Toyota details the new e-TNGA platform – 10 BEV models to be available worldwide from 2020 onwards
Following Toyota’s announcement that it would develop a platform dedicated to battery electric vehicles (BEVs) with Subaru, the carmaker presented its vision on how it plans to popularise BEVs, particularly its own.
This requires new products to be developed, and Toyota will focus on deploying them globally as well as in its own domestic market. In the case of the former, Toyota is looking to introduce at least 10 models globally from 2020 onwards in major markets that are pushing for BEVs like China, the United States and Europe. Lexus BEV models will also follow, and be gradually introduced in global markets.
The Japanese carmaker isn’t taking up the challenge on its own, and has decided that collaborative planning is the way to go; hence the partnership with Subaru to develop a C-segment BEV SUV.
To do so, both companies will jointly develop a new vehicle architecture as mentioned earlier, which Toyota is referring to internally as e-TNGA. This modular platform will form the basis of not only the Toyobaru EV SUV, but also other models in Toyota’s pipeline, including a a D-segment SUV, C-segment sedan, C-segment crossover and a C-segment minivan.
The e-TNGA is more or less the counter to the Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform, and is designed for front-, rear- and all-wheel drive applications. By comparison, the MEB (and Tesla’s platform for that matter), comes in either rear- or all-wheel drive configurations.
According to Toyota, the e-TNGA promotes flexibility as the vehicle’s front and rear overhangs, wheelbase and width can be altered according to its requirements. However, things that remained fixed include the position(s) of the motor(s), battery width and driver and passenger positions.
To consolidate the configurable aspects of the platform, the e-TNGA is partitioned into five modules – front, centre, rear, battery capacity and electric motor(s) output. Aside from the last module, which has five variations, all other modules will have three versions.
There will also be compact models to complement the larger vehicles mentioned above, which will be developed together with Suzuki and Daihatsu, In total, the carmaker will deploy six variations that are jointly developed with these partners.
Meanwhile, for the Japanese domestic market, ultra-compact BEVs will also be offered that are aimed at individuals both young and elderly who prefer smaller vehicles, as well as corporations and local municipal bodies that want to respond environmental issues.
These vehicles, which are about the size of either the Concept-i Ride, Concept-i Walk and i-Road, are capable of providing a range and of between 10 to 50 km and two to 60 km/h respectively. This makes them suited to the narrow streets of certain Japanese cities, and provides more eco-friendly mobility options to those that require them.
All these suggested products will be handled by the Toyota ZEV Factory, the company’s dedicated zero-emissions vehicle division that was created back in November 2018. Aside from its own employees, the division will also have employees on loan from related companies like Aisin, Denso, as well as partner carmakers to promote BEV development.
Timely battery procurement is another important aspect of Toyota’s plans, and as it intends to start mass production of proprietary BEVs in China in 2020, it will partner with Chinese suppliers like Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) and BYD. Other battery suppliers include Panasonic, Primearth EV Energy (PEVE) and Toyota’s own internal divisions.
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