Toyota plan early launch of battery EVs in India in partnership with Suzuki

Japan’s largest automaker Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) is working closely with Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) to introduce a compact battery electric vehicle (BEVs) in the Indian market at an early stage, said a top official in the company.

Shigeki Terashi, executive vice president and member of the board, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), said, “India is, of course, one of the countries we have in mind for introduction (of battery electric vehicles).

Toyota is large in Japan but has a limited presence in India. Maruti Suzuki is large in India, with Suzuki, we will explore the possibilities of BEVs (in India)”. He said the duo will look to launch a compact battery-electric vehicle in the country at an early stage without specifying details of the product or a time frame for the introduction.

“Some of the OEMs have already introduced electric vehicles in India and we don’t want to be left behind. We will start with a compact BEV at an early stage...Since we are working (on it) with Suzuki, I cannot share the timeline,” said Terashi.

Toyota-Suzuki had finalized an agreement to manufacture and sell electric vehicles in India by the turn of the decade in November 2017. According to the memorandum of understanding signed between the companies, Toyota was to provide the technical know-how for the project while Suzuki was to manufacture the vehicles for the Indian market and also supply some to Toyota. The companies subsequently expanded their collaboration to cross-badging vehicles for India and other markets. As part of the agreement, Toyota will also share futuristic automotive technology with Suzuki.

Suzuki has since internally developed an electric version of the small car WagonR. The company has been testing a fleet of 50 such vehicles on Indian roads but has said the high price tag attached to the technology will make it unviable for a commercial launch for personal buyers. The electric version of the WagonR would cost around Rs 12 lakh, Maruti Suzuki managing director Kenichi Ayukawa had earlier told ET, adding that the vehicle could possibly find use in commercial fleet operations.

Globally, Toyota plans to expedite the development of electrified vehicles -- hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, battery electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles -- to reduce vehicular pollution and fossil fuel consumption over the next decade. The carmaker plans to have electrified versions of all its products by 2025. Toyota will launch 10 BEVs worldwide by 2020 to popularise battery electric vehicles. Starting with China, the BEVs will gradually be introduced in Japan, the United States, Europe, and India.

Overall, the company plans to have sales of 5.5 million electrified vehicles by 2030. Of this, a million units will come from sales of zero emission vehicles (BEVs, FCEVs). To better performance of electrified vehicles, Toyota has developed next generation solid-state batteries, which will help in reducing charging time and increase the range of such vehicles. Terashi said the company will start commercial production of solid-state batteries ahead of the Olympics in 2020.

Toyota has also set up a separate vertical with 500 engineers for systems marketing to democratize future automotive technology. Terashi said the move will enable other companies to draw on its technologies to curb emissions. The vertical is expected to generate revenues worth Yen 200 billion going ahead.

News Source: Economic Times, Url:

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