When Toyota announced it will be holding a press conference about its future battery strategy, we didn’t really pay too much attention to it. Sure, we were curious to see what they had in store, but expected to see some boring graphs, with plans for battery plants. However, the Japanese car maker had completely different plans.
The CEO of the company, Akio Toyoda, took everyone by surprise when he took to the stage and unveiled no less than 15 completely new electric cars. These represent the first step in Toyota’s plans of electrifying its range even more than it is today, by 2030. These 15 models include the Lexus offensive along the same lines and will cover most of the segments in demand today.
The company’s top brass began by discussing the bZ4x, which had already been revealed, before moving on to a fully electric small crossover that sat right next to it. For the production version, the vehicle’s generic bZ Compact SUV designation will be dropped, but the coupe-inspired roofline and two-tone style will remain. It has a “lovely silhouette,” according to Toyoda, with a design that entices you to climb inside and have a spin. It has the appearance of a future electrified C-HR.
The miniature red vehicle is an urban crossover with an interior “inspired by Europe and Japan.” With the exception of the bZ4X, all of the concepts on display had their windshields and side glass totally shaded, implying that Toyota wasn’t quite ready to reveal their interiors just yet. The same can be said for the midsize sedan with the “bZ SDN” license plate, which Toyota’s CEO described as “perfect for a first car.”
Then there’s the bZ Large SUV, which can fit three rows of SUVs and has a Lexus equivalent. It will be positioned above the bZ4X and will be the fifth member of Toyota’s newly established Beyond Zero family of specialized electric vehicles.
Before going on to something even more interesting – a sports vehicle – the conference continued with a preview of the Lexus RZ, a fancy alternative to the Toyota bZ4X. The two-seat coupe features a low-slung design with a steeply sloping roofline and is being built with solid-state batteries in mind. The coupe EV is designed to hit 62 mph in under two seconds and have the battery power to travel 435 miles. Toyoda revealed that the car will have a “secret sauce” thanks to the performance honed during the development of the already legendary LFA.
Toyota even went so far as to show off a completely electric truck that looks a lot like a Tundra, along with what we assume is an electric FJ Cruiser. After all, it’s got the same blue color as the boxy off-roader, not to mention the name “Compact Cruiser EV.” The Small SU EV, the Crossover EV, and an extremely promising two-seater electric sports vehicle with a retractable targa top were all shown briefly during the presentation. Two miniature cars, known as the Mid Box and Micro Box, round out the portfolio as zero-emission delivery trucks for city use.
Toyota and Lexus intend to sell 3.5 million battery-powered electric vehicles globally each year. To get there, the two will invest $35 billion to launch 30 EVs by the end of the decade. By 2030, the premium division plans to go totally electric in Europe, the United States, and China, with a goal of selling one million electric vehicles per year. Lexus will become a fully electric worldwide brand in 2035, and both firms’ factories will be carbon neutral.