Toyota will add plug-in hybrid production in Europe

Automotive Industry

Source: Times news express, 2021-04-26

Toyota will build plug-in hybrid cars in Europe and could also produce full-electric cars in the region as the automaker accelerates the electrification of its lineup.

Toyota Europe CEO Matt Harrison said the automaker plans to add plug-in variants of its core models and will localise their production.

Harrison did not disclose which Toyota cars will get plug-hybrid versions, nor where they will be built.

However, plants in the UK and Turkey are likely to become its first European factories to build plug-in hybrids.

Analyst firm LMC Automotive predicts that the C-HR compact SUV and Corolla compact car will be the first models to get the electrified powertrain. The Corolla is built in Toyota’s plant in Burnaston, England, and the C-HR is produced in Sakarya, Turkey.

LMC expects the C-HR and Corolla will get plug-in hybrid versions when their next-generations are introduced in mid-2022, the firm’s Senior Powertrain Analyst Sam Adham told Automotive News Europe.

Toyota already builds a plug-in hybrid version of the Corolla in China, where it is badged the Levin, he said.

Toyota expects 10% of its European sales to be plug-in hybrids by 2025. It already sells plug-in hybrid versions of the RAV4 SUV and the Prius car in Europe. Both are built in Japan.

Harrison said Toyota is likely to build an electric car in Europe sometime after 2025, when it expects more than 10% of its European sales to be full-electric vehicles.

The production version of the bZ4X concept unveiled at the Shanghai auto show will be Toyota’s first full-electric passenger car to be sold in Europe. The compact SUV will go on sale mid-2022.

Toyota could be selling more than 100,000 full-electric cars in Europe by 2025 if 10% of its sales are battery-electric cars, Harrison said. “Beyond that point you can expect local manufacturing,” he during an online media roundtable on 19 April.

The first full-electric Toyota vehicles sold in Europe is a battery-powered version of the Proace midsize van. The commercial version was recently launched in markets including Germany, France, the UK and Italy. A passenger version was also introduced in some markets.

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