A completely new “in-house venture company” established by the Japanese automaker will take care of the electric vehicle strategy – thus confirming the rumors about Toyota working on battery electrics as well.
Toyota has announced the new division as a way of leading its push into accelerating the development schedule – the Japanese are leaders in the hybrid department and are making a push for fuel cell electrics. But everyone else is actually going for battery electrics and Toyota seems to finally be willing to join the fray. The new company’s task force will get one person from each of the four Toyota companies: Toyota Industries Corp., Aisin Seiki Co. Ltd., Denso Corp., and Toyota Motor Corp. But in return it will operate independently of other management structures within the Toyota Group, so the “small organizational structure is meant to enable it to implement unconventional work processes, leading to accelerated project progress and, thus, fast-to-market products,” according to the manufacturer.
Reports came out last week that Toyota was pushing for the formation of a new research and development team tasked to come up with a battery electric car with a range of 300 km on a single charge. The first model in the electric push would come out as quickly as 2020 with Japan as the first market and then a broader launch into vested electric markets such as California and China. “Differing energy and infrastructure issues around the world and the rapid strengthening of regulations aimed at increasing the use of zero-emissions vehicles have heightened the need for product lineups that can respond to various situations,” added the company in a statement.