Toyota Motor Corp is looking at mass-producing long-range Electric Vehicles (EVs) that would hit the market around 2020, in what would be a dramatic reversal in strategy for the world’s top-selling automaker.
Even as rivals such as Nissan Motor Co and Volkswagen AG have touted pure electric cars as the most viable zero-emission vehicles for the future, Toyota has said it would reserve EVs for short-distance commuting given the high price of rechargeable batteries and lengthy charging times.
By adding longer-range EVs to its product range, Toyota would be changing its tune from promoting plug-in petrol-electric hybrid cars and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles (FCVs) as the most promising alternative to conventional cars.
Toyota would set up a team in early 2017 dedicated to developing electric cars that can travel more than 300 km (186 miles) on a single charge. Plans under consideration include using an existing vehicle platform such as that of the Prius hybrid car or Corolla for the EV.
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