GUANGZHOU – Toyota Motor Corp. announced on November 17 at the Guangzhou Auto Show that it will be rolling out an electric vehicle under the Toyota brand in the Chinese market in 2020, earlier than any other market, and that its existing fuel cell vehicle feasibility study will be expanded to cover commercial vehicles such as buses.
Toyota has for the past few years developed China-made hybrid units and expects to sell a total of approximately 100,000 units of the Corolla Hybrid and Levin Hybrid models in 2017, both of which feature domestically-produced hybrid units.
In addition, development of plug-in hybrid variants of the Corolla and Levin is underway in preparation for their rollout. “We will use the technology we have nurtured in hybrid electrification to carry out extensive development of new energy vehicles as required by China,” said Hiroji Onishi, senior managing officer of Toyota and CEO of the China Region.
Recently, the Hydrogen Station at Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (China) Co., Ltd. in Changshu, Jiangsu Province has been completed for fuel cell vehicles, and verification is being carried out under a three-year plan from October using two Mirai vehicles. Toyota will also study and evaluate the feasibility of using commercial vehicles, such as buses, in China to explore the potential usage of fuel cell technology. Fuel cell buses have already been introduced in Japan and a feasibility study on potential usage of fuel cell technology in heavy-duty trucks in the U.S. are ongoing. Toyota is also proceeding with demonstration tests of fuel cell vehicles with Mirai in countries such as Australia, the U.A.E., and Canada. Ultimately, Toyota aims to achieve a hydrogen-based society through verification under a range of environments.
At Auto Guangzhou 2017, Toyota announced the rollout of a second TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) vehicle in the middle of next year – a compact SUV (known as the IZOA, or C-HR) fitted with a newly developed 2.0-liter TNGA engine – following the launch of the 8th generation Camry produced by GAC-Toyota in China, the first vehicle developed using TNGA.
The company also announced it will work with Chinese partners FAW Group and GAC Group to possibly launch EVs at their joint ventures using models supplied by Chinese partners. Two EV concepts based on FAW’s Junpai and GAC’s GS4 SUV were displayed.