When it comes to EVs, Toyota and Nissan have been slow to join the party. But the two manufacturers plan to rapidly expand their offerings over the next several years. Between them, they’ve announced a combined nine new all-electric models due to reach showrooms in the next few years. Unfortunately for American motorists, most or all of those new EVs won’t be coming to the States.
Toyota said Monday it will increase its currently meager line-up of EVs now available in Europe to six models by 2026. Arch-rival Nissan, meanwhile, will bring three new battery-electric models to the big European Union market where EVs have gained significantly more traction than in the U.S.
It’s not unusual to see manufacturers target different markets with different products, and that could become even more the norm going forward. European buyers not only prefer smaller vehicles than their American counterparts but also accept models with lower range.
Toyota announces 6 new EVs
“By 2030, we will offer at least 30 BEV models (worldwide) and expect to sell around 3.5 million BEVs a year globally,” Toyota noted on its EU website.
Currently, the automaker’s European EV offerings are limited, with offerings like the ProAce commercial van and the bZ4X that’s also sold in most of Toyota’s other global markets, including the U.S.
Monday’s announcement will bring to six its European all-electric models which, the carmaker said, should generate 20% of its new car sales in the region by 2026.
(Worldwide, it expects EVs to account for 1.5 million sales at that point, or about 15% of its volume. That would be a substantial jump from today, EVs accounting for barely 1% of its current volume, or less than 100,000 vehicles, in total, for the first 10 months of 2023.)
Urban EV – and more
At the bottom end, Toyota will transform its Urban EV concept into a production model. At 169.2 inches in length, 71.6 inches wide, and 63.7 inches in height, the show car is roughly the same size as the current Toyota C-HR model but will go all-electric.
Toyota signaled several variants will be available, including both single and dual-motor packages. There also will be two battery pack options. Like the current bZ4X, the Urban EV will rely on its own, skateboard-like platform which will not be shared with any model using a combustion engine.
Toyota unveiled the little EV at its Kenshiki Forum in Brussels on Monday, also revealing a sport crossover concept that will make the transition to production by 2026. It previewed another coming model, a compact SUV concept, at the Kenshiki event last year.
Along with EVs, Toyota noted that its zero-emissions line-up will, by 2026, include at least one hydrogen-powered option. By then, it plans to introduce a third-generation fuel-cell system. It currently offers the Mirai FCV in Europe, as well as the U.S. and Japan.
Nissan turning over a new Leaf
As for Nissan, Japan’s second-largest automaker introduced the world’s first mass-production EV, the Leaf, in 2011, but it’s been slow to update that model and expand its all-electric line-up.
It now wants to catch up and, for starters, is working up a next-generation version of the Leaf.
The second-largest of the Japanese automakers hasn’t said much about the planned update for what was the world’s first mass-production battery-electric vehicle. Among the outstanding questions: will it be sold in both Europe and other markets. The current Leaf has become an also-ran in the U.S., despite it being one of the market’s most affordable all-electric options.
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Two existing Nissan models set to go all-electric
Add to the list an all-electric version of the Nissan Juke – which has remained on sale in Europe after being dropped from the U.S. six years ago.
And Nissan plans to offer up an all-electric version of its European crossover, the Qashqai. It’s one of the brand’s most popular EU offerings and was brought to the U.S. under the Rogue Sport badge.
The three upcoming Nissan EVs will be based on the Hyper Urban and Hyper Punk, two edgy concept vehicles unveiled at the Japan Mobility Show in October.
two of the three concept vehicles Nissan showed off at the Japan Mobility Show in October, as well as the Chill-Out show car that debuted two years ago.
Plans call for all of the EVs to be assembled at the new, $2.2 billion assembly complex Nissan is setting up in Sunderland, UK.