Toyota working on a new dedicated electric car platform

  • Unlike the Toyota bZ4X, the automaker's future electric vehicles will be underpinned by a dedicated and ground-up EV platform.
Toyota bZ4X at the Auto Expo 2023.
Toyota bZ4X at the Auto Expo 2023.

Toyota Motor Corporation is reportedly working on an all-electric car platform, which would increase the competitiveness and efficiency of future electric vehicles of the automaker. Also, this new EV platform would reduce production costs of future electric cars of the brand, claims Japanese news publication Asahi Shimbun. The report also claims that this decision is part of Toyota's strategy to start mass production of EVs as it anticipates a rapid increase in consumer demand for pure electric vehicles amid the steep rise of petrol.

What's more interesting is the news comes right after Akio Toyoda stepped down as the group's CEO and was replaced by Lexus president Koji Sato. This could indicate a paradigm shift at Toyota, which has been at the forefront of the greener powertrain technology but is relatively slow in developing all-electric powertrains, majorly because of Toyoda's disinterest in pure electric vehicles.

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This strategy of developing a new dedicated EV platform and increasingly focusing on pure electric cars would put the Japanese auto giant in direct competition with the EV industry leader Tesla.

Toyota bZ4X SUV, the brand's first high-volume all-electric production car, is built on the brand's TNGA modular ICE platform instead of an EV-only architecture. The report claims that Toyota originally intended to use the same e-TNGA platform for its other future electric vehicles but changed its mind later.

One reason behind that could be that the e-TNGA architecture shares several characteristics with the TNGA counterpart used for petrol or hybrid cars, which results in it being a complicated-shaped platform with parts that are completely unnecessary for electric vehicles. This leads to higher production costs for Toyota electric cars. The automaker reportedly wanted to bring down that cost by making a simple and EV-only architecture, just like what Tesla manufactures. The upcoming EV platform could be like a skateboard and ideal for producing electric vehicles.

First Published Date: 29 Jan 2023, 14:15 PM IST
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