Without citing sources, the Nikkei reported that Toyota Motor intends to start mass-producing battery-electric vehicles capable of a range of more than 300 km (186 miles) on a single charge by 2020. According to the report, the platform underlying the Prius or Corolla is being considered for an electric SUV.
Up to now, Toyota has envisioned using all battery-electric powertrains mainly in short-distance, urban applications; longer-range electric operation was to be handled by fuel cell vehicles. With GM readying the release of the 383 km (238-mile) Chevy Bolt for this year, Tesla plowing ahead for a release of the Model 3 next year, and other rivals such as Volkswagen accelerating their long-range EV efforts, however, Toyota apparently is broadening its strategy.
Reuters reported that Toyota said it would issue a response to the Nikkei report later on Monday.
According to the Nikkei, Toyota will rapidly create an in-house team for planning and development, and seek cooperation from group companies to start production quickly.
The report also noted that Toyota will increase its own efforts in developing next-generation batteries, but may also source batteries from third-parties to keep costs low.