Toyota’s anticipated fleet of battery electric vehicles will reportedly offer a more affordable price tag than competitors. The automaker plans to “go light with batteries on its EVs” and focus on making their vehicles more affordable and durable, while other automakers, like Tesla and Lexus, are primarily focused on extending range.
Toyota views affordability as a critical step towards an all-electric future – the more affordable they can make their EVs, the more drivers will switch from gas-powered vehicles to electric. With environmental responsibility and sustainability in mind, Toyota wants to sell enough EVs to truly make a difference.
In an interview with Green Car Reports, Cooper Ericksen, Toyota Motor North America VP for product planning and strategy, explained this vision in greater detail. “‘Nothing happens until you sell a car’ is an expression we have internally,” he shared. “To have a positive impact on the environment, you must sell a high volume of cars … so it’s really important that the price point is such that we can make an actual business model out of it.”
A few months ago, Toyota confirmed their shift into the EV market, pledging US$13.5 billion towards battery development, with a goal to cut the battery cost per vehicle by 50 per cent. By the end of the decade, Toyota expects to be selling millions of price-conscious EVs.
“Batteries are expensive, and the bigger you make the battery, the more expensive it is,” Ericksen explained. “So the trick, I think long-term is not all about range, range, range; the trick is matching the range and the price point to what the consumer can afford.”
Eriksen also noted Toyota’s emphasis on optimizing EV efficiency. “The reality is, I think that needs to be a big part of every EV we develop,” he said. “Similar to, we launched with a gen-one hybrid system on Prius, then we built a gen two …. you know, fundamentally it’s all about efficiency and price-point performance.”