Toyota said Monday that it will unveil its Tesla Model Y fighter at the Shanghai Motor Show next month. And for a company that was a car electrification pioneer with the Prius before becoming a bit of a laggard in recent years, all I’m saying is that this car better be good.
The car, a crossover/SUV/CUV, is based on Toyota’s electric e-TNGA platform, which you can read more about here. It will basically be an all-electric RAV4. Press days for the Shanghai Motor Show start April 19, before the show opens to the public on April 21.
From Automotive News:
Toyota will use the Shanghai auto show next month to unveil a near-production concept of a full-electric utility vehicle that will compete against battery-powered models such as the Tesla Model Y and Volkswagen ID4.
The utility vehicle will be sold in Europe, the U.S. and China, a Toyota spokesman told Automotive News Europe. The company gave no date for the sales launch but it is expected to reach showrooms next year.
It will be built at Toyota’s so-called ZEV Factory in Japan.
The EV was developed with Subaru, which will launch its version “within the next five years,” Subaru said in December.
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Toyota has been late to all-electric for reasons that I can’t totally discern, though I suspect that its portfolio of hybrid cars has helped it comply with emissions regulations across the world without having to go all-in on full electric. Toyota also has continued dabbling in fuel-cell electric, a choice which some people find odd but something that I have always thought is smart, in make-sure-all-your-bases-are-covered sort of way, since Toyota has the money to do it and why not.
Still, the issue with taking on the Model Y is that the Model Y is a very good car, while challengers like the ID.4 are slightly less good. Which means that the Toyota EV will have to be more than just good enough and have the right price if Toyota hopes to stand a chance with it. This is what it looks like to be living in what is probably the most exciting time ever for cars.