Toyota Launches Plug-In Hybrid Corolla And Levin In China, Could US/Europe Be Next? (video)

2 years ago by Mark Kane 28

Toyota Levin HEV/Corolla HEV - The 16th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition (2015)

Toyota Levin HEV/Corolla HEV – The 16th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition (2015)

Toyota Prius Prime

Toyota Prius Prime

On the occasion of 2016 Beijing International Automobile Exhibition (or Auto China), Toyota announced two new plug-in hybrids for China, the Levin PHEV and more importantly the Corolla PHEV.

Conventional hybrid versions of both models were introduced in 2015, while the plug-in hybrids will go on sale in 2018.

Could the plug-in Corolla come to Europe and North America in the future at the same time?  Toyota won’t say, but we certainly hope to see the Corolla plug-in to make its debut in the Fall autoshow to foreshadow just that!

Specs on the Corolla PHV? All-electric range?   Still, no word yet…but as soon as the numbers are released we will pass it along!


The Japanese company has already established local production of hybrids in China, and has tallied roughly 40,000 cumulative orders.

The plug-in hybrid Prius found total 75,000 sales in Japan, the U.S., and Europe (since January 2012 through March 2016), and awaits new generation later this year.

“More than 10 years of hybrid production and R&D in China

In 2005, based on long-term plans to encourage the widespread use of environmentally-friendly vehicles in the country, Toyota selected China as the first location for production of its hybrid flagship, the Prius, outside of Japan.

Later, the establishment of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (China) Co., Ltd. in 2010 created a hub for localized research and development of hybrid technologies. Following this major commitment, Toyota established two local manufacturers of hybrid powertrain components, Toyota Motor (Changshu) Auto Parts Co., Ltd. and Sinogy Toyota Automotive Energy System Co., Ltd., in 2012 and 2013, respectively.

These efforts culminated in last year’s launch of the Corolla Hybrid and Levin Hybrid―both of which feature locally developed hybrid units―in the Chinese market. Cumulative total orders for both vehicles now stand at approximately 40,000 units. To continue promoting the widespread use of alternative energy vehicles in the future, Toyota is also proceeding with localization of plug-in hybrid vehicle development ahead of the launch of plug-in versions of these two models in 2018.

Global sales of the Toyota Prius PHV began in January 2012, and by the end of March 2016, a cumulative total of 75,000 units had been sold in Japan, the U.S., and Europe, with the latest generation Prius PHV set to go on sale in these markets from this fall. With plug-in hybrids representing the new benchmark for environmentally-friendly vehicles in China, the mass-market Corolla and Levin plug-in hybrid models will be launched in 2018.”

Hat tip to Doug S, sven!

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28 responses to "Toyota Launches Plug-In Hybrid Corolla And Levin In China, Could US/Europe Be Next? (video)"

  1. RexxSee says:

    Another with 15 miles AER?
    The world need full electrics NOW to stop the slow apocalyptic climate changes.

    1. David Murray says:

      First of all, if climate change is your concern, these types of cars have the potential to make more change in the short term than any other type of vehicle. Second of all, I would hardly call the forecasts of climate change over the next 100 years to be “apocalyptic.” It’s not like humanity will be wiped out.

      1. przemo_li says:

        Massive migrations, expensive infrastructure build outs, more extreme weather.

        Nothing threatening humanity survival. But enough potential to create apocalyptic scenario or dozen, especially in poorer or overpopulated regions.

        1. SparkEV says:

          Massive migrations (over 100 years), expensive infrastructure build outs (over 100 years, if at all), more extreme weather (over 100 years).

          In the time span that all those events take place, people will hardly notice. What will get noticed overnight is when there’s better, cheaper source of energy, probably Fusion. Any way you cut it, fossil fuel is dead, it’s just matter of time.

