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Toyota Announces That 3 New Electrified Models are Coming to the U.S. in 2021

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【Summary】​Toyota Motor Corp announced that three new electrified models are coming to the U.S. in 2021. Two of the vehicles will be fully-electric and the third will be a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model. Although Toyota is a global leader in hybrid and fuel cell technology, beginning with the launch of the Prius over 20 years ago, the automaker has not yet offered any fully-electric vehicles in North America.

FutureCar Staff    Feb 11, 2021 1:05 PM PT
Toyota Announces That 3 New Electrified Models are Coming to the U.S. in 2021

Toyota Motor Corp announced that three new electrified models are coming to the U.S. in 2021. Two of the vehicles will be fully-electric and the third will be a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model.

Although Toyota is a global leader in hybrid and fuel cell technology, beginning with the launch of the Prius over 20 years ago, the automaker has yet not offered any fully-electric vehicles in North America. However, the lack of a fully-electric model on sales in the U.S. that has not hurt Toyota's sales.

Toyota has over 40% share of the total alternative fuel vehicle market, which includes a 75% share of the fuel cell market and a 64% share of hybrids and plug-ins. By 2025, Toyota's goal is to have 40% of new vehicle sales be electrified models, and by 2030 expects that to increase to nearly 70%.

"We continue to be leaders in electrification that began with our pioneering introduction of the Prius nearly 25 years ago," said Bob Carter, TMNA executive vice president of sales. "Toyota's new electrified product offerings will give customers multiple choices of powertrain that best suits their needs."

Toyota's RAV4 Prime was the best selling hybrid SUV in the U.S. in 2020. It was the fourth consecutive year as America's top-selling SUV. So its highly likely that a fully-electric version will be among the three new offerings.

The three new models are just the beginning of Toyota's electrification plans. By 2025, the automaker will have an electrified option for all of its Toyota and Lexus models globally.

Toyota is also developing a dedicated battery electric vehicle (BEV) platform, e-TNGA, that will serve as a flexible foundation for its future electric models. The flexible e-TNGA platform allows Toyotra to build rear-wheel-drive, front-wheel drive or all-wheel-drive vehicles using a shared platform to save costs.

These new initiatives will help the company achieve its self-imposed Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050. The commitment to reduce emissions was first introduced in 2015, and it's most demanding and most inspiring environmental commitments the company has ever made, according to Toyota.

"We believe the fastest way to lower greenhouse gases in the transportation sector is to offer drivers lower carbon choices that meet their needs," said Gill Pratt, chief scientist of Toyota Motor Corporation and CEO of Toyota Research Institute. "At every price point and with multiple powertrains, we can put more people in cleaner automobiles across North America to have the greatest near-term impact on total carbon emissions."

Toyota's data shows that fully electric & hybrid vehicles have a similar environmental benefit

Toyota believes that it doesn't need to produce only fully-electric vehicles to meet self-imposed goals to reduce greenhouse emissions. The company recently conducted internal research evaluating the environmental impact and cost of ownership between a PHEV and a BEV.  

The data supports Toyota's ongoing commitment to hybrid technology instead of going full-electric like others automakers are planning to do.

The research shows that electric or PHEV models are roughly the same in performance when factoring in pollutants created by producing electricity to charge an EV's battery. Toyota's research found that the production of a PHEV with a smaller battery pack emits less GHG.

The automaker created a tool that shows the trade-off between greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and total cost of ownership. The source code for this tool is publicly available on Github. It allows users to experiment with the various parameters and see how both electric and hybrid vehicles can contribute to the reduction of greenhouse emissions.

PHEV's are much less expensive to buy and own, compared to the BEV. Without any incentives, the five-year Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of a long-range BEV is significantly higher than the PHEV, according to Toyota.

The key finding is that a BEV and PHEV can provide similar environmental benefits, so Toyota can let consumers choose the model that best suits their usage needs, which there will be plenty of. By 2030, BEV and PHEV will make up nearly two thirds of the automaker's model lineup.

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