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Toyota New Zealand has launched an online electrification hub, with the aim of helping customers and potential buyers better understand its journey towards an “electrified future”.
From Toyota’s overall intent to become carbon neutral by 2050, it brings together global and local information, including the steps that Kiwi buyers can take now with hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
It walks visitors through the various electrified technologies already on sale in easy-to-understand terms, as well as looking at future mobility options like hydrogen fuel cells and the company’s expansion into other forms of mobility, or “mobility as a service”.
Toyota NZ chief executive Neeraj Lala outlined the brand’s ethos in a recent presentation to the Transport and Infrastructure Select Committee. His key message was that the shift to cleaner cars must be inclusive: “The future is unpredictable, so it’s important we focus on a variety of solutions to lower emissions. We see a range of options to leave no customer behind on our pathway to lower emissions.
“There is no silver bullet when it comes to reducing transport sector emissions; we believe in investing in new technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells, car sharing, and Mobility as a Service, all as ways of lowering emissions and reducing transport congestion.
“Our challenge when it comes to transitioning to a low carbon transport future is availability of product, affordability to everyday Kiwis, and maintaining high standards of safety technology that is critical for our local road conditions,” he says.
Toyota has already achieved a 14 per cent emissions reduction from its fleet in the past five years, and is targeting a 17 per cent reduction in the next five. This has been achieved mainly by selling more hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) – 11,000 in 2021 – and more vehicles with fuel efficient powertrains.
Toyota NZ’s electrified vehicle sales were especially strong in October, with the RAV4 and Corolla taking second and thirds spots overall in the top 10 vehicles. Its overall new vehicle hybrid electric sales were at 42 per cent of the total, with a year-to-date average of 38 per cent.
“We are seeing customers choosing to move to an electrified product, says Lala. “For the month of October with the RAV4 alone we delivered 869 vehicles, of which 86 per cent were hybrid electric variants (745).”
The increased percentage of hybrid electric sales has seen the overall average CO2 emissions for Toyota drop to 149g/km, which is a 2.6 per cent decrease on the previous month.
“A year ago, it would have been unprecedented that Kiwi customers were prepared to wait for their vehicle. We are now seeing the benefits of our business shift to an agency model with the transparent driveaway price, customers know what they are going to pay when ordering their vehicle.”
Toyota NZ’s luxury brand Lexus also had a strong sales month and is on track to deliver a record number of vehicles for 2021, with a 69 per cent mix of electrified vehicles.
“We are excited to announce the arrival of some exciting new electrified product, including the new battery electric UX300e which is close to being sold out for this year already,” says Lala.
On the way to its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, Toyota plans to have an electrified version of every car in its lineup by 2030.