Toyota of Japan promises more electric models and investments | Economic news

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By YURI KAGEYAMA, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) – Japanese automaker Toyota is expanding its electric vehicle lineup with 30 new all-electric models by 2030, its chairman Akio Toyoda said on Tuesday.

Toyota Motor Corp. plans to sell 3.5 million electric vehicles globally by 2030, he said, as he plans to sell 2 million zero-emission hydrogen and battery electric vehicles per year globally. ‘by 2030. Toyota now sells around 10 million vehicles worldwide per year. .

Toyoda has promised a full line of electric models called “bz series” short for “beyond zero” to come in the coming years, including sport utility vehicles of all sizes, pickup trucks and sports cars. .

“We can leave a beautiful planet and bring a lot of smiles to the next generation,” Toyoda told reporters in a Tokyo showroom, standing on stage with more than a dozen models of electric vehicles promised for the future.

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His comments underscore the company’s determination to reverse its reputation as a laggard in the industry’s transition to electric vehicles.

Toyota is proud of its pioneering role in hybrid technology and more recently in hydrogen fuel cells for vehicles.

The maker of the Prius hybrid, luxury Lexus models and the Mirai fuel cell car wants to offer a variety of options, Toyoda said.

He stressed that Toyota must respond to global fears about climate change and carbon emissions.

The company’s luxury brand Lexus will go fully electric by 2035 globally, Toyoda said. It aims to achieve this goal by 2030 for the US, European and Chinese markets.

Also on Tuesday, the company increased its investment in battery research and development to 2,000 billion yen ($ 17.6 billion) from the 1.5 trillion yen ($ 13.2 billion) announced earlier. This year.

By including other green technologies, such as hybrids, Toyota is investing 8 trillion yen ($ 70 billion) by 2030, the company said.

Earlier this month, Toyota announced plans to build a $ 1.3 billion electric vehicle battery plant near Greensboro, North Carolina that will employ at least 1,750 people and start production in 2025 .

Toyota’s all-electric sport utility vehicle called “bZ4X” is expected to go on sale around the world next year.

Toyota is building a futuristic city near Mount Fuji, designed to test and showcase automated driving, sustainable energy and robotics for housing.

David Leggett, automotive editor at GlobalData, said Toyota is trying to prepare for the dramatic technological and societal changes to come.

“Businesses need to think about what demand will look like 10, 20, 30 years from now, and what paths return to their business plans over a foreseeable time horizon,” Leggett told The Associated Press.

Toyoda, an avid racing driver and the grandson of the company’s founder, admitted that he had not been very interested in electric vehicles in the past, seeing them as “commodities”.

“They are safer, faster and more fun to drive. I can say that as a pilot, ”he said.

Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

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