Toyota has announced an acceleration of its electrification strategy with the announcement of new models at the Beijing Motor Show. These new models will include a BEV based on the C-HR crossover. The new vehicles are planned for the Chinese market, and include PHEV versions of the Toyota Corolla and Levin due to go on sale in 2019, and the C-HR/IZOA1 – the battery electric version of the C-HR – expected to go on sale in 2020. These models will be among 10 new electrified vehicles Toyota plans to introduce in China by the end of 2020.
In addition, Toyota will also further local production of electric motors (for use in powertrains), batteries, inverters and other technology components.
The plug-in hybrid electric versions of the Corolla and Levin are expected to have an electric driving range of 30 miles (48km) or more. Production of these models will begin in China during 2019, making them the first Toyota plug-in hybrids to be built outside Japan.
Toyota has been working with its Chinese partners and members of the Toyota Group to establish a local production base for key components. This strategy has included the 2015 launch of production of hybrid electric vehicle transaxles at Toyota Motor (Changshu) Auto Parts (TMCAP). Toyota will increase annual production capacity for nickel-metal hydride battery modules at Sinogy Toyota Automotive Energy System (STAES) and Corun PEVE Automotive Battery to 220,000 units in 2020.
In 2020, the OEM plans to open a new battery testing facility at Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing (China) (TMEC) and is enhancing its local production structures to support the introduction of battery electric vehicles in 2020.
Toyota is also exploring potential applications for fuel cell electric technology in China. In 2017, it launched a three-year verification test program with the Mirai fuel cell electric saloon and has since expanded the scope of the studies to include commercial vehicles such as buses.
“We are steadily and confidently advancing all aspects of our environmental strategy in China, the world’s most advanced country in electrification,” says Kazuhiro Kobayashi, Toyota senior managing officer and chief executive officer, China region.