Toyota unveils two new electric car concepts as it moves towards becoming electric
Toyota, the world’s largest automaker and a latecomer to vehicle electrification, announced two new electric vehicles today that offer a glimpse of what the company’s future battery-powered lineup will look like when it actually starts building them.
Yes, that’s right: more concepts from the company that environmentalists accuse of derailing the transition to an all-electric future through government pressure.
The two concepts announced are the Urban SUV and Sport Crossover, which Toyota insists will be officially introduced as real cars within the next two years. The electric cars are scheduled to arrive in Europe, with no information on whether they will eventually be available in North America.
The Urban compact SUV is “a near-production design of a model that will enter next year into what is expected to become one of the largest segments of the electric vehicle market in Europe,” the company said. Toyota designed it after the Yaris Cross, which is one of the automaker’s best-selling cars in Europe.
Meanwhile, the Sport Crossover is a high-riding fastback sedan, which is intended to serve as an alternative to compact SUVs. Toyota said that a production version of the model will be launched in Europe in 2025.
A total of six electric vehicles are scheduled to be launched in Europe by 2026. The Toyota bZ4X is already on sale there, and the compact SUV concept was unveiled last year. The company plans to unveil two additional electric cars in the coming months to complete the lineup.
Despite its plans on paper, Toyota lags behind many of its competitors in electric vehicle models. The company said it will launch 30 electric vehicles and sell 3.5 million battery electric vehicles by 2030. Toyota also plans to turn luxury brand Lexus into an electric-only car brand by 2035.
Despite its plans on paper, Toyota lags behind many of its competitors in electric vehicle models
Despite these big promises, the company has stymied electric vehicle adoption efforts, opposed U.S. efforts to reduce air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions, and pushed for policies that prioritize hybrid vehicles over battery electric vehicles.
Toyota has been a pioneer in electric vehicles, helping pave the way for companies like Tesla and others by proving that vehicles with alternative engines can be very popular. But the company has since fallen behind its competitors.
The recent debate about the demand for electric vehicles in the US – is it on the rise? drop? flattening? – It gave Toyota a chance to brag about its strategy. “People are finally seeing reality,” Toyota Chairman and former CEO Akio Toyoda told reporters at the Japan Mobility Expo recently. The Wall Street Journal. “There are many ways to climb the carbon neutral mountain.”