The Japanese automaker is a well known proponent of the fuel cell technology, but according to the latest rumors off the mill it’s also ready to invest in the other green technology.
Apparently the company will kick off development and engineering of mass-market, long range electric vehicles early next year – even though their previous experience with the battery-powered segment was not pleasant. The now retired Tesla-powered RAV4 EV, which was costly at almost 50k, was a complete failure with less than 2,000 units delivered over just two years. According to Nikkei newspaper, the world’s largest carmaker is now establishing the groundwork for a family of electric cars that should appear in showrooms by the end of the decade.
The R&D team should be ready to start work early next year on zero-emissions vehicles with a range of more than 186 miles (300 kilometers) on a single charge. The first model should arrive at home in Japan by 2020, while other markets such as California or China should wait just a little longer. The company only commented so far that its efforts in the green field on a wide variety basis – and that for sure also includes battery operated electrics, but refrained from being more specific.