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Toyota stands firm on electrification plans despite slow uptake on battery electric vehicles


Toyota Australia has said that by 2030, every Toyota model apart from GR performance products will be electrified in some way

Toyota may have been one of the first to adopt hybrid vehicles with the launch of the Prius city car, but the Australian division of the business is holding strong that there will be much more to come from Toyota’s electrified division. 

Toyota Australia’s vice president for sales and marketing, Sean Hanley, told Australian media that “Toyota is not opposed to electric vehicles” and that “to get to carbon neutrality, you have to take everyone on the journey and have a solution for the market you’re operating in”. 

But Mr Hanley was also quick to point out Toyota’s history with hybrid vehicles, with the Prius in particular, having “reduced carbon emissions 20 years ago, rather than three years ago when it became trendy”. 

Toyota BZ4X 2023 blue front 3/4
The Toyota BZ4X will be Toyota’s first full electric vehicle

Mr Hanley also noted that to go electric in ten years in Australia while satisfying owners and partners is “a very difficult proposition”. 

What’s in store for Toyota’s electrified future?

Toyota’s first battery electric vehicle will be the BZ4X midsize SUV that is scheduled to launch in Australia sometime in 2023 and is closely aligned with its mechanically-similar twin, the Subaru Solterra

The BZ4X’s twin – the Subaru Solterra

Nine months ago, Toyota announced 13 new electric vehicles that are set for launch in the near future, ranging from a BZ sedan right through to sports cars and SUVs. 

Toyota claimed that it would offer an electric model in every available segment over the next ten years. 

What about Toyota’s hybrid lineup?

Toyota Australia’s Sean Hanley said that the company would implement a diverse range of electrified models, not just battery electric vehicles. 

Toyota is proud of the low emissions motoring it started with the Prius

“We’ll have a battery electric vehicle for some customers who will want that in town. We will have hybrid electric vehicles, fuel cell electric vehicles, and plug-in hybrids.  

“We believe you need a diverse range of technologies to get there,” he said.

Although the long-standing Toyota Prius has met its end in Australia, models such as the Camry, Corolla, Yaris and RAV4 hybrid variants are likely to continue production for the foreseeable future.

Toyota Camry SX Hybrid 2022-9
The current Toyota Camry SX Hybrid

How does Toyota compare with other global manufacturers in terms of electrification?

Toyota has some serious competition in the electric space, with companies such as Tesla, Volkswagen, Ford and Hyundai moving the game forward quickly. 

Volkswagen already has several electric models available globally, such as the ID3, ID4 and ID5 having been available in Europe since 2020, while other big players such as the Ford have the Mustang Mach E, Ford F-150 Lightning, the eTransit Custom and more to come. 

Ford F-150 Lightning 2023 black
Toyota has Ford, Volkswagen, Hyundai and BMW to look out for

Tesla has been ahead of many major automakers for quite some time, offering the Model S, Model 3 and Model Y in Australia in recent years, and is also set to introduce its Cybertruck and new Tesla Roadster to the global market in the next couple of years. 

Hyundai have pushed the game forward recently with cars such as the Ioniq 5 and will soon bring the Ioniq 6 sedan to market here in Australia, along with a range of electric SUVs. The South Korean car manufacturer shocked the world with the reveal of its N Vision 74 hydrogen electric sports car. Unfortunately, this specific model is not destined for full-scale production.