Toyota Australia is in no hurry to bring plug-in hybrid vehicles Down Under, arguing punters want the "normality" offered by its current approach to electrification.
As announced last week, the brand will expand its current hybrid range from five to 10 vehicles by 2020 in Australia, as it looks to capitalise on the momentum created by the strong-selling Corolla and Camry hybrids.
At the moment, hybrids account for around 40 per cent of new Corolla and almost 50 per cent of Camry sales, with Toyota vice president of sales and marketing, Sean Hanley, arguing "people want the normality of a normal hybrid" instead of a plug-in power.
Although it offers a plug-in hybrid Prius Prime overseas, Toyota has staunchly refused to bring it Down Under. That doesn't mean we won't eventually see plug-in Toyotas in Australia. Hanley says pure-electric vehicles will be offered locally by 2030, and committed to pioneering hydrogen technology.
Toyota announced a hydrogen trial earlier this week in partnership with the Hobson's Bay City Council. It's reliant on a hydrogen truck parked in Altona at the moment, given the current lack of infrastructure, but the findings will inform Toyota on what's required to make hydrogen fleets work.
When it arrives in April next year, the RAV4 will be the sixth hybrid model offered by Toyota Australia. Overseas markets get electrified versions of the C-HR, Yaris and Kluger at the moment, so there are plenty of vehicles on the table to help the brand follow through on its promise.
Come 2025, Toyota wants to offer hybrid or pure electric versions of its entire range globally. One thing is certain: we won't be seeing diesel in passenger cars or SUVs going forward, with Hanley stating "there's no diesel future - Toyota's clear on its hybrid direction".
With that in mind, the RAV4 won't be offered with a diesel in the current generation. What the no-diesel decree means for the HiLux and LandCruiser remains to be seen, but logic would suggest their product plans still include some form of diesel power in the immediate future.