Toyota has suspended development of some future EVs as it considers a dramatic shift in its overall EV strategy, according to a Reuters report.
The automaker in December 2021 announced plans for 30 EVs globally by 2030, teasing about a dozen of them in concept form. But Toyota is now pausing development on some of them, according to the report, which cites four anonymous sources familiar with the matter.
Some of the EVs affected by the pause include the Toyota Compact Cruiser off-roader, which has already won praise for its design, and an all-electric version of the Toyota Crown sedan, according to the report.
A skunkworks group within Toyota has been charged with developing a new plan for improving its existing EV platform or for advocating a new architecture, the report said. The rethink could slow the rollout of EVs already under development, but also could improve manufacturing efficiency as Toyota responds to industry-wide EV sales that have exceeded its projections.
Among the plans under consideration is a dedicated EV platform to replace the e-TNGA platform unveiled in 2019. This platform, which underpins the Toyota BZ4X crossover, was designed more for ease of building EVs alongside internal-combustion cars than for efficiently manufacturing large numbers of EVs, the report noted.
Another area reportedly being scrutinized is thermal management. The working group is considering whether to adopt a more Tesla-like holistic approach to temperature management that combines climate control for the cabin with battery heating and cooling, according to the report.
These moves are reportedly due to EV sales figures exceeding Toyota’s projections, which previously saw the automaker aiming to sell 3.5 million EVs annually—about one third of its global sales—by 2030. But Toyota has been somewhat negative about meeting even that goal.
Recently Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda called the U.S. target of 50% EVs by 2030 “very difficult.” Under the plan it’s still keeping to—at least for the time being—Toyota sees 85% of its U.S. vehicles having tailpipes by then.
Toyota has sent some mixed signals on the place of EVs in its U.S. lineup, noting that it plans to emphasize affordability, not range, in its EV offerings for the market, yet not entirely representing that in the BZ4X.
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