Toyota to bring three new ‘electrified’ vehicles to the U.S. in 2021

Toyota announced today plans to bring two new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and one plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) to the United States this year.

Despite a lengthy press release espousing the benefits of hybrid technology and championing their own efforts in “alternative fuel vehicle market”, the automaker provided no specifics on the planned offerings. In December the company did announce plans to introduce an electric SUV based on a new platform, so one of them could be that.

The only reference to the new vehicles was in the opening paragraph:

“Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) announced plans to debut in the U.S. market this year, three new electrified models – two BEVs and a PHEV.”

With that out of the way, the Japanese automaker reverted back to their typical attitude towards electrification. Citing an internal research study on the environmental impact and cost of ownership between a PHEV and BEV, Toyota said the two vehicles “can provide similar environmental benefit.”

“GHG of a currently available BEV model and PHEV model are roughly the same in on-road performance when factoring in pollutants created by electricity production for the average U.S. energy grid used to charge batteries.”

The automaker added that PHEVs are much less expensive to own than BEVs.

“The PHEV is much less expensive to buy and own, compared to the BEV. Without any incentives, the five-year Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of a long-range BEV is significantly higher than the PHEV. If you include incentives available this year (2020), the TCO of a long-range BEV is much higher.”

The press release and not-so subtle jabs at EVs should come as no surprise. Despite introducing the pioneering Prius more than 20 years ago, Toyota appears to have very little interest in EVs and that they are the future of transportation. That was evident last year when Toyota President Akio Toyoda said Tesla still had a long way to go to catch up to them.

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