Toyota had already announced a strategic plan for transitioning to electric vehicles last year, but recent reports suggest that the car manufacturer from Japan is completely overhauling the strategic plan.
According to Reuters, an internal group at Toyota was tasked with drawing up plans to upgrade the current e-TNGA flexible EV platform or to develop a new EV architecture.
As this change is still in the discussion stage, Toyota has reportedly also suspended development of other EV projects, including a compact electric car inspired by the FJ Cruiser and the Toyota Crown hybrid.
However, Toyota reportedly faces the problem of manufacturing EVs that are too slow and expensive compared to other manufacturers, such as Tesla, which has been making electric cars for years.
Reuters noted that Toyota teamed up with Tesla to develop an all-electric version of the popular RAV4 SUV in 2012, but Toyota sold a stake in the development to Tesla in 2017 before starting development of its own platform.
The process of transitioning Toyota vehicles to EVs does not run smoothly. For example, the bZ4X, launched some time ago, lacks the key features commonly seen in other EVs, such as single-pedal driving and slow charging speeds (at least for AWD models).
To make matters worse, the launch of the bZ4X (and the platform-sharing Subaru Solterra EV) was stalled due to a massive recall due to loose hub bolts, which can cause tires to come off while driving. Toyota then fixed the problem by adding washers to the hub bolts.
Toyota was actually the “old man” in hybrid vehicle technology with the release of vehicles like the Prius, but more than two decades later, the Japanese automaker is falling behind, focusing too much on hydrogen fuel cell cars, like the Mirai, which is logistically difficult like the Mirai.