Toyota boss’ clean car warning

Lower-emissions alternatives “unlikely to become available and affordable” under the new clean car scheme’s timeframe.
Posted on 01 November, 2021
Toyota boss’ clean car warning

Toyota NZ is planning for the bZ4X to arrive on our shores at the end of 2022.

Chief executive Neeraj Lala says the model, part of the parent company’s battery electric vehicle (BEV) series, is a step towards its low-carbon objectives.

“Toyota’s electrification strategy has always been based on introducing the right solution at the right time and in the right market,” adds Lala.

“The bZ4X is the catalyst for an avalanche of new fully electric products under the bZ series over the next five years.

“Its addition expands our large range of electrified vehicles and is a major contributor in reducing our overall emissions profile.”

Lala points out that hybrid electrics (HEVs) have proven to be the best transitionary low-emissions vehicles “to bridge the gap while the availability and affordability of BEVs increase”.

“In 2021, we plan to deliver a record 11,000 HEVs to customers, which has had a huge impact on the carbon footprint of our total fleet. 

“However, demand remains high for utes and commercial vans where lower-emission alternatives are yet to become readily available at an affordable price for small businesses.

“Our commitment is to offer customers all powertrain options until lower-emission alternatives become available and affordable, which will take some time and is unlikely in the timeframes set under the new clean car scheme.

“It is going to take a combination of electrified vehicles – including BEV, HEV, FCEV and PHEV – to achieve our low-carbon objectives while still being able to serve our local communities.”

To meet ongoing consumer demand for low-emissions technology, Toyota Motor Corporation is investing in battery technology globally. 

It recently announced a $19 billion investment in battery research and development, and the formation of partnerships with technology resource companies such as Panasonic and BHP in Australia.

Lala says: “Toyota will continue to leverage our global knowledge and experience accumulated over two decades of development of HEVs to provide a stable supply of batteries that can be used worldwide through flexible manufacturing.

“This investment highlights our commitment to transitioning our total fleet to some form of an electrified powertrain and provides the foundation for the introduction of seven new bZ vehicles by 2025 globally.”

Toyota’s investment into future battery technology also includes solid-state batteries, which will have higher performance, reduced environmental impact and more recycling options.

The bZ4X will be available in New Zealand next year with more information to be published closer to its launch.