First of all, in terms of production costs.
Until now, Toyota Motor management has found a lot of excuses not to develop electric vehicles with the same intensity as competitors. To many Russian inhabitants, the arguments of the Japanese auto giant seemed convincing: electric cars are still more expensive to manufacture than hybrids, and less practical due to the underdevelopment of charging networks. And yet, judging by the Reuters revelations, referring to the secret plans of Toyota, the world’s largest automaker is beginning to realize the vulnerability of its own position in the electric car market.
Image Source: Toyota Motor
By early next year, a specially created working group should decide what Toyota will do next – try to squeeze something out of the e-TNGA platform, which has become obsolete since the release in 2019, or develop a successor that is more cost-effective in terms of production costs. The maximum task in this regard is to bring Toyota electric cars closer to Tesla cars at cost. It is possible that in order to achieve it, it will be necessary to cancel the production of some models of Toyota electric vehicles, the development of which has already begun. Completely new models will be brought to market in at least five years, given Toyota’s commitment to focusing on endurance testing.
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It is noteworthy that until 2014, Toyota produced an electric version of the RAV4 crossover for the US market, which was created with the help of Tesla specialists. Back then, the Japanese giant didn’t take battery electric vehicles seriously, and the RAV4 electric car was discontinued in 2014. Three years later, Toyota sold its shares of Tesla, and became interested in electric vehicles again in 2018, when the former partner already offered three production models.