Toyota to sell electric cars in China, use Suzuki EVs in India, from 2020: report

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2012 Toyota RAV4 EV, Newport Beach, California, July 2012

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Toyota made its future battery-electric car project public this past April after an “agonizing” decision to depart from its sole focus on a future powered by hydrogen fuel cells as its sole zero-emission vehicle technology.

Mostly, that shift is due to China and India—two major auto markets that call for phasing out the internal-combustion engine at a speedy pace.

To meet those requirements in Asian countries, Toyota will reportedly tap partners as well as continue development of its own electric cars from 2020 onward.

DON’T MISS: Why Toyota’s ‘agonizing’ U-turn toward electric cars? Because China says so

Toyota head of China operations, Hiroji Onishi, said it signed an agreement with Suzuki to supply electric cars for the Indian market.

Additionally, it will develop its own electric car specifically for China, Bloomberg reported last Thursday.

Onishi didn’t squash the idea of continued fuel-cell development, however, and cited the powertrain specifically as part of Toyota’s future plans.

2012 Toyota RAV4 EV, Newport Beach, California, July 2012

2012 Toyota RAV4 EV, Newport Beach, California, July 2012

Enlarge Photo

“We will also continue to develop every aspect of what China defines as new-energy vehicles, including plug-in hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles,” he said.

This past April, the automaker’s namesake and president, Akio Toyoda, revealed plans for its electric car, due in 2020.

He also told reporters this past September the automaker is a “little bit late” in electric vehicle development, especially as nearly every major automaker rolls out plans to electrify its lineup in the near future.

READ THIS: Honda to launch electric car in China next year too, joining Toyota, reluctantly

The Suzuki agreement will likely help remedy the situation somewhat.

Per the agreement, Toyota will provide technical support and Suzuki will build the electric vehicles for Toyota to market in India.

Both companies will also embark on initiatives to educate Indian consumers on electric cars and help make them more viable transportation options.

Toyota must build the electric car planned for China in the country to qualify for “credits” under the upcoming Chinese regulations.

China wants new-car makers to achieve a 12-percent “new-energy vehicle score” under its credit system, which would mean 4 to 5 percent of all new-car sales would be powered exclusively by batteries and electric motors by 2020.

CHECK OUT: Toyota electric-car tech to come from venture with Mazda, Denso

Like Toyota, China will also force Honda to jump into the electric vehicle segment more aggressively.

Both Japanese automakers believe electric cars won’t be a practical option for consumers for years to come, but the nation’s auto market is a catch 22.

Honda sold 1.16 million cars in the first 10 months of 2017; Toyota moved 1.07 million cars.

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