Toyota officially announced today that it will debut three new electrified vehicles for the U.S. market in 2021. And the good news is that those will not be conventional hybrids.
The Japanese company intends to launch two Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model. It's one of the best bits of news from Toyota that we've heard in a long time. Two BEVs!
Toyota hasn't revealed what type of vehicles we should expect or any details, but we know (see image above) that the company was working on various models for various markets (and with various partners).
"The new electrified models further expand Toyota’s U.S. leadership in alternative powertrain vehicles. Toyota has over 40% share of the total alternative fuel vehicle market, which includes a 75% share of the fuel cell market and a 64% share of hybrids and plug-ins. By 2025, Toyota’s goal is to have 40% of new vehicle sales be electrified models, and by 2030 expects that to increase to nearly 70%."
"Between now and 2025, Toyota and Lexus models, globally, will have an electrified option. Toyota is also developing a dedicated BEV platform, e-TNGA, that offers flexibility for all drive configurations."
The cool thing is that a few of satellite Japanese brands (like Subaru, maybe Mazda) might also launch Toyota-related plug-in derivatives.
The Toyota e-TNGA specs hinted at in late 2019 suggested BEVs with 50-100 kWh battery packs for a range of 186-372 miles (300-600 km) depending on the model
The second part of the press release focuses on the results of internal research, which shows that BEV and PHEV models have similar environmental benefits, but the PHEVs are less expensive than BEVs.
"The research found:
- GHG of a currently available BEV model and PHEV model are roughly the same in on-road performance when factoring in pollutants created by electricity production for the average U.S. energy grid used to charge batteries.
- Manufacturing is a component of GHG emissions. Using the “Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Technologies” (GREET) model, researchers found that the production of a PHEV emits less GHG since it uses a smaller, lighter weight battery.
- The PHEV is much less expensive to buy and own, compared to the BEV. Without any incentives, the five-year Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of a long-range BEV is significantly higher than the PHEV. If you include incentives available this year (2020), the TCO of a long-range BEV is much higher.
The key point is that a BEV and PHEV can provide similar environmental benefits. Each has a unique profile and can be an optimal solution in different circumstances. By having a diversified product portfolio with multiple forms of vehicle electrification, Toyota can let consumers choose the model that best suits their usage needs and cost profile while maximizing the total contribution to GHG reduction."
We wonder why Toyota is telling us that the BEVs are worse than PHEVs economically, while launching two of them on the market soon? To convince customers that PHEVs or HEVs are better and keep BEVs at a low volume (at least initially)? Well, let's stay positive and hope that it's not the case.