Toyota has a US$35 billion worth of electric vehicle goal.

  • The Japanese automaker targets sales of 3.5 million EVs and fuel cell vehicles globally by the end of this decade.
  • A separate US$70.4 billion will be allocated by 2030 to R&D as well as capital investment in electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles.
  • Toyota will also invest around 2 trillion yen in developing electric car batteries and ramp up battery production capacity to 280 gigawatt-hours by 2030.

Japanese automaker Toyota has long been known as the pioneer of hybrid vehicles. Unfortunately, as the world evolved and moved towards an electric vehicle future, Toyota only dug its heels deeper with hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles. It came to a point where a movement to boycott Toyota started garnering global attention.

But things took a turn last month when Toyota, which is also one of the world’s largest automakers, announced that it intends to sell 3.5 million EVs globally by 2030 and market 30 different electric models within the same period. The sales goal is a 75% shoot up from its previous target of two million while the intended number of new electric car models to be marketed were doubled as well.

“Even 2 million units is huge — we raised the number to 3.5 million today,” Toyota’s CEO Akio Toyoda said, stressing the number is comparable to the annual production volume of Daimler or Suzuki. “If some insist that we are still negative about electric cars after announcing 3.5 million cars and 30 models, we want them to tell us what more it takes not to be viewed negatively.”

To top it off, the automaker even plans to separately allocate 8 trillion yen (US$70.4 billion) by the end of this decade for research and development (R&D) as well as capital investment in electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles. According to Toyoda, Half of the allocated amount will be spent on EVs, the first time that Toyota has earmarked funding specifically for its electric segment.

Toyota will even “evolve Lexus into a brand centered on battery EVs,” Toyoda said, adding that the carmaker aims to offer a full lineup of EVs in “all vehicle segments” and electrify all Lexus vehicles sold in Europe, North America and China by 2030. It also aims to ensure all Lexus vehicles sold globally are electric by 2035.

The electric vehicle and battery venture

The company even announced an investment of around 2 trillion yen to develop electric vehicle batteries. The amount is a 30% increase from the target set in September. The Japanese automaker also plans to ramp up battery production capacity to 280 gigawatt-hours by 2030, a 40% increase over previous plans.

Moreover, Toyota claims that it has secured enough supplies of battery raw materials including lithium to meet requirements until the end of this decade. The supplies are met through cooperation with trading house Toyota Tsusho.

The company has also been investing in solid-state batteries; however, the firm told Autocar last December the technology will make its debut on a hybrid rather than a pure EV. Basically that means the first Toyota with a solid-state battery will still have an internal combustion engine. 

Separately, speaking with Autoline during CES 2022, the company’s chief scientist and head of the Toyota Research Institute Gill Pratt said development is progressing on schedule and the first car to do away with lithium-ion batteries will arrive in the first half of the decade, which is in three years time.

Why solid-state batteries for hybrid only yet?

For starters, pairing an EV with solid-state batteries would increase the price of the vehicle. “Costs are likely to come down between now and 2025, but not enough to make an ICE-less car with solid-state batteries feasible,” Autoline noted.

That said, Toyota’s intention is to apply the solid-state battery technology to hybrids first so pricing won’t be impacted as much. The company in fact sees hybrids as somewhat of a testbed for solid-state batteries.

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