Toyota wants to accelerate its EV production plan. It follows years of sitting on the sidelines while pushing for the further development of hybrid technologies.
Then, in April this year, new CEO Koji Sato said that Toyota and Lexus aim to shift 1.5 million battery electric units annually by 2026, increasing to 3.5 million by the end of 2030. Last year, Toyota sold just 24,000 EVs.
A new report from Nikkei Asia says that Toyota now wants to triple production by the end of 2025, bringing it to 600,000 units. The move comes as the Japanese automaker trails leading players in the electric vehicle space, such as BYD and Tesla. According to the report, Toyota and Lexus have already told their suppliers of the plans to increase output.
advertisement scroll to continue
But it’s a drastic shift in gears for the brand. In 2022, the company sold 24,000 EVs. By 2023, the expectation is to manufacture 150,000 units, while in 2024, that number rises to 190,000 examples to be produced.
However, for Toyota’s overall sales figures, EVs will still be but a drop in the ocean. With the established carmaker setting a target of producing 11 million vehicles in 2025, EVs would still only make between 5–6 percent of the total manufactured.
Toyota has had a love-hate affair with EVs. Former CEO and current Chairman of the company Akio Toyoda has been fairly vocal about his belief that governments and carmakers should be diversified in their future approach to energy. With Toyoda at the helm, the company argued that further development of hybrid tech may have a better impact than a drastic switch to EVs.
Many did not take Toyoda kindly for his sentiments, with the founder’s grandson relinquishing his CEO title to Koji Sato earlier this year. It hasn’t been smooth sailing for Sato either. Sato has already had to contend with the revelation that affiliate Daihatsu had rigged safety tests for 88,000 small cars, many of which were also sold under the Toyota brand. In May, Toyota said that the data of 2 million owners had been exposed due to a cloud-server configuration error. And finally, just last month, the company is estimated to have lost $356 million after a country-wide plant shutdown was caused by “insufficient disc space.”
Under Sato’s leadership, an accelerated EV plan was launched, although the company’s “multiple pathway” approach continues to cater to all customer needs with a diverse selection to choose from. A new marketing campaign entitled “Electrified Diversified” aimed to highlight the various options on offer, including hybrid, EV, and hydrogen.
Toyota currently offers 16 electrified vehicles, consisting of 12 hybrids, two plug-in hybrids, the all-electric bZ4X, and the Mirai.
In addition to the beleaguered bZ4x, Toyota is planning to introduce a new EV, namely a Hilux truck to the Thai market later this year. Also forming part of the EV salvo will be as-yet-unnamed electric SUVs headed to China and the U.S. next year. For U.S. EVs, batteries will be made in Toyota’s North Carolina plant, while a 2025 MY electric three-row SUV will be built in Kentucky.
Expect an all-electric Lexus ES to debut in Japan in 2025, too. Toyota is also working with their subsidiary Daihatsu, together with Suzuki, to develop a new range of small electric commercial vehicles.
An all-new electric platform is expected in 2026, while the brand has also shown off its own version of Tesla’s “gigapress” that aims to cut costs by creating larger pieces so that vehicles can have fewer parts.