing with lingering pandemic measures, supply chain issues and semiconductor shortages is a top priority for Toyota as Sato tries to lead the manufacturer the Japanese automaker, which expects to produce up to 10.6 million cars this year in a new era of electrification and smart vehicles.
As the world’s largest automaker, with approximately 370,000 employees globally, and Japan’s largest employer, Toyota’s decarbonization is central to the island nation’s mission to reduce emissions, phase out fossil fuels and mitigate climate change. During the 90-minute press conference, Toyota emphasized that while it sees carbon as an enemy, it is important to leave no one behind in the transition to a greener future.
Asked about President Joe Biden’s landmark climate bill, which encourages the production of electric cars in the US and the sourcing of electric vehicle supply chain components outside of China, Executive Vice President Yoichi Miyazaki said Toyota would consider a production additional in North America if the request will justify it, without giving details.
In December 2021, Toyota pledged to sell 3.5 million EVs annually by 2030, but battery EVs accounted for just 16,000 of the 9.5 million cars it sold in the fiscal year that ended in March 2022. Former CEO Akio Toyoda, who is now Toyota’s chairman, has for years defended his position that the company should continue to offer customers a range of vehicle options, including those powered by hybrid electric motors or traditional internal combustion engines.
“It is important that we do not deviate from our multi-track strategy,” Executive Vice President Hiroki Nakajima said Friday.
Expectations were high last year when Toyota launched its first EV, the bZ4X. However, this ended in customer disappointment when thousands of cars were recalled due to concerns that the tires could fall off due to the wheels not being bolted on tightly enough.
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