Toyota Motor announced on Monday its intention to bolster its battery electric vehicle (BEV) offerings in Europe, aiming to introduce six models by 2026. The automaker anticipates that BEVs will constitute over 20% of new car sales in the region by that time.
The global automotive giant outlined its projection to achieve sales exceeding 250,000 battery-powered vehicles annually in Europe by 2026, signaling a strategic push for growth in a market where it has faced stiff competition from rivals.
In addition to the existing battery EV in Toyota's European portfolio and a compact SUV concept unveiled last year, the company revealed two new concepts for models slated for the latter part of this decade. One is a concept for a battery-powered small SUV set to debut in 2024, while the other is a sports crossover model scheduled for introduction in 2025.
Toyota, with ambitions to sell 1.5 million battery-powered vehicles globally annually by 2026, aims to bolster its presence in a market where fully electric car sales in the European Union (EU) surged by more than half in the first ten months of the year, as per data from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association.
Despite Toyota holding the fifth-largest total auto market share in the EU for the period through October, comprising just under 7%, the company faces the imperative to adapt to the growing demand for electric vehicles in the region.
Acknowledging the evolving landscape, Toyota also disclosed plans to establish a dedicated business unit in Europe focusing on hydrogen. This initiative aims to advance the commercialization of hydrogen technology through the development of fuel-cell systems and fostering commercial partnerships.
In July, Toyota executives had previously outlined their focus on selling hydrogen-powered trucks and cars in Europe and China. Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles operate similarly to EVs but utilize a fuel stack where hydrogen undergoes a catalytic process to generate electricity. Globally, Toyota sold approximately 3,500 fuel-cell vehicles from January to October.
The move underscores Toyota's strategic response to the shifting dynamics of the European automotive market, aligning with the increasing consumer preference for electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles.