Toyota Motor Corp says it will roll out two new battery-electric vehicles and one plug-in gasoline-electric hybrid in the US this year as the parade of new electric vehicles continues.
The company gave few specifics on the vehicles during a presentation on Wednesday, but said one electric vehicle would be a sports utility vehicle (SUV).
Toyota said it has a goal of having 40 percent of its new vehicle sales be electrified by 2025 and nearly 70 percent by 2035. It is also developing dedicated underpinnings to be used in future electric vehicles.
Toyota broke from other automakers — and possibly the administration of US President Joe Biden — in calling for a diversity of electrified vehicles to reduce carbon emissions, rather than putting policies in place that require those powered solely by batteries.
The company, which pioneered the gasoline-electric hybrid, said its research shows that plug-in hybrids can be as clean as, and less costly than, full battery-electric vehicles, depending on the cleanliness of electric power generation in a particular region. Also, metals such as lithium must be mined for use in batteries, and the mining process creates pollution, Toyota said.
“We believe the fastest way to lower greenhouse gases in the transportation sector is to offer drivers lower carbon choices that meet their needs,” Toyota chief scientist Gill Pratt said.
Pratt said it does not make sense to have a huge battery that can take a vehicle 300 miles (480km) when the average US round-trip commute is 52km.
“You end up carrying around a lot of extra battery mass,” he said.
It is best to have a diversity of solutions like Toyota offers, such as full hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery electric and hydrogen-fuel-cell vehicles, Pratt said.
Wednesday’s announcement comes as automakers continue to roll out new electric vehicles, even though fully electric vehicles were less than 2 percent of US new vehicle sales last year.
It also comes as the Biden administration moves toward adding a half-million electric vehicle charging stations and tries to swap out much of the federal vehicle fleet with electric vehicles.
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