Toyota is set to push forward with its electric car plans after announcing that it is setting up an in-house venture company responsible for developing the vehicles and technologies needed.
After previously focusing on hybrid powertrains and fuel cell vehicles, the Japanese manufacturer is now looking at pure electric vehicles to fill in a gap in its future product plans.
Toyota has previously stated that it has a philosophy of “providing the right vehicle, at the right place, at the right time”. With this in mind, fuel cell vehicles are designed to cover longer distances and for larger vehicles, while hybrids have reduced the amount of emissions and improved fuel economy across a large proportion of the Toyota and Lexus fleet.
However, with different infrastructure constraints and energy and environmental issues around the world, Toyota is looking at providing other types of zero-emission vehicles – primarily pure-electric models.
Lead by four people – one each from Toyota Industries Corporation, Aisin Seiki Co. Ltd, Denso Corporation and Toyota Motor Corporation – the company will be able to draw on resources and expertise from these firms in the Toyota group.
Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda said: “Over these past few years, which we have positioned as years for strengthening our planting of seeds for the future, we have taken such measures as establishing the Toyota Research Institute, making Daihatsu a fully owned subsidiary and beginning work to establish an internal company responsible for compact vehicles for emerging markets. The new organisational structure for EVs is a part of this effort.
“As a venture company that will specialise in its field and embrace speed in its approach to work, it is my hope that it will serve as a pulling force for innovation in the work practices of Toyota and the Toyota Group.”
The new company will be independent from existing Toyota group organisations, though will be lead by people from the subsidiaries including Toyota Motor Corporation, Denso, and Toyota Industries. This will allow the new EV company – due to be launched in December – to draw on existing expertise to accelerate bringing the new EVs to market.