Electric Vehciles

Toyota promises a steady, balanced approach to its electrified future

Toyota is taking a balanced approach to

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Unlike General Motors, Toyota's approach to electrifying its lineup has been rather quiet. The company that sells the most hybrids in the world has today promised to keep up the effort, doubling down on its commitment to electrification and making predictions concerning future sales of the products. Earlier this month, the automaker committed to having 70 electrified products as part of its global lineup by 2025.

Toyota says that they expect battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) to make up 15 percent of its U.S. sales by 2030. Currently, Toyota offers no BEVs for sale though the Toyota bz4X Concept is expected to hit the market sooner rather than later. The company has already reserved the names of future electric members of its product lineup. In North America only the Toyota Mirari sedan is available with a FCEV powertrain and it's not a hot seller.

Toyota bZ4X Concept side profile The Toyota bZ4X Concept will be a BEV that's on the market soon. Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Corporation

Toyota expects that hybrids (HEVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) will make up 70 percent of the products from both the Toyota and Lexus brands by 2030.

Globally, Toyota expects to sell approximately eight million electrified vehicles by 2030, of which 2 million will be BEVs and FCEVs.

"For over 30 years, Toyota has been innovating and investing in technology to reduce vehicle emissions and achieve carbon reductions," said Chris Reynolds, chief administrative officer, Toyota Motor North America. "And, although some people believe concentrating resources on one possible solution will achieve the goal more quickly, we believe investing in many different solutions will actually be a faster way to achieve carbon neutrality around the world."

Currently there are 17 electrified vehicles in Toyota's U.S. lineup:

Toyota estimates that over the years its models have saved 139 million tons of greenhouse-gas emissions worldwide–76 million tons in the U.S.

Rather than going all-in on BEVs, Toyota is committed to a portfolio of alternative powertrains that can "help bridge to an all-electric mobility future" while steadily and substantially reducing carbon emissions every year "until the recharging infrastructure and costs of BEVs make them an attractive, affordable choice for all consumers everywhere".

Toyota intends to play a role in helping to solve BEV infrastructure and cost challenges. This means encouraging "policymakers to write regulations and laws that encourage consumers to consider all kinds of environmentally friendly, carbon-reducing vehicles so we can move even faster toward a carbon neutral society for all". In 2019 Toyota acknowledged that one of the reasons that it doesn't sell its Mirai more widely is that hydrogen-powered vehicle regulations are antiquated, especially in the Northeastern U.S.

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New electric luxury vehicles

Three new Mercedes-Benz EVs we can't wait to see

Mercedes showed off its electric future at the 2021 IAA Mobility show in Germany.

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz is going electric, and though it only recently announced its firm plans to do so, it already seems that the German automaker is moving quickly toward that goal. At the 2021 IAA Mobility show in Munich, Mercedes showed off some of its upcoming electrified products. We've seen the EQS, a flagship electric sedan, but three newcomers made an appearance at the show.


Mercedes-Benz EQB EQB will be Mercedes' electric family SUV.Mercedes-Benz


EQB

EQB is the brand's family-sized SUV, offering seating for up to seven people. A long wheelbase of 111.3 inches and adjustable second-row seating allows more interior space for people and gear. Mercedes says the EQB will offer two powertrain configurations: The EQB 300 4MATIC will get 225 horsepower and the EQB 350 4MATIC will sport 288 horsepower. A front-wheel drive configuration will go on sale later and a long-range model will follow.


Mercedes-Benz Concept EQG The EQG will eventually become the brand's electric off-roader.Mercedes-Benz


EQG

Concept EQG is a preview of the eventual electrification of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, its boxy, upper-crust off-roader. This concept is far closer to a design exercise than something we'll actually see in production, but it's an interesting demonstration, nonetheless. With 22-inch wheels, wild exterior lighting touches, and what the automaker says will be legendary off-road abilities, the EQG will be an exciting vehicle when it does make an appearance.


Mercedes-Benz EQE EQE will follow the EQS as a smaller, sportier electric sedan in 2022.Mercedes-Benz


EQE

EQE is the second car to use Mercedes' EVA2 electric architecture, following the EQS sedan. The car is currently scheduled for a staggered release in mid-2022 and will feature a more compact and sportier design than its predecessor. Mercedes says that the car will be available with either 19- or 21-inch wheels, and notes that its size is comparable to the current CLS coupe-sedan. The car offers an impressive range of up to 410 miles on a single charge from its 90kWh battery and special charging capabilities through the Mercedes me Charge network.

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The Roadster's specs are impressive, to say the least.

Tesla

Elon Musk took to a stage in late 2017 to announce a new product, the second-generation Tesla Roadster, and the numbers were impressive, even for a guy known to casually drop massive bombshells in 160 characters or less on Twitter. He pledged a 620-mile range and a 0-60 mph time in 1.9 seconds for the car – impressive specs, to be sure. When Musk unveiled the car, production was scheduled to commence some time in 2020, but as we all now know, last year wasn't a banner year for car manufacturing. In January, he pushed that date back to 2022, but the timeline has slipped again - into 2023 at this point - and that's only if everything goes smoothly between now and then.


Tesla Roadster Supply chain issues have caused delays in the Roadster's release.Tesla


Responding to a tweet on Wednesday, Musk stated that "assuming 2022 is not mega drama, new Roadster should ship in 2023." That's a pretty big asterisk, given how things have been going over the last 18 months. It's not surprising, though, and Musk acknowledges what we've known for some time now: The global supply chain is a mess, thanks to microchip shortages and pandemic-related closures and delays. "2021 has been the year of super crazy supply chain shortages," he said, admitting that "it wouldn't matter if we had 17 new products, as none would ship." Again, it's not surprising, but it is most likely frustrating for reservation holders, who've plopped down anywhere from $50,000 to $250,000 to hold an order for the Roadster.




Tesla is far from being the only automaker to experience delays, but even if we assume that the rest of 2021 and the beginning of 2022 go smoothly, there's still a lot that can happen. All of Tesla's suppliers would have to get their ducks in a row and there can be no COVID-related production delays. That would also peg 2022 as one of the automaker's flagship years for product releases, with both the Semi and Cybertruck on the schedule. It's possible, but far from guaranteed, that all of those pieces fall into place, making Tesla's 2022 a banner year. As for the Roadster, 2023 could be the year that we're all blown away by its range and acceleration, but recent history suggests that anything can happen at any time, so we won't be holding our breath.

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