          As the good book says on its cover, “Don’t Panic”

          1. RexxSee says:

            We lost half of the animals in 50 years! The animals and plants cannot adapt in 100 years. We are killing our life support right now.
            All the arithmetic growth of the hydrocarbons we burn and release in the atmosphere build up. This is only the beginning.
            WE MUST LEAVE HYDROCARBONS IN THE GROUND!

            There is a high probability that this crazy experiment induce chain reactions that will accelerate the havoc big time!
            Would you take the chance?

            “The greater the change to the chemical composition of the physical, chemical makeup of the oceans and atmosphere [due to increased carbon emissions], the greater the long-term effect will be. Given that at some point they will run out anyway, why run this crazy experiment to see how bad it will be? We know it’s at least some bad, and the overwhelming scientific consensus is that it will be really bad.”
            ——————————————-

            “If we know we have to get off oil no matter what, we know that is an inescapable outcome, why run this crazy experiment of changing the chemical composition of the atmosphere and oceans by adding enormous amounts of CO2 that have been buried since the Precambrian Era?” he added. “That’s crazy. That’s the dumbest experiment in history, by far.”

            Tyson sounded surprised: “Can you think of a dumber experiment?” he asked Musk.

            “I honestly cannot. What good could possibly come of [staying on oil],” Musk said.

            1. SparkEV says:

              I actually agree about the point on animals and plants to a degree. It’s not consequence of climate change, but most likely due to human intrusion. For example, places without (fossil) fuel have to burn wood, and must destroy forest to do so.

              As for alarmism, again, don’t panic. It’s just matter of time before fossil fuel becomes irrelevant, even without these unenforceable treaties. Even with all the hoopla on Paris treaty, there doesn’t seem to be any meat for enforcement, making these treaties worthless.

              1. Nick says:

                Do you deny the science of climate change?

      2. beta995 says:

        Global Warming damage is happening now.
        Why do you think All Nations on Earth agreed to the Paris agreement?

        The damage is going to go into the trillions.
        The “next 100 years”, that’s 15 years ago.

        You should really keep up with environmental and scientific news. I hope you don’t invest with that lack of knowledge.

      3. RexxSee says:

        You are right on your first point, but saving a little carbon short term will do more harm globally as these hybrids are delaying pure electrics. You must understand that established cartels of ICE cars do not want to make compelling BEVs because their investments, expertise etc are all in this archaic technology, and that Oil companies lobbies put pressure on legislators while paying millions to disinform the population with such propaganda like we cannot go without oil, the economy will collapse etc.

        Actually the economy of renewable is growing real fast and create more jobs than fossil fuels.

        Remeber the EV1 and the first wave of good EVs? The Prius wave (localized only in California) ?

        Hybrids were introduced to delay electrics!

        1. mustang_sallad says:

          Absolute BS. If PHEVs and HEVs didn’t exist, what makes you think these people would be driving BEVs instead? Face it, while everybody on this site is convinced that BEVs can satisfy most of their needs, 99% of the buying public disagree. PHEVs bridge the gap, and open their eyes to the benefits of driving electric without any risks.

          1. RexxSee says:

            Hybrids bridge nothing. What you say is corporate BS! Look at the recent history. Established car maker cartel do it on purpose not to offer good ranged, fair priced EVs.
            The Model 3 phenomena illustrate quite well how the demand really is for good BEVs.

            Almost 20 years ago car makers had those RAV4, Altra and EV1 with 90,85,105 miles 2015 EPA !

            How come there is only ONE decent PHEV?
            How come there is only ONE “decent” “large compliance” BEV with mitigated success?
            How come a beginner like TESLA eat all their electric lunch?!?

            Like the Horse carriage vs the horseless carriage, like the Hard Drive vs the SSD, change will not come from established car makers, above all when such huge financial interests from fossil companies put all their weight to kill the electrics.

      4. super390 says:

        The Pentagon is already preparing for “disturbances”. And for good reason.

