Toyota plans to electrify its future
Mark Smyth reports on how the Japanese carmaker plans to enter the battery-powered era
When it comes to alternative powertrains, Toyota is famous mainly for its Prius. Whether you are a fan or not, the Prius put hybrids on the map, certainly more so than Honda’s Insight. The company has installed its Hybrid Synergy Drive in a number of models and in SA you could have it in the Yaris and the Auris as well as in their more luxurious brethren, those wearing Lexus badges. What Toyota does not really have though, is electric vehicles. But all that is set to change as the company embarks on a rapid change in its line-up over the next 10 years to expand its range of hybrid and plug-in hybrid models, add pure battery-electric derivatives and standalone models and pursue its strategy in hydrogen fuel cell technology. We spoke recently with the president and CEO of Toyota Europe, Johan van Zyl, who has risen through the ranks after years in charge of Toyota SA. In 2019 the company is launching a number of new models in SA, including the new Corolla, Rav4, Supra and Quantum, but...