It's taken a while for Toyota to realize that fully electric cars are the future of wheeled transportation. There was their experiment with the hydrogen fuel cell car called the Mirai back in 2014, and then an ad campaign poking fun at full electric cars and their need to stop and charge. Well, time cures everything, and the Japanese automaker has finally made an announcement telling the world they are serious about the electrification of the automobile.
Toyota has outlined a plan that includes 10 Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) models worldwide by 2020, and that every Toyota and Lexus model will be available either as a dedicated electrified model, or have an electrified option by 2025. By around 2030, Toyota plans on selling 5.5 million electrified vehicles which will include hybrid models.
To make all this possible, they announced a partnership with Panasonic that will start with a feasibility study on a joint automotive prismatic battery business. This will ensure that Toyota is at the forefront of battery technology by the time their new models are set to launch.
Also in the announcement is a reminder that Toyota made Hybrids what they are today with the launch of the Prius some 20 years ago. They briefly mentioned the hydrogen-powered Mirai, that not many can't even picture. Which is a good thing, because the thing was not very pleasing to the eyes or the wallet. Oh, and you can only drive it in California because there are no hydrogen filling stations anywhere else, so there's that.
It's good to see Toyota finally open up about their future electric car plans. They have some catching up to do, but as the largest producers of automobiles in 2016, they should do just fine.