Toyota has been largely opposed to battery-powered electric cars, instead focusing on developing hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, like the Mirai. Now the Japanese automaker is shifting its gaze to mass-market electric cars and their pick to head up the segment is evidence enough to how serious the company is. Akio Toyoda, Toyota CEO, will take the helm of the brand’s electric car division.
The brand’s CEO taking the helm is no laughing matter, especially not for competing automakers. Given Toyota’s track record for developing popular, fuel-efficient cars like the Prius, an electric car could be a game changer.
Toyoda’s involvement should speed up the research and development of the brand’s first electric car. He isn’t new to the world of electric cars, either.
The Toyota CEO helped create a deal with Tesla back in 2010. The brand also invested in Tesla. Tesla, in return, developed an electric powertrain for the RAV4 EV, a model largely developed to meet California’s emissions mandate.
Reports indicate Toyota aims to debut its first mass-market electric car in 2020 in conjunction with the Tokyo Olympics.
We here at Krause Toyota can’t wait to see what comes out of the new electric car division, headed up by none other than Akio Toyoda himself!