Automotive sales king Toyota has finally made its way to the BEV battlefield by announcing the new BEV platform e-TNGA, and is expected to launch its first BEV SUV in the European market next year.
The champion of global car sales Toyota has been often criticized over the past years for its sluggish pace in implementing BEVs and the reluctance in giving up on HEVs, and this sleeping giant is now finally making a move by announcing the BEV platform e-TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture), with imminent entry into the BEV market.
Toyota commented that the e-TNGA platform will be a dual-use architecture with ultra-large elasticity that is able to correspond with the length, width, and height of a vehicle, as well as fully compatible with both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. The first product built with the new platform will be a SUV.
This BEV SUV is currently on the verge of entering the mass production phase, and will be assembled in the Japan factory of Toyota, with availability in the European market as soon as mid-2021. With no official name of the vehicle announced yet, the design may be similar to that of Evoltis, the concept car previously announced by Subaru.
This is merely the first step, as Toyota is ready to work with Suzuki and Daihatsu on designing compact vehicles. In addition, a total of 6 vehicles, ranging from large SUV, large sedan, medium crossover, and minivan, will be developed from the e-TNGA platform, followed by successive launches.
The capacity of the battery unit is estimated at 50-100kWh under the e-TNGA architecture, and the two adoptable motors are respectively powered at 80 and 150kW. With this particular array in the architecture, the driving range of a compact car is expected to be roughly 300km, and 600km for large vehicles. The adoption of the existing lithium-ion battery during the preliminary phase is the only variable, though Toyota and Co wish to replace it with the solid-state battery that is currently under R&D, in order to achieve better performance.
2020 is an important year for the contrarian growth of electric vehicles, especially with the European market, where Tesla is no longer the only option, and Volkswagen and Renault have both caught up with Tesla’s sales performance. Under this market status, Toyota, who has been performing remarkably in emission in Europe, may be left behind after 3 years, if it doesn’t hurry and release vehicles with zero emission. Hence, the decision of releasing the first BEV in Europe is indeed rational.
Whether this move of Toyota, after years of silence, is going to once again create another miracle in the automotive industry, will be the most prominent event among electric vehicles for 2021.
(Cover photo source: Toyota)