The Japanese brand has confirmed it will unveil its first fully-electric car. The yet-to-be-named EV will be the same size as the current RAV4 but will be built on the company’s new scalable electric platform.
This new electric vehicle platform — which has been co-developed with Subaru — will allow Toyota to build multiple vehicles including a compact and large SUV, sedan and potentially a hatch.
It will also allow for vehicles to be front-, rear- or all-wheel drive depending on how many electric motors they have.
Toyota is aiming at the European markets, which are much more advanced than New Zealand in rolling out regulations and infrastructure to support zero-emissions vehicles.
But according to reports from UK publication Autocar the EV will be a global vehicle, and considering the popularity of RAV4 sized SUVs in New Zealand it should arrive in the near future.
According to Autocar, Toyota’s European product boss, Andrea Carlucci, says the new car will be “very European in the DNA and design.” And he says a RAV4-sized SUV was chosen for Toyota’s first electric vehicle because the car will be a global model, and it offers the best way to balance out the needs of all regions.
The RAV4 is a big seller in both NZ and the US.
Toyota is leading the charge on low emissions vehicles in NZ. The brand is selling hybrids in record numbers.
It has recently launched the new Yaris small hatchback and the compact Yaris Cross SUV, both of which come in hybrid form.
The introduction of these new models has meant that Toyota now offers a hybrid version of almost all its vehicles except for the bigger SUVs and four-wheel drives.
The hybrid RAV4 has proved so popular there has been a waiting list of several months.
Toyota will benefit from being the world’s biggest car maker, so it will have the potential to scale up electric vehicles quickly which will make them cheaper and reach more markets than most other brands.