Revealing a bold plan for the two firms to sell around 3.5 million battery-electric cars by 2030, Toyoda explained that "we need to reduce emissions as much as possible, as soon as possible," and that the brands will "expand options for carbon-neutral vehicles", which run on 'clean' energy.
First, he presented concepts for the bZ-badged EVs, which will follow its new bZ4X SUV in the market in the near future: a compact SUV with "a beautiful silhouette", an Aygo X-inspired urban SUV designed for Japan and Europe, a midsized saloon "which meets expectations for a first car", and a full-sized SUV. These are the firm's 'reasonably priced' mass-production models, but a further 11 models unveiled highlight the diversity of Toyota's and Lexus's planned EVs; and alongside small commercial urban EVs were full-sized off-roaders, a pickup truck and even a pair of supercars.
Toyota has also announced that, along with Lexus, it plans to sell 3.5 million electric cars by 2030, including BEVs and FCEVs. It is up from its previous target of 2 million. Toyoda compares this target to Daimler, PSA and other manufacturers with comparable global volumes to Toyota. The company has increased its investment in battery development by ¥500 billion (£3.3billion) to ¥2 trillion (£13.3billion).
He highlighted the disparity between carbon-neutral and carbon-reducing vehicles, emphasising that the source of the energy used to run the company's EVs is one of the most important factors in the strategy. Toyota and Lexus, he said, will achieve carbon neutrality by 2035.
Simon Humphreys, Toyota's design senior general manager, said the spread of EVs on display showcases Toyota's and Lexus's belief that "future electric vehicles should be unique and special". Some future EVs, according to Toyoda, will be based on existing models, and indeed some of the concepts bear a resemblance to current models, including the Toyota Hilux and Lexus NX, but others will be all-new, bespoke models sitting atop the brand's new e-TNGA EV platform developed with Subaru.
Lexus will launch its first bespoke EV, the RZ crossover, in 2022, using the same e-TNGA architecture as the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra. Following that will be a full range of EVs, which looks to include, based on the concepts on show, a full-sized SUV in the vein of the RX, an IS-sized saloon and a dedicated supercar.
Little is known about this latter, but its preview serves as a reinforcement of Lexus's ambition to prioritise dynamics and performance in the EV era. Vice president Pascal Ruch previously told Autocar: "The Lexus driving signature is something we will continue to stress, because we believe electrification and driving pleasure are not in contradiction. In fact, it’s the opposite: they can go hand in hand."