Toyota’s ‘New Organisational Policy Briefing’ mentions xEV strategy and presents directions for strengthening competitiveness, including ‘doubling the cruising range of BEVs’.
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At the ‘New Organisational Policy Briefing’ held on 7 April 2023, Toyota expressed its initiatives from the perspectives of products, technology and regional management. The direction of technological evolution of electric vehicles is also mentioned. The company intends to take on the challenge of “pursuing good quality at low cost” for HEVs, “achieving a BEV range of 200 km or more” for PHEVs and “mass production of FCEVs, mainly for commercial vehicles”, and for BEVs, which it positions as its most important task for the time being, it has set targets such as “doubling the range”, “halving the number of processes” and “establishing a new supply chain”. The HEV technology was first developed in 1997.
HEV technology has been accumulated for more than 25 years since the first Prius in 1997, and the technology reached maturity during the fourth-generation Prius launched in 2015, when the power split mechanism and reduction mechanism were separated. Under the new structure, the major theme is to improve the quality and low cost of products, and the company intends to respond to the needs of countries around the world. On the other hand, it is widely recognised that HEVs will not be able to cope with the tightening of environmental regulations in countries around the world after 2025, and a shift from HEVs to PHEVs is expected to continue after 2025. However, user support is essential to realising the shift to PHEVs, and a development target of a BEV cruising range of 200 km or more, which is not inconvenient for everyday use, has been set for this time. The aim is to mass-produce FCEVs for commercial vehicles for the time being. The mass production of passenger FCEVs is expected to be tackled in earnest after the spread of commercial vehicles has progressed, FCEV costs have been reduced and infrastructure has been developed, and the success or failure of the spread of commercial FCEVs will be key.
BEVs, which will be the most important issue in electric vehicles for the time being, will aim to develop competitive products by making agile strategy revisions each time while also keeping a side eye on the development status of competitors in the rapidly changing environment. In response to the current acceleration in the spread of BEVs, the company has set a sales target of ‘1.5 million units by 2026’, and in order to compete with competitors such as Tesla, it has set a target of ‘doubling the cruising range’ and is aiming to achieve this by pursuing high efficiency in the drive system and fully utilising battery capacity (previously, ‘we were somewhat overprotective in our usage (Toyota xEV development staff)’). The direction to dramatically improve the product competitiveness of BEVs was indicated.
Toyota’s scenario of shifting from HEVs to PHEVs as a transitional period before the full-scale diffusion of BEVs may change in the future, depending on the development speed of BEVs and the speed at which battery costs fall. Battery price trends and the performance evolution of BEVs will be a major focus for the foreseeable future, as the advantage of PHEVs over BEVs may decline if battery prices fall further than expected and BEVs may spread past PHEVs.
This section analyses the direction of Toyota’s BEV strategy, which is being re-examined under an agile philosophy, and Toyota’s thinking underlying the strategy formulation, as well as the strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and challenges of the BEV business. Based on the overview and performance of the most recently launched new-generation BEVs, we will also look ahead to new BEVs that are expected to be launched further in the future. Furthermore, the growing significance of BEVs in the context of carbon neutrality and sustainability, which are top management priorities, will also be analysed.