A week after unexpected news that Toyota will be turning to electric vehicles (EVs), the Japanese giant has announced that it will establish an in-house venture company responsible for developing EVs. Toyota Motor Corp (TMC), the leader in hybrid cars, has long touted hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) as the future of eco motoring even as rivals such as Nissan bet big on electric.

The fast-track venture company, which will be a virtual organisation consisting of four persons – one each from Toyota Industries Corp, Aisin Seiki Co Ltd, Denso Corp and TMC – and which will be independent of other internal structural organisations, is set to launch next month.

In the development of EVs, the venture company will draw on the technological know-how and resources of the Toyota Group. Its small organisational structure is meant to enable it to implement unconventional work processes, leading to accelerated project progress and, thus, fast-to-market products.

Toyota says that it aims to provide the right vehicle at the right place at the right time, and that it has long taken a multi-angled approach to introducing environment-friendly vehicles. The Prius-maker maintains that the FCV is its “ultimate eco-car”, because in terms of cruising range and hydrogen fueling times, it offer convenience on par with that of today’s petrol powered cars.

“However, differing energy and infrastructure issues around the world and the rapid strengthening of regulations aimed at increasing the use of zero-emission vehicles have heightened the need for product lineups that can respond to various situations. As such, along with its promotion of FCVs, TMC has decided to create a structure that will allow it to commercialise EVs at an early stage, as an alternative means of achieving zero emissions,” the company said in a statement.


“Over these past few years, which we have positioned as years for strengthening our planting of seeds for the future, we have taken such measures as establishing the Toyota Research Institute, made Daihatsu a fully owned subsidiary and have begun work to established an internal company responsible for compact vehicles for emerging markets. The new organisational structure for EVs is a part of this effort,” said TMC president Akio Toyoda.

“As a venture company that will specialise in its field and embrace speed in its approach to work, it is my hope that it will serve as a pulling force for innovation in the work practices of Toyota and the Toyota Group,” he added.