EXCLUSIVE-Toyota outlines 3-year EV plan changes to suppliers

Spread the love


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Toyota Motor Corp.’s bZ compact SUV is taken after a presentation on the company’s strategy for battery EVs in Tokyo, Japan on Dec. 14, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

By Norihiko Shirouzu

(Reuters) – Toyota Motor (NYSE: ) Corp is expected to shift its electric vehicle (EV) strategy to key suppliers early next year as it races to close the gap in price and performance with industry leaders Tesla (NASDAQ: ) and BYD. He said with working knowledge.

The leading Japanese automaker is expected to outline EV program changes as early as 2026, informing key suppliers of the changes, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the information is confidential.

Toyota is looking at ways to improve the competitiveness of planned EVs this decade, in part by accelerating the use of efficiency-enhancing technologies for planned EVs, from electric drive systems — including motors — to power conversion electronics. The grid and integrated heating and cooling systems for energy stored in batteries, the people said.

However, some EV development projects originally planned for a three-year period could face delays, one of the people said.

The changes will be to the successors to Toyota’s first two EVs for mass markets, the bZ4X and Lexus RZ, and are intended to close the gap with Tesla Inc on cost and performance, the people said.

Toyota is set to hold a major supplier gathering in February, the first global supplier conference since the pandemic.

Toyota said in a statement that it is “always actively discussing and working with key (suppliers and partners) on various topics” to achieve carbon neutrality. But it said it had no new details to divulge on EV development plans.

Billionaire Elon Musk’s Tesla made nearly eight times as much profit per vehicle as Toyota in the third quarter, thanks to its ability to simplify EV production and cut costs, analysts said.

Reuters reported in October that Toyota is reviewing a $30-billion, three-phase plan to develop and roll out EVs that it announced late last year.

It has suspended work on some battery-powered car projects announced last year while a task force led by former chief competition officer Shikeki Terashi looks to improve cost-effectiveness and technology in the fast-growing market for EVs.

The task force is charged with outlining plans to improve Toyota’s EV approach, including considering a possible successor to its new EV platform, the e-TNGA.

The restructuring comes even as Toyota sees gasoline-electric hybrids, a market it pioneered with the Prius, as a key part of the transition to carbon-neutral transportation.

Most major automakers expect EVs to account for the majority of vehicle sales by 2030, and green investors and environmental groups have pushed Toyota forward as industry-wide EV sales are higher than Toyota’s previous assumptions.


Toyota’s EV strategy is focused on launching cars like the bZ4X, the first in a line of battery electric vehicles under the series name “Beyond Zero.”

Toyota has told some suppliers that Toyota’s second-phase plan is to have models based on the e-TNGA platform in the next several years. Adjustments at this stage are changes that will be outlined to suppliers early next year.

Now Terashi’s team is considering whether to ditch the three-year-old e-TNGA architecture, developed by modifying a gasoline car platform, in favor of a dedicated EV platform, people familiar with the work said.

E-TNGA was designed so that EVs could be built on Toyota assembly lines alongside gasoline cars and hybrids, limiting the automaker’s ability to deliver the factory-floor innovation considered key to Tesla’s strength.

Also, Toyota e-TNGA should sell about 3.5 million EVs a year, a third of its current global volume by 2030, sources said, while the industry outlook is for faster growth. .

Toyota is working with two suppliers, Denso and Aisin, for its EV relaunch.

It is looking at whether it can accelerate a new thermal management system developed jointly by Aisin and Denso and a more advanced electric powertrain, or eaxle, from Aisin.

Toyota is also looking at introducing a Denso-developed silicon-carbide-based inverter in some of its larger premium EVs, which could improve charging and help reduce manufacturing costs.

Denso and Aisin did not respond to requests for comment.

Terashi’s role in leading Toyota’s EV strategy review was seen by some as a sign the automaker is moving closer to a full focus on EVs after being sidelined at the company.

Terashi, 67, did not respond to a request for comment.

During his 42-year career, Terashi has been one of Toyota’s top vehicle planners and a strong advocate of zero-emission cars, including hydrogen.

He was part of the team that paved the way for Toyota’s collaboration with China’s BYD, the world’s largest EV maker. The result is a soon-to-be-marketed China-only Toyota electric sedan called the bZ3 powered by BYD batteries.


Source link

Jesuraj S

Leave a Comment