Top 3 Automakers Electric Vehicle Plans October 10, 2018

What are the e-mobility plans of the world’s largest automakers for the next 3–10 years? Will they have compelling, competitive models on the market within a few years? Will they actually have the production capacity to produce a large number of Electric Vehicles if consumers want them? Below are the world’s 3 largest automakers and some notes about their e-mobility ambitions.

1. Toyota

Toyota (market cap $176 billion) revealed at the end of 2017 that it would be marketing and selling over 10 all-electric vehicle models around the world by the early 2020s. It said it would be investing around or over ¥1.5 trillion ($13 billion) into the development of battery technology through 2030.

A more recent announcement in April of 2018 mentioned 10 electrified models by the end of 2020. “Electrified” can mean fully electric, plug-in hybrid (PHEV), or even conventional hybrid models, but Toyota appears to be referencing plug-in vehicles here.

At the moment, Toyota doesn’t sell any fully electric cars. The car with the biggest battery that it sells today, its only plug-in car, is the Prius Prime. The next three plug-in vehicles Toyota has coming are Chinese PHEV versions of the Corolla and Levin in 2019, followed by a fully electric compact SUV based on its C-HR or IZOA in 2020.

Based on the conflicting statements, it’s unclear how many fully electric cars Toyota is bringing to market and how many plug-in hybrids in the next 3–5 years. It’s also unclear how many fully electric models will be sold outside of China — in North America, Europe, South America, Africa, or Australia. What is known is that Asia is a priority thanks to China’s strong EV policies. Toyota’s first all-electric cars will go to China first, and then Japan, India, the US, and Europe.

2. Volkswagen Group

Volkswagen (market cap $73.5 billion) appears to be the most bullish about a transition to fully electric vehicles.

The German giant plans to be producing 50 fully electric models by 2025. To help achieve that, it intends to invest €35 billion ($40 billion) into electric car tech — largely batteries — by 2022.

It expects to be selling approximately 2–3 million electric cars a year by 2025, with those cars making up approximately 20–25% of the company’s sales.

One other positive point about Volkswagen on this topic is that it appears to be flying into fully electric cars, not wasting much time on plug-in hybrids. That’s another point that strongly makes the case Volkswagen sees electric cars as the future and wants to be a leader into that future within a few years.

3. Hyundai / Kia

The Hyundai/Kia combo (market cap $30 billion) has yet another approach from the two companies above. It has taken the approach of offering hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and fully electric versions of new models. As it turns out, the fully electric versions have been much more popular than the company anticipated, but a shortage of batteries has led to many fewer sales than consumers would like (it’s quite hard to get your hands on a fully electric Hyundai or Kia model all around the world).

Like other companies, big long-term announcements were made at the end of 2017. Hyundai and Kia announced that they aim to bring 38 “green car” models to market in the next 8 years, with 7 of them planned for the next 5 years (that means 31 of the 38 are planned for 6–8 years from now, meaning Hyundai/Kia is just leaving the ‘starting line’).

How many of those models will be fully electric? One report, linked above, said it should be the majority of them. Another report, from earlier in 2017, expected it to be 8 of the 31 (which was the total target at that time). The report also stated that Hyundai/Kia planned to be second to only Toyota in green car sales by 2020 — but, again, we don’t have a clue what percentage of sales are expected to be plug-in cars, let alone fully electric cars.

FULL ARTICLE: The Top 3 Automakers & Their Electric Vehicle Plans

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