Whether you drive a sports car or a truck, there'll be an electric Toyota for you.
It's no secret that Toyota has been late to the EV party. It was only in November that the brand unveiled the bZ4X crossover. When it arrives in the US in the middle of this year, it will be Toyota's only EV on sale in this market. But Toyota is clearly intent on committing to an all-electric future.
In December, Toyota and Lexus revealed 16 new electric concepts spanning multiple segments. And, earlier this month, a Toyota patent was uncovered for a manual "gearbox" for EVs that will boost driver engagement. To underline Toyota's EV plans, Toyota's global design chief, Simon Humphries, elaborated on why Toyota's electrified range will be so diverse.
"Globally, there is an incredible diversity of customers, and their desires are what we cater to," said Humphries to Automotive News about the company's EV strategy. "Diversity is a necessity for the future."
As the best-selling automaker in the world, Toyota plays in almost every segment of the market, from the compact GR86 sports car all the way up to the massively practical Sequoia SUV. It knows that it will need EVs in all of these segments to retain its broad customer base, and not lose customers. By contrast, a newer automaker like Tesla can get by with a much leaner lineup as it isn't tied to multiple segments. "The important thing is that you're covering how people expect to use the vehicle," continued Humphries. "It would be counterproductive to produce 80 cars all looking the same."
Ultimately, Toyota aims to sell 3.5 million EVs per year by 2030, up from a previous target of two million by the same year. To do so, Toyota's future EV lineup is one of the most diverse we've seen from any automaker. These models include a three-row SUV that will likely be called the bZ5X, an electric truck that looks to be the size of the Tacoma, a sedan, a coupe-like compact crossover, a sleek sports car, and even a commercial vehicle known as the Micro Box.
Alongside these new Toyota EVs will be several new EVs from Lexus, highlighted by the BEV Sport halo sports car, viewed as a spiritual successor to the wonderful LFA. A range of 435 miles has been targeted. With what looks like the most diverse lineup of electric vehicles by 2030 and that trusty Toyota badge, the Japanese marque is positioning itself to dominate in this space just as it has among conventionally-powered models for decades.