Toyota will unveil its upcoming electric SUV on April 19 at the Shanghai Auto Show, kicking off a rapidly expanding lineup of electric vehicles.
The as-yet unnamed model will be similar in size to the current RAV4, although as a special BEV on a special architecture, it will get a new name. Toyota says the SUV was created specifically for the European market and will be produced at a dedicated zero-emissions plant in Japan.
Now, Toyota has confirmed it will announce its «next exciting journey in electrification» on April 19, posting another image of the front of the car in a darkened garage. A blue Toyota badge is visible, symbolizing the electrified model, hinting at a bold new look in place of the traditional Toyota grille.
The SUV will be the first of six BEV models to be used on the new e-TNGA platform that Toyota has co-developed with Subaru. This architecture is designed to be highly adaptable and can be used for vehicles of various lengths and wheelbases. It can also be used with front, rear and all-wheel drive, allowing the use of motors on both axles and a battery with a wide range of capacities.
Toyota also claims that studying its hybrids will improve both range and battery life.
Toyota head of European product development Andrea Carlucci said the new car will be «very European in DNA and design.» He explained that the RAV4-sized SUV was chosen as Toyota’s first electric vehicle because «the vehicle will be a global model and offers the best balance to meet the needs of all regions.» He added: “It is clear that there is a lot of demand for more compact models and this is where we will look in the future for other models for the European market.”
Toyota has previously said that other models planned for the e-TNGA platform will include a compact SUV being developed jointly with Suzuki, a crossover, a large SUV, a sedan and a minivan. Toyota is also investing in solid-state battery research and said it plans to launch «mass production» of BEVs using this transformative technology «in the first half of the 2020s.»
In addition to the new electric SUV, Toyota will also launch BEV versions of its Proace and Proace City minivans in 2021. The introduction of e-TNGA-based models will quickly expand Toyota’s BEV offering. electrified variants with hybrid, spring-loaded hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell models. By 2025, the company plans to sell 5.5 million electrified vehicles annually.
In Europe, Toyota plans to release more than 60 new or updated electrified models by 2025. By that date, more than 70% of its sales are expected to come from hybrid models, with PHEV, BEV and FCEV accounting for just over 10% each.
The new electric SUV will also join the fast-growing SUV lineup. Along with the equally large RAV4 available with hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains, Toyota’s crossover lineup now includes the Yaris Cross, C-HR, Highlander and Land Cruiser.