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Toyota plans first next-generation electric utility vehicle for Europe

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During an online forum Monday, Toyota also said that by 2025 it would start sales of an electric car using a solid-state battery, a new technology that alters the chemistry to reduce weight and cut charging time.

The company gave no further details on the model but suggested that it could be a low-volume brand-builder in the same way as the first Mirai fuel cell car.

“We may start with something that is not necessarily mainstream but the ambition is to gradually expand,” a Toyota spokesman said.

The automaker will produce six models on the e-TNGA (the Toyota New Global Architecture for electric cars) for the Toyota brand and Lexus.

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When it announced the platform in October 2019, Toyota said e-TNGA was flexible enough to accommodate everything from an SUV with three rows of seating to a sporty sedan to a small crossover or a compact car.

The modular approach to the platform will support rear-wheel-, front-wheel- and all-wheel-drive layouts and differing battery sizes range from 50 kilowatt hours to 100 kWh.

Toyota has been slow to roll out electric vehicles compared with its biggest global rival in size, Volkswagen Group, but is aiming to make up lost ground using both e-TNGA and fuel cell vehicles such as the Mirai.

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Toyota expects that sales of plug-in vehicles, such as plug-in hybrids and electric cars, as well as fuel cells cars, will account for 20 percent of its volume in its European region, which includes Russia, by 2025. At that time it aims to have overall European sales of 1.4 million vehicles, equating to a 6.5 percent share of the market.

Toyota Europe CEO Johan van Zyl said he expected the automaker’s share of plug-in and fuel cell vehicles to rise to 35 percent by 2030, with full-hybrid vehicles at 50 percent and plug-in hybrids at 10 percent.

The popularity of Toyota’s full-hybrid cars helped Toyota increase its market share in its European region to 5.9 percent in the first nine months from 5.1 percent a year earlier, according to data from industry association ACEA.

Toyota sold 1.09 million vehicles in 2019 across its European region.

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