Japan’s Asahi Shimbun reports that Toyota will begin mass production of EVs in China in 2019, using the C-HR crossover (earlier post) as the base. The report says that production volume will be determined by regulations and available subsidies, but that initial volumes will likely be more than 1,000 units per year.
The report says that the C-HR-based EV will be limited to the Chinese market, and that Toyota aims to introduce another mass-produced EV in 2020. China is planning to bring new energy vehicle sales—i.e., EVs and plug-in hybrids—to at least a fifth of new vehicle sales by 2025, with quotas beginning in 2018.
The C-HR made its debut in late 2016 as an SUV based on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform. In Japan, the C-HR was the top-selling new SUV during the first half of 2017, with sales topping 79,303 units. In April, C-HR sales in Japan peaked at 13,168 units, making the new SUV the most-purchased vehicle in the Japanese market (including minivehicle sales) within that month.
The current C-HR offers both conventional and hybrid powertrains. Delivering 90 kW/122 DIN hp, hybrid powertrain includes an engine with a thermal efficiency of 40%. Other hybrid system components have been made lighter and smaller, and have been repositioned for optimum packaging, further contributing to the car’s low center of gravity.