Toyota had really cemented themselves as a technological frontrunner when they released the Prius and showed the world their hybrid powertrain which the automaker has continued to iterate on and be a leader in all these years later. However, while it was one of the first through the door for hybrid technology, it’s still far in the back of the line for battery-electric technology. The company has notably been dragging its feet and trying its hand at making hydrogen power a reality for the consumer market, but it looks like some progress is being made in the battery-electric front with a new electric SUV coming.
Toyota has been really slow to make any progress in providing a battery electric vehicle to consumers and has not released any outside of China. However, it finally looks like we will soon be able to see what Toyota can bring to the electric vehicle table. It’s been over a year since Toyota announced that they would be developing a new electric vehicle platform and electric SUVs in collaboration with Subaru. Now it looks like the result of that partnership might be previewed in the next few months.
Toyota announced yesterday that it would be previewing an upcoming electric SUV for its European battery-electric lineup. The new SUV would be riding on their new e-TNGA platform which, as you probably guessed, was designed with maximum modularity in mind to be able to be used in as many models as possible to cut costs.
Koji Toyoshima, Deputy Chief Officer of Toyota’s ZEV Factory had the following to say regarding the announcement:
Toyota will shortly take the next step in the rollout of its forthcoming battery-electric portfolio by first previewing an all-new mid-sized SUV in the coming months. The versatility and flexibility of e-TNGA technology allows us to design and create vehicles that are not just battery-electric, but also exciting to drive and beautiful to look at
One troubling thing about this announcement is that the SUV seems to be limited to the European market and as such, North America will still be left without a Toyota EV. Given that Europe has more stringent emissions goals it makes the move seem like Toyota is only doing the move because they have to and might do the absolute minimum. They have however gone through the effort of producing a whole new platform to be used for future EVs, so perhaps I’m taking a pessimistic view.
What do you think the implications of the move are and what are you hoping to see from the future Toyota electric SUV? Let us know down in the comments below.