The Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corporation has announced at the Beijing Motor Show that it has planned to launch plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) versions of its ongoing "Corolla" and "Levin" passenger cars in 2019 along with a zero emission battery electric vehicle (BEV) model based on its "C-HR" / "IZOA"* crossover compact SUV for the Chinese market in 2020.
The new versions of these Corolla and Levin cars due in 2019 are claimed to be capable of going 30 miles in all-electric mode and in 2019, Toyota will start producing them in China, marking Toyota's debut in overseas production of plug-in hybrid vehicles. Toyota plans to introduce 10 new electrified vehicles in China by 2020 and this newly announced plug-in cars are a part of it.
The plug-in hybrid vehicle versions of the 2019 Corolla and Levin were unveiled on the opening day of the Beijing Motor Show in China. Both of these models are expected to be a result of the Chinese government’s requirement for a certain quota of a car brand’s sales to be electric in order to control the emission. The demand for plug-in cars in China is so large that Toyota has sold 1,40,000 electrified cars alone there in 2017. The figure represented cumulative total of electrified vehicles sold in the country to approximately 350,000 units which is 40 per cent of the total sales of the electric cars by Toyota till date, and the automaker plans to continue improving its electrified-vehicle lineup.
The Japanese automotive manufacturer has plans to produce the electric motors, batteries and inverters for its plug-in models for the hybrid market. In order to suffice the increasing demand for its plug-in cars, Toyota is going to raise its production capacity for the nickel-metal hydride battery modules at Sinogy Toyota Automotive Energy System Co., Ltd., and Corun PEVE Automotive Battery Co., Ltd., to 2,20,000 units by 2020. It is also opening a battery testing facility in China with the name Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing.
Toyota recently revealed that it is working on commercializing solid-state batteries by the early 2020s and if it achieves this target, the Japanese carmaker would be the first to do so. The technology will enable the batteries to store more energy than an equivalent of lithium-ion batteries and is likely to become a game changer for the electric vehicles.
The company has been working alongside its Chinese partners and members of the Toyota Group in order to build a local production base for key components. The efforts include the launch of production of transaxles for hybrid electric vehicles at Toyota Motor Auto Parts Co., Ltd., which took place in 2015.
Toyota Motor Corporation is exploring potential applications for its fuel cell technology for the fuel cell electric vehicles in China. In 2017, the company started a three-year verification-test program for the Chinese market that uses Toyota's "Mirai" FCEV, which has expanded the scope of feasibility studies to include the commercial vehicles like buses too.
Kazuhiro Kobayashi, Senior Managing Officer and Chief Executive Officer, China Region, Toyota stated at the Beijing Motor Show that the company is steadily and confidently advancing all aspects of our environmental strategy in China, which is the world's most-advanced country in electrification.