China: Toyota debuts BEVs & strikes Singulato deal
Toyota will present its first two electric cars at the Auto Shanghai with sales in China scheduled to begin in 2020. Moreover, the Japanese company is working on a deal with the Chinese EV startup Singulato Motors to deploy an old Toyota mini EV en masse and anew.
Toyota’s first two Chinese electric cars are BEV versions of its sister models C-HR and IZOA, built by Toyota’s joint ventures with GAC and FAW. They are among the ten electric vehicles Toyota slated for the global market in the first half of the next decade. Still, the manufacturer has not yet provided any technical details concerning the two.
But there is a third electric car on display in Shanghai: the Rhombus concept car developed by TMEC, Toyota’s facility for R&D in China. The little EV “aims to suit the values and lifestyles of drivers born after 1990,” according to the accompanying press release.
A range of obligatory hybrid vehicles completes the Toyota booth in China are debut HEV variants for the RAV4 and the Alphard/Vellfire as well as the Corolla and Levin plug-in hybrid electric vehicle series.
Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Toyota is forging a new alliance with the Chinese EV startup Singulato Motors. The latter is acquiring a licence for the design of the Toyota eQ – an extra small battery-electric car of which Toyota sold around 100 units in 2012 and subsequently discontinued it. Singulato plans to develop a revised version of the Toyota eQ and launch the model from 2021 as iC3 with a range of 250 to 300 km at prices of around 100,000 RMB (approx. 13,000 euros). Singulato aims to sell 200,000 units of the model over five years. As part of the deal with Singulato Motors, Toyota could buy emission rights in return, which Singulato generated with China’s new quota system for purely electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Expect the deal to become official at the Auto Shanghai.