Toyota is Changing the Game: 10 New Electric Cars by 2026

Toyota, which has lagged behind its competitors in the electric vehicle market, has announced plans to introduce ten new battery-powered models and aims to sell 1.5 million EVs annually by 2026.

To achieve this goal, the company will establish a specialized unit focused on next-generation battery EVs. During a briefing on Friday, senior executives revealed this strategy under its new leadership team. Currently, Toyota and its luxury brand Lexus have three battery models available, with worldwide sales of fewer than 25,000 units in the previous year. An instance of this would be 2023 Toyota bZ4x.

Toyota has faced criticism from both investors and environmental organizations for not quickly adopting electric-powered vehicles. They have been accused of losing out to competitors such as Tesla who have been quicker to respond to the rapidly growing demand for EVs. Toyota, however, has argued that electric vehicles are just one option and that hybrids, such as their Prius, are a more practical choice in certain markets or for certain drivers.

At a recent briefing, Toyota's new Chief Executive, Koji Sato, announced that the company plans to expand their range of battery electric vehicles in the coming years. However, Sato emphasized that hybrids will continue to be an important aspect of their offerings. Toyota must meet the increasing demand for EVs, which are expected to comprise more than 50% of global vehicle production by 2030. To keep up with the growing EV market in the United States, Toyota will also raise production levels in that region.

The executives gave a clue about the new models' emphasis on sportiness by referring to them as "BEVs developed by automobile manufacturers."

Toyota aims to sell 1.5 million battery-powered units by 2026, 25% higher than the previous estimate of 1.2 million. The new target could be achieved within a year given the 300,000 unit gap. Although sales figures depends on Toyota's models, the associate director at S&P Global Mobility believes that the target is achievable. Toyota reported a drop in U.S. sales during Q1, while General Motors experienced an increase in demand for EVs from commercial and fleet customers.

Data from S&P Global Mobility in November showed that US consumers are shifting towards electric vehicles from Toyota and Honda Motor Co. According to East Peterson-Trujillo, a clean vehicles campaigner with nonprofit Public Citizen, Toyota is falling behind in innovation, and more Americans are realizing this.