Major Automaker to Launch In-House Venture for EV Development

Toyota Motor Corp. (TMC) says it will establish an in-house venture company responsible for developing electric vehicles (EVs), drawing on the technological know-how and resources of the Toyota Group.

The venture company, which will be a virtual organization consisting of four persons – one each from Toyota Industries Corp., Aisin Seiki Co. Ltd., Denso Corp. and TMC – and will be independent of other internal structural organizations, is set to launch in December.

According to TMC, the venture company’s small organizational structure is meant to enable it to implement unconventional work processes, leading to accelerated project progress and, thus, fast-to-market products.

TMC says it has long taken a multi-angled approach to introducing environment-friendly vehicles, having developed hybrid vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, fuel cell vehicles (FCVs), EVs and others. The company says it has a special focus on FCVs, which, in terms of cruising range, hydrogen fueling times and other aspects, offer convenience on par with that of current gasoline-powered vehicles.

However, differing energy and infrastructure issues around the world and the rapid strengthening of regulations aimed at increasing the use of zero-emission vehicles have heightened the need for product lineups that can respond to various situations. As such, along with its promotion of FCVs, TMC has decided to create a structure that will allow it to commercialize EVs at an early stage as an alternative means of achieving zero emissions.

“Over these past few years, which we have positioned as years for strengthening our planting of seeds for the future, we have taken such measures as establishing the Toyota Research Institute; made Daihatsu a fully owned subsidiary; and have begun work to establish an internal company responsible for compact vehicles for emerging markets. The new organizational structure for EVs is a part of this effort,” TMC President Akio Toyoda comments. “As a venture company that will specialize in its field and embrace speed in its approach to work, it is my hope that it will serve as a pulling force for innovation in the work practices of Toyota and the Toyota Group.”

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