|Hybrids, including plug-in versions, are still expected to make up 80 percent of Toyota's sales in 2025. (Photo by=AFP/Hector Retamal)|
[Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] Toyota, which pioneered hybrid cars, unveiled on Monday (Apr 19) plans for its first global line-up of battery electric vehicles while other carmakers have pulled ahead in electrification, AFP reported.
The Japanese automaker announced at the Shanghai motor show its future bZ line, or Beyond Zero, which should see seven models hitting showroom floors by 2025. "We're establishing ourselves as a full line-up manufacturer," said Masahiko Maeda, Toyota Motor Corporation's chief technology officer. The announcement at the Shanghai motor show was appropriate as China is the only market where Toyota sells electric versions of a number of its cars.
The first bZ model, an SUV whose characteristics and price were not disclosed, should reach consumers in just over a year. The announcement comes just a month after Volkswagen, which took back the title of the top carmaker by sales volume last year from Toyota, unveiled a massive €46 billion (US$55 billion) investment plan to become the top maker of electric vehicles by 2025. All of the major automakers such as Stellantis (Peugeot, Fiat, Chrysler), Renault-Nissan, GM, Ford, Hyundai-Kia, and China's Geely (Volvo) have announced in recent years plans to move towards electric vehicles. All except for Toyota, whose line-up is dominated by hybrids, from the subcompact Yaris to the big 4x4 Highlander.