Toyota is committing to bringing six new battery-electric vehicles to European markets while also promising more hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles in the near future.
During the company’s annual Kenshiki forum in Brussels, Toyota Motor Europe releases details of the upcoming products and technologies with the model brands and names including Lexus LF-ZC, Toyota FT-Se Toyota FT-3e, Toyota Sport Crossover concept and the Toyota Urban SUV concept. These two concepts are joining the Compact SUV concept revealed last year and the bZ4X as four of the six new models. The automaker also gives insights on the development of next-generation battery technologies that will be rolled out to vehicles beyond 2026.
The Urban SUV concept is a close-to-production design for a model that next year will enter what’s expected to become one of Europe’s largest BEV market segments. It draws on the success of the hybrid-electric Toyota Yaris Cross, a top-selling model in its class. As well as the option of all-wheel drive, customers will have two battery choices to suit budget or driving range needs.
The Sport Crossover Concept hopes to offer a coupé-styled alternative to SUV models and is scheduled for introduction in Europe 2025. A year later the company is expecting to be able to deploy a series of new batteries, the first of which will be a performance version designed with a conventional structure but expected to offer twice the driving range and costing 20% less than the current bZ4X.
This will be followed by a quality, low-cost battery aimed at consumers looking for entry-level BEVs. It will have new shape, a bipolar structure and use cheaper lithium iron phosphate (LFP) as its principal material. The aim is for this to increase range by 20% and reduce cost by 40% versus those in the bZ4X. The third battery to be introduced will focus on high performance, using bipolar technologies and a high-nickel cathode. Even lower costs and a further extended driving range are expected.
Other technologies are also being developed for next-generation BEV production, engineering and design. The forum hosted the first European presentation of the Toyota FT-3e concept, a tech study that aims to reduce weight, improve aerodynamic performance and keep production costs to a minimum.
Andrea Carlucci, vice president at Toyota Motor Europe, tells the Kenshiki forum that the company expects its work developing solid-state battery technology will achieve a charge time from 10% to 80% of just 10 minutes.
Carlucci says: “We have made a technological breakthrough that overcomes the long-standing challenge of solid-state battery durability. A method for mass production is currently being developed and we are striving for commercialization in 2027-2028 with production capacity of several tens of thousands of vehicles.”
Toyota also reaffirms its commitment to hydrogen fuel-cell powertrains including, in the passenger car segment, the Mirai and newly launched Crown models.
In the commercial sector, TME’s Hydrogen Factory Europe is integrating its current fuel-cell technology into trucks, buses, coaches, boats and pickup trucks in the shape of the hydrogen-powered Hilux prototype presented at Kenshiki. The company promises its third-generation fuel-cell systems will come to market in 2026.
Matt Harrison, chief operating officer of Toyota Motor Europe, says hydrogen mobility solutions will include 250 Accessible People Movers (APMs) redesigned for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and built in Europe. He adds, “The vehicle is designed to offer last-mile service and transport people with accessibility needs."