Toyota’s New Chief Says Firm Will Develop Advanced EV’s in 2026

In an apparent effort to catch up with its overseas rivals, Toyota Motor’s incoming president, Koji Sato, said the company will develop next-generation electric vehicles in 2026.

The new EV will be based on its high-end Lexus brand first, with a plan to launch all-electric versions of other vehicles later, Sato said.

In an online press conference Sato added: “We have been preparing to make battery electric vehicles that suit Toyota and Lexus, the time has finally come.”

Toyota, the developer of the Prius, the world’s first mass-produced hybrid passenger vehicle, has long been seen as reluctant to push forward with a shift toward all-electric cars.

According to a Kyodo News report, the company has said carbon reduction should be undertaken in accordance with the needs of each country, noting that hybrid cars could be a better solution in areas where charging equipment is scarce, or there is a high dependency on fossil fuels to make electricity.

But in the face of ever-tightening environmental regulations and the rise of newer rivals, such as Tesla Inc., the Japanese automaker has gradually ramped up its EV efforts in recent years, setting a goal of selling 3.5 million EVs in 2030.

Toyota announced last month it will promote Sato to president from April 1, replacing current president Akio Toyoda, who will become chairman of the automaker.

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