Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces details of its plans for “eco-car” development and launches including 11 new conventional hybrids over the next two years and a Prius-based plug-in hybrid.
TMC plans to introduce 11 models by the end of 2012, consisting of all-new models and redesigned models. Of the planned new models, one is a compact with fuel efficiency in excess of 40 km/l (94 mpg U.S. or 2.5l/100km) under the 10-15 Japanese test cycle.
By early 2012, TMC plans to begin sales of a “Prius”-based plug-in hybrid, mainly in Japan, the United States and Europe. Sales are targeted at more than 50,000 units annually, and the price for Japan is expected to be in the 3-million-yen range ($36,000).
In 2012, in addition to the U.S. market, an iQ-based EV will also be introduced in Japan and Europe. Launch preparations call for road trials in Japan, U.S., and Europe starting in 2011. Launch in China is also being considered, with road trials planned for 2011.
Separately, the “RAV4 EV” concept, which was developed jointly with Tesla Motors, will be on display until November 28 at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, United States.
Toyota plans to begin selling hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles in the three markets in which hydrogen supply infrastructure is expected to develop from around 2015. Toyota said it expected to be able to offer the car for a price under 10 million yen — about one-tenth of what the zero-emission vehicle cost at the beginning of the decade.
TMC is researching development of next-generation secondary batteries with performance that greatly exceeds that of lithium-ion batteries. Such research is aimed to help bring about the revolutionary advances in battery performance that will be necessary for the broad adoption of electric-motor-propelled eco-cars.
• Solid-state batteries: TMC has successfully reduced what is known as particle resistance and has made progress toward creating full solid-state batteries in a promising compact package.
• Metal-air batteries: TMC has determined the reaction mechanism of lithium-air batteries and has clarified its research policy regarding the batteries as rechargeable secondary batteries.
In January 2010, TMC established a division charged with studying production of next-generation batteries. The division, with a staff of approximately 100 researchers, is accelerating its research.