Toyota RAV4 EV Is Dead, But Toyota Will Launch New Electric Cars In China
Toyota is the definition of compliance.
In the U.S., Japan and Europe, Toyota has begun to make the switch to hydrogen fuel cell electric cars. Toyota's FCEV move makes CARB happy, satisfies Japan's push towards hydrogen and even makes the leaders of some European countries smile.
CARB, along with some countries around the world, reward FCEVs more strongly than electric cars, so those countries are precisely where Toyota will sell its hydrogen Mirai.
Meanwhile, in China, where no hydrogen support exists, Toyota will take a different route to grab incentives and to please the lawmakers.
As Bloomberg writes:
The government has begun a strategic initiative to build electric cars on the mainland and is encouraging foreign manufacturers and their local partners to get with the program. So as many as 40 electric models will go on sale in China this year—triple the number available two years ago—as automakers hew to the policies, Bloomberg Intelligence estimates.
“It is the cost of entry of being here,” James Chao, managing director of IHS Automotive in Shanghai, says of the joint-venture electric vehicles. “A lot of it is kind of for show, and they just want to please the government.”
To please the government, Toyota will "roll out the Leahead and Ranz all-electric brands with its China partners Guangzhou Automobile Group and FAW Group starting this year. The models will make China the only market where Toyota sells EVs."
"Carmakers say marketing an EV has become a necessity for those trying to win government approval to build factories. China’s new auto fuel economy standards also call for a 28 percent drop in average per-vehicle fuel consumption by 2020—something likely to happen only if plug-ins are embraced."
Hiroji Onishi, Toyota’s chief executive officer for the China region, even made a statement that's uncharacteristic of Toyota:
"We believe infrastructure including charging stations will be developed quite rapidly.”
On a somewhat related note, we here at InsideEVs don't believe that the hydrogen infrastructure will be developed quite rapidly. In fact, the development of that infrastructure will likely be painfully slow in all regions around the globe where hydrogen is expected to be put into use to fuel cars.