It appears to be the main victim of Toyota's new EV strategy.
New reports from Reuters indicate that Toyota has put a stop to the FJ Cruiser EV project.
The model, set to be an electric companion and not a replacement for the 4Runner, appears to be dead in the water. Toyota has reportedly also halted the development of an all-electric Crown.
At the end of last year, Toyota and Lexus showcased 16 electric vehicles and said the brands would together build 30 new cars by the end of this decade. The FJ and Crown electric vehicles were among those vehicles, but now Toyota is rethinking its strategy, which will make it more competitive in the long run.
Now that the FJ and Crown EVs are on hold, Toyota has time to improve manufacturing processes, which will reduce the costs of future models. We know that Toyota owns the most solid-state battery patents, while its battery partner, Panasonic, has the second most. No other car manufacturer is close, and solid-state batteries are widely regarded to be the next big step forward, as they're more efficient, more stable, and cheaper.
Toyota's rethink might also mean that models like the electric FJ won't make it past the concept phase.
According to Reuters, Toyota is consulting with its suppliers, looking for ways to cut costs. Tesla is reportedly Toyota's benchmark, which makes sense as it's the most valuable car brand on the planet.
Changes to Toyota's strategy reportedly include a new EV-only platform, as well as a successor to the e-TNGA platform.
If Toyota chooses to develop a new platform, it could take up to five years to hit dealerships. Toyota executives have said its new roadmap will only be solidified at the beginning of next year. As a result, we'll likely have to wait a few months for concrete updates from Toyota.
Toyota has taken a notoriously cautious stance on EVs, and consumers have been slow to adopt its EVs in turn. Not without reason, it has to be said. The Toyota bZ4X was a public relations nightmare that took three months to rectify.
We believe this may have triggered the rethink. CEO Akio Toyoda has also said he does not believe the infrastructure is ready for widespread EV adoption and even criticized American EV policy.