Toyota unveiled 2022 models of its trucks, SUVs, sports cars and hybrid vehicles at its North American headquarters in Plano Wednesday.
Toyota also used the event to address recent criticism that it is lagging competitors in the race to bring more electric vehicles to market.
Chris Reynolds, vice president of corporate resources, said Toyota is taking an “in the meantime” approach to electrification in which the company will continue to introduce hybrid offerings to “bridge the gap” until charging infrastructure can support widespread electric vehicle adoption.
“There’s been a misconception that Toyota’s electrification effort has been lagging,” Toyota marketing group vice president Lisa Materazzo said. “This is not our first rodeo,” Materazzo added, pointing to the Toyota Prius’ legacy as one of the earliest hybrid electric vehicles on the market.
At the event, the automaker also touted its new battery electric SUV, the BZ4X, which it plans to release worldwide in mid-2022. BZ, or “Beyond Zero,” will be Toyota’s platform for future all-electric vehicles.
The BZ4X “represents our commitment to carbon neutrality,” Materazzo said.
The company was short on details regarding the battery range and price of the BZ4X, which is slightly smaller than a RAV4 and features all-wheel drive, but said it would be competitive alongside competitors’ midsize electric vehicles.
Toyota first debuted the concept, which mirrors the look of a traditional SUV more so than other electric vehicles on the market, at the Shanghai Auto Show earlier this year.
The automaker also revealed its new 2022 Sienna, an upgraded hybrid van that it sees as an opportunity to capture Millennial consumers and young families, which the company says make up 27% of Sienna owners. The new Sienna will have a 1,500-watt power outlet that can accommodate camping equipment and charge devices as well as a towing hitch for jet skis and other outdoor gear.
Another new model the automaker hopes will appeal to Millennial buyers is the 2022 Corolla Cross, an affordably priced compact SUV that has upgrades like a powered lift gate and unique aesthetics inside and out.
And for sports car enthusiasts, there’s a new 2022 GR 86, a 2.4-liter, rear-wheel-drive coupe that’s an update of its 86/Scion FR-S that was introduced in 2012, and a special edition GR Supra A91-CF with carbon fiber accents.
Toyota also unveiled several new trucks and SUVs, which have made up 77% of its new car sales this year, according to the company.
Ford’s new electric F-150 floored consumers with its range and power when it debuted last month, but Toyota is sticking to the combustion engines — for now. The company declined to say whether a hybrid truck announcement was in the future.
The new Tacoma TRD Pro, Toyota’s flagship off-road truck, will come in a new electric lime color and feature upgraded suspension in the standard model. The 2022 Tacoma Trail Edition has a built-in cooler in the truck bed on the driver’s side. And the 2022 Toyota 4Runner TRD Sport features an enhanced suspension. All go on sale later this fall and will boast a fuel economy similar to that of previous models.
By 2030, Toyota says it aims to have hybrid vehicle models make up 70% of Toyota’s sales and battery electric vehicles make up 15%. Competitors set their sights even higher: Ford says it wants battery electric vehicles to account for 40% of its sales by 2030.
The company has committed to producing electrified versions, or hybrids, of every one of the vehicles in the Toyota lineup by 2025. It says it’s working with stakeholders including the government to encourage charging station installation across the country.
Toyota has said previously that it plans to invest $13 billion in electrification of vehicles over the next decade. And president of Toyota Motor Corp. Akio Toyoda recently warned that automakers’ business models could collapse if the transition to all-electric vehicles moves too quickly, citing the need for a stronger power grid in Japan to support charging.