Kurt Verlin
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First Toyota BEVs Coming This Year

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Side by side images of Toyota electrified products: Mirai, charging port closeup, and RAV4 Prime
Photo: Toyota

Toyota has announced its first two battery-electric vehicles are coming to the United States sometime this year, alongside a new plug-in hybrid.

The automaker is developing a dedicated BEV platform — dubbed e-TNGA — that will enable it to ramp up its electric vehicle production along with the rest of the industry.

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Toyota has been late to the BEV party, having preferred to focus on its hybrid lineup and hydrogen fuel cell technology. It says that based on new internal research, the environmental impact of BEVs and PHEVs are roughly the same, with PHEVs being much less expensive to own.

The Japanese manufacturer plans to have a diverse lineup that provides customers the ability to “choose the model that best suits their usage needs and cost profile while maximizing the total contribution to [greenhouse gas] reduction.”

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“We believe the fastest way to lower greenhouse gases in the transportation sector is to offer drivers lower carbon choices that meet their needs,” added Gill Pratt, CEO of Toyota Research Institute. “At every price point and with multiple powertrains, we can put more people in cleaner automobiles across North America to have the greatest near-term impact on total carbon emissions.”

Toyota currently has 40 percent of the total market share for alternative fuel vehicles, including 75 percent of the FCV market and 64 percent of the hybrid and PHEV market. It expects that by 2025, 40 percent of the vehicles it sells will be electrified, and that by 2030, that number will grow to 70 percent.

Details about the upcoming Toyota BEVs and PHEV have yet to be shared, though one is almost surely the electric SUV that Toyota is jointly developing with Subaru. The other BEV is believed to be a sedan. The PHEV will be the third in the Toyota lineup, joining the Prius Prime and RAV4 Prime.