Toyota has piqued the car world’s collective interest with its fleet of EVs that could go into production in the near future. And I have to imagine that Mazda and Subaru are paying close attention right now, because the car world might be looking at an electric car(s) that will one day wear a Mazda or Subaru badge.
Sure, these are just design studies right now, but Toyota claims that it will have 30 production EVs by the end of the decade, by 2030. It’s going to be next year in about two weeks, and Toyota will have eight years left to reach its lofty goal. If Toyota partnered with either — or hopefully both — of these other carmakers, its EV ambitions start to sound a little more realistic, and the electric car landscape grows that much broader.
Not in the sense that there are radically different EVs out there, but in the sense that there are more EVs out there and more importantly, a bigger pool of drivers to draw from. This is Toyota’s chance to expand to the Pacific Northwest and to attract the zoom-zoomers. That’s Subaru and Mazda, respectively.
Really, there’s precedent here. The Subaru Solterra, otherwise known as the Toyota bZ4X, shouldn’t be the only electric car among Toyota’s fantasy fleet that could have benefitted from another carmaker’s input. Or from sharing production capacity, like Toyota and Mazda are already doing with the factory where the Corolla Cross and Mazda CX-50 will be built alongside each other.
In return, people looking for EVs can have more electric options sooner, or an electric car whose focus suits them better. Change the badges. Change the dynamics. The traction. The ranges, especially!
This is a Mazda:
This a Subaru:
This is clearly never going to be anything other than a Toyota:
Also, I’m not saying this is a bad thing — not even close. Collaboration across competitors is really kind of great! If Toyota and BMW can work together to develop one of the most polarizing sports car released in the last few years, then why shouldn’t Toyota, Subaru and Mazda bring a handful of these electric design studies to market? Maybe one for each marque?
There could easily be a broader approach to electric cars than there is currently, because right now, electric cars are taking a trickle-down approach; every model is a flagship. Part of the reason behind that is carmakers have to funnel their resources into research, development and production.
In the end, we get a handful of EVs meant for the high end of the market while the goalpost of the middle moves up and the average driver keeps thinking of electric cars as a novelty. So come on, Mazda and Subaru. Just pick already.