04 December 2023: Toyota Motor Europe’s (TME) 2023 Kenshiki (Insight) forum last week detailed the forthcoming new battery electric vehicles which will form the driving force of Toyota’s multi-pathyway strategy as it works to deliver its ‘Mobility for All’ vision.Toyota is democratising the world’s journey to carbon neutrality, investing heavily in the development of new low and zero emissions vehicles to meet the diverse needs of customers and to ensure ‘no one is left behind’.
Mobility for All: Multi-Pathway Strategy
Toyota’s principle of ‘Mobility for All’ and its commitment to achieving full carbon neutrality in Europe by 2040, and globally by 2050, guides the company’s approach to new product development. Globally, its ‘multi pathway’ strategy is centered on electrified mobillity products (hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric, battery electric and fuel cell electric systems, hydrogen combustion engines and e-fuels) which satisfy customer demand and are relevant to their local market conditions and infrastructure, whilst remaining accessible for all drivers.
New Concept Models
At the Kenshiki forum several next generation battery electric concept models were presented including the Toyota FT-Se, Toyota FT-3e, Toyota Sport Crossover concept and the Toyota Urban SUV concept. The exciting line-up is based on a new modular design architecture combining gigacast chassis, components minimisation and the new Arene operating system, enabling design freedom to elevate the entire user experience.
In Europe, Toyota’s model range will include six dedicated battery-electric passenger vehicles by 2026. In addition to the bZ4X that is already on sale and the Compact SUV concept previewed at last year’s forum, Toyota previewed two further vehicles that will broaden the line-up: an Urban SUV Concept and a Sport Crossover Concept.
The Urban SUV concept is a close-to-production design for a model that next year will enter what’s expected to become one of Europe’s largest BEV market segments. It has authentic SUV design and draws on the success of the hybrid electric Toyota Yaris Cross, a top-selling model in its class. As well as the option of all-wheel drive – a key element for Toyota products – customers will also have two battery choices, to suit their budget or driving range requirements.
The Sport Crossover Concept signals an alternative to SUV models with a distinctive, fastback profile that will make it a style hero for the BEV line-up. It will provide an attractive proposition for first-time electric car customers and a stylish alternative to SUVs while offering maximum comfort combined with the practicality of five doors, a large boot and generous rear leg room. It is scheduled for introduction in Europe for 2025.
The revolutionary FT-3e concept represents the design and technology possibilities Toyota is exploring for next-generation BEVs. It is designed to achieve the lowest possible weight and optimised aerodynamics for increased efficiency and range, whilst at the same time bringing a focus on efficient resources usage. The FT-3e is a concept that also embraces a wide range of future technologies that go beyond delivering carbon-neutral mobility to connect with society, acting as a transfer medium for data and energy – to and from the car itself or its surroundings.
The FT-Se concept is a high-performance, zero emissions two-seater sports car that incorporates the expertise gained from TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s experience. At a compact 1,220 mm tall, it recalls memories of classic sports cars from the past while its 1,895 mm width generates a purposeful stance, accentuated by a cutting edge front design which combines smooth curves and aggressive lines. Enhanced handling stability and aerodynamic performance complement the response and pure thrills of a high-performance, next generation electric powertrain.
Next generation batteries
Toyota has long been a pioneer in battery technology development since before the introduction of the first hybrid electric Prius more than twenty years ago. It is currently preparing to introduce a series of new batteries, the first of which will be a performance version expected to offer twice the driving range and a 20% cost reduction compared to the current bZ4X.
This will be followed by a high quality, low-cost battery that will help popularise BEVs. It will have new shape, a bipolar structure and use cheaper lithium iron phosphate (LFP) as its principal material. The aim is for this to increase range by 20% and reduce cost by 40% (vs bZ4X). The third battery to be introduced will focus on high performance, using bipolar technologies and a high nickel cathode. Even lower costs and a further extended driving range are expected.
In terms of solid state batteries, the technology that many industry experts expect will lead to mass market BEV adoption, Toyota confimed it has made a technological breakthrough that overcomes the long-standing challenge of battery durability. A method for mass production is currently being developed and Toyota is striving for commercialisation in 2027-2028 with production capacity of several tens of thousands of vehicles. From the start, Toyota is looking to achieve a charge time from 10 to 80% of just 10 minutes.
Commenting on the Kenshiki announcements, Zoë Bradley, Head of Marketing Communications and Corporate Affairs, said,
“Toyota is spearheading truly exciting developments for motorists across the world with the latest announcements on battery development and inspiring future product, as part of our Built for a Better World brand promise. The next-generation technologies we are developing will ensure that zero-emission mobility will be affordable and accessible and true to our commitment to deliver sustainable mobility for all, while our Hybrid electric range deliver CO2 and NOx reductions, in comparison to petrol and diesel cars, right now.
With over 93% of Toyota Ireland’s sales being electrified, we look forward to bringing more electrification options to Irish customers in the future. The awe inspiring concept designs showcased at Kenshiki give me great excitement and hope for the future and are clear evidence of the consistent evolution of Toyota’s design story.”
Toyota Professional Range
At Kenshiki Toyota revealed that its professional lineup will see the addition of the new Proace Max, a large van available in three lengths and heights providing customers the versatility to choose what they need. Proace Max joins the newly-updated Proace and Proace City models to offer customers the choice between large, medium and small commercial vehicles – all with the option of a battery-electric powertrain.
Hilux is also a key part of the Toyota Professional fleet, a mainstay of TME’s commercial fleet for customers who value quality, durability and reliabity. It will receive another boost next year when a version with a hybrid 48 volt system is introduced, providing more power and torque while improving fuel efficiency by 10%.
Further annoucnments on launch timings, pricing and specificiations for Irish models will be released at a later date.
For pictures, please visit: https://newsroom.toyota.eu/
Toyota believes that when people are free to move, anything is possible. In the pursuit of "Mobility for All", Toyota aims to create safer, more connected, inclusive and sustainable mobility to achieve its mission of producing “Happiness for All”. In Europe, TME launched the KINTO mobility brand which offers a range of mobility services in 14 countries and is growing its business-to-business sales of zero-emission fuel cell products and engineering support. Contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Toyota is working to achieve carbon neutrality in its entire business across Europe.
A historic leader in CO2 reduction in Europe, TME aims to achieve 100% CO2 reduction in all new vehicles in Western Europe by 2035 and will continue to offer a full range of electrified powertrains to customers across the region with its hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery and fuel cell electric vehicles. When it comes to sustainability, Toyota is committed to going Beyond Zero.
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