In a decisive move towards embracing the electric future of transportation, Toyota Motor (7203.T) announced on Monday its bold strategy to significantly expand its footprint in the electric vehicle (EV) market in Europe. The Japanese automotive behemoth has laid out plans to introduce a total of six new battery electric vehicle (BEV) models to the European market by 2026, with the ambitious aim of capturing more than 20% of new car sales in the region.
As the largest automaker globally by sales, Toyota is positioning itself to reclaim its prominence in a market where rivals have been making substantial gains in the adoption of EVs. The company envisions achieving an annual sales figure surpassing 250,000 battery-powered vehicles in Europe by 2026, underlining its commitment to robust growth in this transformative sector.
Toyota already has a footprint in the European market, with a current offering of a battery EV and the unveiling of a compelling compact sports utility vehicle (SUV) concept last year. The latest revelation introduces two additional EV concepts, slated for release later in the decade. The first is a conceptual model for a battery-powered small SUV, expected to hit European markets in 2024. The second is a sports crossover model, with a planned introduction in 2025. These additions highlight Toyota’s strategic foresight and dedication to staying ahead of the curve in the evolving landscape of electric mobility.
On a global scale, Toyota is setting an ambitious target of selling 1.5 million battery-powered vehicles annually worldwide by 2026. In a European Union (EU) market where fully electric car sales surged by over 50% in the first ten months of the year, Toyota is keen on securing a substantial market share. Current data from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association positions Toyota as the fifth-largest player in the EU auto market, maintaining just under 7% market share.
While the recent spotlight has been on Toyota’s strides in the electric vehicle arena, the company remains committed to a diversified approach to sustainable transportation. In addition to the expansion of the EV lineup, Toyota unveiled plans to establish a business unit in Europe dedicated to hydrogen technology. The company aims to commercialize hydrogen fuel-cell technology by developing fuel-cell systems and fostering commercial partnerships.
This move follows Toyota executives’ announcement in July, outlining the company’s intent to focus on selling hydrogen-powered trucks and cars in Europe and China. Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, similar to EVs, utilize an electric motor but draw power from a fuel stack where hydrogen is separated by a catalyst to produce electricity. Toyota reported selling approximately 3,500 fuel-cell vehicles globally from January to October, showcasing its commitment to a dual-pronged strategy in the rapidly evolving automotive landscape.
Toyota’s comprehensive strategy aligns with the broader industry trend towards sustainability and zero-emission transportation. As the automotive landscape undergoes a transformative shift toward electrification, Toyota’s strategic vision underscores its commitment to innovation, sustainability, and maintaining a diversified portfolio.
In a statement accompanying the announcement, Toyota emphasized its dedication to shaping the future of mobility in Europe, promising consumers an expanded range of electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles in the coming years. With a focus on cutting-edge technology and environmental consciousness, Toyota is poised not only to meet the evolving demands of European consumers but also to drive the entire automotive market towards a more sustainable and electrified future. The electrifying leap that Toyota is taking is not just a strategic move; it is a bold declaration of intent to lead the charge towards a greener and more sustainable future on Europe’s roads.