Toyota Aims to Launch Next-Gen EVs in 2026

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Toyota Motor Corp.’s incoming President Koji Sato speaks at a press conference in Tokyo on Monday.

Tokyo(Jiji Press)—Toyota Motor Corp. aims to launch in 2026 next-generation electric vehicles under the Lexus luxury brand by revamping the design and production systems, incoming President Koji Sato said Monday.

Toyota has already announced its plan to make all Lexus vehicles electric-powered by 2035.

“We need a slightly different approach from the conventional combustion-oriented vehicle manufacturing,” Sato, Toyota’s chief branding officer and Lexus head, told a press conference. He will succeed Akio Toyoda as president and chief executive officer of the world’s leading automaker on April 1.

“Now the time is ripe” for making batteries, platforms and production methods “best suited” for battery electric vehicles, or BEVs, Sato noted.

Toyota will disclose details in April or later.

He also expressed willingness to join hands with other companies and government bodies to promote EVs in Japan.

Besides the EV policy, Sato announced members of his leadership team.

Among them, Hiroki Nakajima, currently midsize and commercial vehicles chief, and Yoichi Miyazaki, business planning and operation head, will serve as executive vice presidents from April and become board members upon endorsement at a general shareholders’ meeting in June.

Incumbent Executive Vice Presidents Kenta Kon, Masahiko Maeda and Masanori Kuwata will retire from their posts, and Kon and Maeda will leave the board after the shareholders’ meeting.

In April or later, Kon will then head the Woven City experimental project in Shizuoka Prefecture, Maeda will implement carbon neutrality projects and a new Asian strategy, and Kuwata will lead efforts to achieve a full BEV lineup for Lexus models.