EVs From a Toyota Perspective
Dec. 22, 2020—As many automakers are spinning their wheels to create more electric vehicle models, Toyota remains unusually quiet. The automaker has offered very few hints about upcoming models, but recently announced an EV-dedicated platform, proving that they have more plans than they are letting on.
ADAPT scoured newsrooms, auto blogs, and press releases to bring you the latest information about Toyota’s shift to electric vehicles.
The automaker announced just this month that it has developed a flexible, scalable chassis for electric vehicles, the e-TNGA platform. According to a European press release put out by the automaker, the e-TNGA is highly versatile and easily adaptable across a range of products with key fixed elements while others such as vehicle width, length, wheelbase, and height vary.
The e-TNGA can be outfitted for front-wheel, rear-wheel, or four-wheel-drive models with both battery and electric motors. Manufacturing of models based on the e-TNGA platform will take place at Toyota’s ZEV Factory in Japan.
Upcoming Mystery Model
Most recently, Toyota has announced, or rather hinted to, a mid-sized battery-electric SUV that will be available only to its European market. The model, which has yet to be named, will be based on the automaker’s e-TNGA platform, reports CleanTechnica.
The upcoming SUV will be co-developed with Subaru, reports CarBuzz, its design featuring sharp character lines, prominent wheel arches, and a raked C-pillar. List price, battery size, and power output are still a mystery for this nameless model.
Upcoming Solid-State Battery Model
Toyota has also announced it’s working on solid-state battery model vehicles, which use solid electrodes as opposed to liquid or polymer gel found in lithium-ion batteries. According to Nikkei Asia, the solid-state battery could be a “cure-all” for drawbacks associated with lithium-ion battery-powered vehicles.
Toyota plans to be the first company to sell an electric vehicle outfitted with a solid-state battery, debuting sometime “in the early 2020s.” Solid-state batteries lower the risk of fires, multiply energy density, and provide a driving range almost double that of traditional electric vehicles. As of now, Toyota is leading the solid-state battery charge with more than 1,000 patents involving the technology.
Unlike most automakers, Toyota has been focusing on developing hybrid vehicles in recent years. The automaker has manufactured a variety of hybrid electric vehicles with multiple models spanning compact, mid-size, and full-size sedans. Hybrid models include the Venza, Sienna, Prius, Corolla Hybrid, Highlander Hybrid, Camry Hybrid, Prius Prime, Avalon Hybrid, and the RAV4 Hybrid, which is said to have the most similarities to the upcoming yet-to-be-named EV.