Toyota has been criticized for its slow shift to fully electric vehicles compared to its rivals. The automaker, fresh with a new CEO, has decided to accelerate its efforts. On Friday, Reuters reported the company plans to have 10 new electric vehicles for sale by 2026, targeting sales of 1.5 million units.
How many of these cars are headed to the United States is unclear. Currently, Toyota only sells the BZ4X in North America along with its Lexus counterpart, the RZ. That being said, the automaker offers a slew of hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles and the hydrogen fuel cell-powered Mirai sedan.
As a part of this rapid development scheme, Toyota set up an advanced engineering group to work on the next generation of EVs. That almost certainly means solid-state batteries (SSB). Those are slated to offer greater energy density and higher safety due to having a solid electrolyte instead of a liquid. The technology still has development hurdles to overcome, but Toyota has shown off a working prototype vehicle powered by SSBs.
Friday's announcement isn't the first time the Japanese automaker has previewed a bright EV future for the company. Before he retired, former CEO Akio Toyoda displayed more than a dozen alleged EV concepts in an impressive press conference. It's still unclear if all of these cars will make production, though.
In the same timeframe, Toyota has said it plans to have 10 new EVs, its American rivals GM and Ford say they will have many more. General Motors is unveiling a slew of electric vehicles every year, with the Chevy Silverado EV, GMC Sierra EV, Chevy Equinox EV, and more set to arrive soon. Ford likewise recently announced a fresh new electric pickup, with more BEVs doubtlessly on the way as it builds up its infrastructure to support the industry-wide shift.
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