Today’s Toyota/Lexus announcement regarding its electrification plan includes a commitment by the automotive giant to invest $70 billion to electrify its lineup. A pioneer of hybrid vehicles, the Japanese automaker was an EV-skeptic even as other manufacturers forged ahead. Now it is more fully on board with electrification and intends to count on its roster 30 EVs (across the Toyota and Lexus brands) in the coming years.
Lexus the spearhead
Lexus will be a major beneficiary of that investment, and in fact its electrification plan is even more ambitious than Toyota’s. It aims to sell only electric vehicles in the crucial North American, European and Chinese markets by 2030, and be a fully electric brand across the globe by 2035. These are goals that its parent company is not quite ready to aim for.
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Instead, Toyota says it expects roughly a third of its total annual sales (about 3.5 out of 10 million units) to consist of EVs by 2030. Here’s CEO Akio Toyoda’s explanation for the company’s bet-hedging, according to Automotive News Europe:
“We want to leave all people with a choice, and rather than where or what we will focus on, we will wait a little longer until we understand where the market is going.”
- Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda
Recall that as recently as 2020, Toyoda was still voicing the belief that there was too much hype surrounding EVs. The change of heart speaks to the rapidly evolving state of the industry, but also, perhaps, to the effectiveness of increasingly stringent regulations being put into place in Europe and other markets.
Today’s media briefing by Toyota included a preview of a number of new concepts, among them the Toyota Sports EV sports car, the FJ Cruiser-inspired Toyota Compact Cruiser EV off-road model and the Toyota Pickup EV, which could end up carrying the Tacoma name on its tailgate.
Lexus, meanwhile, was represented with new images teased of the upcoming RZ all-electric crossover and of an LFA-inspired sports car.