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Toyota to Bolster EV Lineup in China

Toyota Motor Corporation announced Wednesday plans to introduce to the Chinese market plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) versions of its Corolla and Levin passenger cars in 2019 and a battery electric vehicle (BEV) model based on its C-HR/IZOA compact sports utility vehicle in 2020. With this latest announcement, the Japanese car maker's planned EV lineup in China would have reach 10 models by the end of 2020.

The PHEV versions of the Corolla and Levin were introduced at the opening of the Beijing Motor Show. Both models are expected to have a battery electric vehicle (BEV) driving range of 50km or greater, and in 2019, Toyota will begin producing them in China, marking Toyota's first overseas production of PHEVs.

To achieve locally-based vehicle electrification, Toyota has been working with its Chinese partners and members of the Toyota Group to build a local production base for key components. This include the establishment in 2015 of transaxles for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) at Toyota Motor (Changshu) Auto Parts Co., Ltd. (TMCAP). Toyota will also increase its annual production capacity for nickel-metal hydride battery modules at Sinogy Toyota Automotive Energy System Co., Ltd. (STAES) and Corun PEVE Automotive Battery Co., Ltd. (CPAB) to 220,000 units in 2020.

The Japanese car maker also aims to strengthen its local R&D and production bases. In 2020, it plans to open a new battery testing facility at Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (China) Co., Ltd. (TMEC), which is Toyota's R&D center in China, for evaluating battery packs for electrified vehicles. The company is also enhancing its local production structures to realize its goal of introducing BEVs in 2020.

In 2017, including sales of the "Corolla Hybrid" and "Levin Hybrid" installed with locally produced hybrid units, Toyota sold approximately 140,000 electrified vehicles in China. That brought its cumulative total of electrified vehicles sold in the country to approximately 350,000 units, and Toyota plans to continue enhancing its electrified-vehicle lineup.

As for fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), Toyota is exploring potential applications for its fuel cell technology in China. Last year, it began a three-year verification-test program in China that uses Toyota's "Mirai" FCEV, and it has expanded the scope of feasibility studies to include commercial vehicles such as buses.

Toyota Senior Managing Officer and Chief Executive Officer, China Region, Kazuhiro Kobayashi said today at the Beijing Motor Show, "We are steadily and confidently advancing all aspects of our environmental strategy in China, the world's most-advanced country in electrification."