Toyota reveals massive EV plan involving Subaru, Mazda and Suzuki

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Words: Nile Bijoux
10 Jun 2019

Toyota has announced a huge EV offensive, kicking off next year with a new platform, followed by six new global electric models.

The platform is called ‘e-TNGA’ which, as the name suggests, is an electric version of its modular TNGA platform. It will support six models primarily, including a compact car, medium crossover, medium sedan, medium SUV and a large SUV. The compact car will be developed with Suzuki while the medium SUV will feature Subaru input.

As for Mazda, that’s still officially unofficial but one journalist at the presentation asked Toyota’s President of Advanced Technologies Development, Shigeki Terashi, about the tie up with Hiroshima-based maker. He replied: “Along with other topics, we have discussed EVs with Mazda for a few years already. Today, I did not reveal all the projects we are working on right now, and Mazda is one of them.”

It isn’t clear how these will be marketed but it’d be safe to assume badge-engineered versions for each company will turn up.

Other than those already mentioned, Toyota will build an electric Lexus for the US market while an “ultra-compact two-seater” called iRide is earmarked for the Japanese market, along with a leaning three-wheeler called iRoad.

On that, Toyota said that it and its partners will make and sell anything and everything that can be battery-powered, from scooters to SUVs and even wheelchairs.

All of those batteries need to come from somewhere, so Toyota has brought on four additional battery suppliers: China’s CATL and BYD, and Japan’s GS Yuasa and Toshiba. Together with Toyota’s existing Primearth EV battery venture and the new JV with Panasonic, this reflects the world’s biggest block of battery suppliers.

However, Toyota still sees hybrids and plug-in hybrids as the major money spinners. It wants to sell 5.5 million electric and electrified vehicles by 2025, 4.5m of which are expected to be the latter, meaning just one million of Toyota’s ambitions will be fully electric.

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