Automotive giant Toyota is eyeing an all-electric model onslaught by the end of the decade, according to a new report out of Japan.
The article, by Japanese newspaper Nikkei, claims the company intends to start the mass-production of electric vehicles (EVs) by 2020, expanding its green car range beyond its current hybrid and fuel-cell offerings.
According to the report, Toyota aims to make a full-scale entry into the EV market, and will seek partnerships with other companies to help fast-track the production process.
Above and Top: Toyota Prius
Nikkei says the first EV will have a target range of 300km, while the current architecture that underpins the Prius hybrid is being considered for an electric SUV model.
This report comes after rivals like Volkswagen have announced commitments to zero-emissions electric motoring, with the German brand aiming to have EVs account or 25 per cent of its total vehicle sales by 2025.
Above: Toyota Mirai
It’s believed Toyota will ramp up the development of batteries for these new vehicles, though it could also outsource batteries to reduce development costs.
Nikkei highlights that the 2020 timeline also coincides with the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games, “when the world will be watching Japan” – it’s unknown whether this is the actual reason for that date, though some extra publicity surely wouldn’t hurt.
It’s early days so further details are scarce, so stay tuned for more updates.