Toyota shifts gears on electric vehicles

Toyota shifts gears on electric vehicles

Toyota Motor Corp.'s electric vehicle bZ 4 X Provided by Toyota Motor Corp. Toyota Motor Corp. has decided to radically shift gear in how it makes electric vehicles by developing an EV-only platform to cut costs, increase production efficiency and competitiveness.

Its strategy aims to put the company in direct competition with EV industry leader Tesla.

Toyota is moving to mass-produce electric vehicles in anticipation of consumer demand for electric vehicles to increase, given recent price surges at the pump.

The nuts and bolts of the car design come down to a car platform on which the engine, motor and transmission are mounted. The set determines a car's driving performance and cost competitiveness.

For this reason, auto manufacturers use the same type of car platform for multiple models.

Toyota introduced the bZ 4 X last year, its first EV-only model based on a dedicated platform.

Toyota intended to use the same platform for other EV models in the future.

The platform for the bZ 4 X shares characteristics with those used for gasoline-fueled or hybrid cars.

It has a complicated shape, with uneven surfaces where the engine block can be mounted.

The platform currently in use has parts that aren't necessary for electric vehicles.

Manufacturing costs are higher than those for Tesla's EV-only platform.

Toyota could not make good profits with electric vehicles, or compete with Tesla if it kept using the car platform.

It decided to design a new one from scratch.

The EV-only platform will be flat like a skateboard, as no engine will be mounted directly on to it.

It will be ideal to mass-produce EVs, reducing costs in the process.

A flat surface allows designers more choice when it comes to where to mount batteries, compared to the car platform for the bZ 4 X.

Toyota has yet to decide when it will launch an electric vehicle using the new car platform. Toyota is expected to top the world ranking of new car sales in the year 2022.

It doesn't even rank in the top 10 of the global electric vehicle market share.

The top three are the United States, China and Europe, with Tesla in the first place and China's BYD in No. It is currently manufacturing the bZ 4 X at its Motomachi factory in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture.

The company is moving to increase the output in 2025 by building a production line dedicated to manufacturing the bZ 4 X at its Takaoka factory in the same city.

Toyota plans to export the bZ 4 X to North America, according to company officials.