According to a report by Japanese newspaper Nikkei Asian Review, Toyota has plans to get into mass production of electric vehicles (EVs) by 2020, making this a shift from the company’s current focus on fuel-cell electric vehicles and hybrids.
Toyota has said in a statement it will consider the development of EVs, but did not provide specific details.
The paper had also said Toyota’s EVs would travel over 300km on a single full charge, which means the automaker needs to step up to compete, as its competitors are boasting significantly higher ranges on their EVs.
Toyota has been pushing fuel cell vehicles such as the Mirai, and its concept cars as well as Lexus’ have features fuel cell powertrains as well.
Autoblog reported the company preferred not to comment on details as they would relate to its future product plan, but the automaker stated that any potential development will happen in parallel with fuel cell vehicles.
“Toyota will continue to improve on the development of eco-cars, ranging from hybrids (HVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHVs), to electric and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs), based on the advantages and capabilities of each powertrain.
“We will consider the roll-out of EVs alongside Toyota’s FCV lineup, which are both zero emission vehicles, based on the advantages and capabilities of each, as well as the market conditions of each region or country as we continue to closely monitor the corresponding situations,” the company said.
It also said it will consider introducing EVs to the market as the company believes environmentally friendly vehicles can only help improve the environment if they become available to the masses.