        The financial system has become so fragile that it was nearly crashed by some guys with box cutters on 9/11. Then it was crashed by home equity loans and related scams. In the future, any number of climate change consequences could cause a financial failure and global depression, starting with the collapse of the insurance industry.

        The importance of this is that the Great Depression led to World War II – meaning, really, that it was America’s fault. Another world war with the kinds of weapons we have now is the nightmare we thought ended when the Cold War did. But small wars have also grown into a world war before. Drought is blamed for pushing Syria into a war of elimination between its citizens, and that escalated all the way to having US, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iran backing different factions.

        There are a great many outcomes short of extinction that I think we ought to consider more important than the hassles of haste.

  2. Chris Malan says:

    Will the Corolla PHEV come to South Africa?

  3. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

    Betteridge’s law again.

    No.

  4. IDK says:

    Toyota missed the boat. Too little too late. They’ve lost customers already.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      They have certainly lost customers but they have also kept a wider Prius profit margin.

      I don’t think they’ve missed the boat. When they finally throw in the towel on fuel cells, they will have pure EVs and PHEVs ready to crank off the assembly line.

  5. Sparkinator says:

    Toyota consistently refuses to provide a solid EV in order to protect their Hybrid business. They have earned my revolution for taking that stance.

    Long range plug-in hybrids make some sense for those who must make long trips, but short range plug-in hybrids re just a pathetic checkbox item.

    Boo Toyota.

    1. sven says:

      The Corolla and Levin are inexpensive cars. In the U.S., ICE Corollas typically sell for under $20,000. For a new car purchaser of limited means, a long-range plug-in hybrid is out of reach financially. Offering a lower cost short-range plug-in hybrid gives less affluent new car purchasers the ability do most of their local driving in electric mode.

      Until battery prices significantly drop, it’s magnitudes easier to electrify the high-end/luxury new car segment, then it is to electrify the low-end/economy new car segment.

      Taking cost out of EVs is what’s needed for global mass acceptance of EVs. One thing Toyota is good at is taking cost out of its reliable economy cars, providing good value for the money.

      1. RexxSee says:

        Massively built, ANY model converted to electricity would cost less than the ICE equivalent.

        Companies are all aware of this, but DO NOT WANT to build pure electrics.

        1. SparkEV says:

          It takes the initial effort to get that “massive” going, and that’s why companies are resistant. If not for Tesla, Nissan, GM, batteries would still be too expensive for competitive EV.

  6. Speculawyer says:

    I don’t think this is the white flag of surrender yet. They’ll say this is because of China’s rules. But it shows they have a backup plan ready.

  7. offib says:

    Isn’t that Levin the Avensis? If so, that’s a possible entrant for the European market. The Avensis is yet to get a hybrid in the first place.

  8. Taser54 says:

    well at least our tinfoil hats will reflect excess heat back into space.

    1. sven says:

      No, the growth in the size of the heads of tinfoil-hat wearers more than offsets the diminished heat per capita reflected back into space by that subgroup.

  9. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

    Hey Mark Kane,

    Your post on the VW doesn’t seem to accept comments, so I’ll do it here: that is _not_ in any way an EREV, so please change the title. Their weasel-wording indicates that it’s power-limited. The AWD is not available in EV mode either.

  10. Just_Chris says:

    Looks like Toyota is predictably responding to a change in the law in China. Expect the same measured response in the EU before 2021. This is is what Toyota do, boring, slow, mass produced.

    IMO Toyota will wait until the giga factory is built and then take over all the spare Panasonic capacity to turn a lot of their hev’s to phev’s. I am still unsure how I feel about this, part of me sees it as the shortest path to mass ev adoption but the other wishes that there was more than 20 miles worth of range.

  11. ydnas7 says:

    A plug in Corolla, if it has Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV type range AND a competitive price could easily be the worlds highest selling plugin vehicle.

    If Toyota prices it with the same keenness as Mitsubishi. (Maker it the same price as a Corolla diesel would be)

  12. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Those two are Chinese Compliance cars…

    =)