Today [13 June 2023], Japanese vehicle manufacturer Toyota has unveiled plans to release a series of new technologies to support the ‘transformation’ of the company, under the slogan “let’s change the future of cars”.
At a technical briefing in Japan, Hiroki Nakajima, executive vice president and chief technology officer, gave an overview of Toyota’s technology strategy and the future direction of car manufacturing. This included insight into specific technologies under development to help shape the future of the business.
This announcement has come one day before the company’s annual shareholder meeting, where policy and strategy will face scrutiny.
Recently, criticisms directed at the company have included questions about the independence of its board and the speed of its deployment of electric vehicle (EV) technology.
According to a company statement, its three approaches to realising this ambition are electrification, intelligence and diversification.
In terms of electrification, the company will pursue a “multi-pathway approach,” including the introduction of new powertrain technology.
Speaking on the company’s battery electric vehicle (EV) strategy, Takero Kato, BEV factory president, said: “What we hope to achieve with the BEV factory – an organisation dedicated to battery EVs, launched in May – is to change the future with BEVs through the transformation of cars, manufacturing and the way we work.
“On the vehicle axis, through technologies such as the integration of next generation batteries and sonic technology, we will achieve a vehicle cruising range of 1,000km [620 miles].”
This next-generation lithium-ion battery is set to be introduced in 2026, with plans to achieve this range involving increased use of aerodynamics and weight reduction.
What’s more, the automaker plans to cut costs by 20% compared to the current bZ4X, with quick charging (state of charging from 10 to 80%) expected to take 20 minutes or less.
Part of its strategy to achieve this is introducing digital technology for manufacturing in its new BEV plant, including giga casting and automated assembly lines and inspections.
The company hopes this will reduce lead times for mass production, as well as reducing reproduction accuracy to 1mm error level.
In the area of intelligence, Toyota hopes to promote initiatives to expand the companies interoperability with wider society, such as its Woven City mobility system test course.