Toyota has revealed its plans for the future under a new CEO, and it looks like the company is finally prioritizing electrification. In his announcement, new President and CEO Koji Sato said the automaker is going to create new electric vehicles unique to Toyota and Lexus, its luxury division. He also said that the company is developing its “next-generation” battery electric vehicles, which will launch under the Lexus brand in 2026. It’s not quite clear what “next-generation” means, but Sato said Toyota is working on “everything from the battery and platform to how a car is built optimized for BEVs” while also expanding its current EV lineup.
As Reuters notes, Toyota is getting flak for dragging its feet when it comes to embracing electric vehicle technology and for its reluctance to move beyond its hybrid models, such as the Prius. Sato explained during the press conference that the automaker’s slow EV adoption was mostly caused by communication issues. He also announced that the automaker will continue its “multi-pathway” and “omni-directional” approach, which means it’s not going to drop its hybrid vehicles anytime soon. However, Toyota intends to accelerate its EV plans under its new management and to take on “a BEV-first mindset”
So far, the automaker has only released one vehicle, the bZ4X, based on its e-TNGA BEV platform. The company previously vowed that it was going to be the first among the seven “Beyond Zero” electric vehicles it plans to release by 2025. Meanwhile, Lexus has yet to start selling the RZ, the brand’s first model that was built from the ground up as an EV.