Toyota unveils 11 new electric car concepts

Series of new all-electric concepts revealed by Toyota, from sports cars to SUVs and pick-ups, previewing new battery-electric strategy to 2030 and beyond

Toyota has unveiled 11 new all-electric concept vehicles previewing the brand’s future strategy when it comes to EVs.

Announced by company CEO Akio Toyoda, the new concepts include four bZ-series models previewing more affordable production cars that will eventually sit alongside the previously announced bZ4X SUV in the firm’s line-up.

These include a bZ compact SUV with a rakish roofline that draws parallels with the firm’s existing C-HR hybrid SUV, reinventing it for the electric age.

It was joined on stage by a bZ small crossover prototype, which looks like an EV version of the brand’s recently unveiled Aygo X city car crossover, featuring similar styling cues, such as the chunky, black-clad wheel arches and raised ride height but retaining typically compact city car proportions. 

Toyoda said that the bZ small crossover would be aimed at the European and Japanese markets and would target a power consumption of five miles per kWh, commenting “The more batteries you add to extend cruising range, the bigger, heavier, and more expensive a vehicle becomes. Because this SUV is a small vehicle, there is something we must be thorough and very particular about. And that is power efficiency.”

This will be the next model to launch in Toyota’s bZ series, and could make its debut in production form next year.

It will be joined by a bZ mid-size saloon, the only ‘low’ car in the firm’s four-strong line-up, while a bZ large SUV concept available with three rows of seats rounded off Toyota’s new bZ-branded models.

Toyoda did not outline any technical information or further intended specifications for any of the concepts, but he did say that Toyota aims to deliver “EVs for everyone” and that “The future is by no means far away; most are models coming out in the next few years” as the manufacturer targets 3.5 million EV sales globally by 2030.

“A significant volume is what we’re talking about here,” Toyoda said. “We need to reduce CO2 emissions as much as possible, as soon as possible.” 

To support this, Toyota will expand its electric-car offering beyond its bZ series of cars, announcing that, along with sister brand Lexus, it will offer 30 BEVs globally by 2030 spread across the passenger and commercial vehicle segments with the company increasing investment in EVs to approximately £13.3billion.

The brand unveiled further electric concepts - “the diverse BEVs” - including a pick-up truck reminiscent of its current Hilux, an electric SUV that looks like a cross between a modern interpretation of the brand’s FJ Cruiser, a low, aggressive-looking sports car, two further SUVs (one a compact crossover), a compact urban mobility concept and a last-mile delivery vehicle, called the e-Palete.

Sister manufacturer Lexus also unveiled a sports car concept, which Toyoda outlined was targeting a low two-second 0-62mph time and a cruising range beyond 700km (435 miles), so if its Toyota sports car cousin shared this technology the project’s aims could be similar. 

However, as a flagship inspired by the Lexus LFA, it’s likely that the Lexus sports car concept would offer more power and performance than the Toyota, which would focus more on affordable performance.

Toyota’s future EVs will be split into what Toyoda termed as either carbon-reducing or carbon-neutral vehicles, with Toyoda highlighting the importance of the energy that will power its future models. The brand aims to be fully carbon neutral by 2035.

Auto Express will bring you more information as this story develops

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