Toyota released its financial results for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2023, on Wednesday, as new CEO Koji Sato took over the reins. With the market “rapidly progressing,” Toyota is increasing its EV investments, including plans for a new dedicated platform and next-gen models, which will be revealed this fall.
The Japanese automaker has been arguably the biggest laggard when it comes to fully electric vehicle technology.
After longtime leader and grandson of the company’s founded, Aki Toyoda, stepped down from his position earlier this year, many believed incoming CEO Koji Sato would turn things around.
Despite sticking to a hybrid strategy that includes hybrids and fuel cell vehicles, Sato has indicated he will accelerate Toyota’s fully electric vehicle tech development. Last month, Sato revealed his new vision for the company, including significantly boosting EV productivity and profitability.
Those plans include 10 new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and 1.5 million EV sales (as a “base volume”) annually by 2026.
Toyota has hinted at the idea of a dedicated EV platform to boost efficiency and streamline production, but Sato confirmed these plans Wednesday.
Toyota confirms a dedicated EV platform is in the works
During Toyota’s fiscal earnings release, Sato said the automaker will invest an additional 1 trillion yen ($7.5 billion) into EV development and production by the end of 2030.
Our new models scheduled for launch in 2026 will be built on three new platforms: the body and chassis, the electronic platform, and the software platform. They will all be renewed as we aim to achieve mobility by way of a new vehicle packaging with a rational structure that is unique to BEVs.
Toyota says its dedicated EV platform will double range in future models with more efficient batteries. The company also revealed its new in-house BEV development center, “BEV Factory,” to accelerate Toyota’s EV competitiveness.
The main objective is to enhance the manufacturing process to reduce costs and improve efficiency.
Its next-gen EV, due out in 2026, is expected to be a sleek sporty-looking vehicle with enhanced aerodynamics, based on the images teased by Toyota.
It looks like Toyota is recognizing the urgency to boost competitiveness when it comes to EVs. The automaker is taking a page from Tesla’s playbook, as many automakers are with a dedicated EV platform and manufacturing efficiency.
Although Toyota is seeing an uptick in BEV sales in China, it’s still far behind the crowd in the region and globally.
Waiting until 2026 to release its next-gen EVs may still be too long, with several highly anticipated models expected between now and then.