The Japanese carmaker Toyota plans to develop a new vehicle platform with the abbreviation E3 exclusively for European vehicles with hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric drive systems. To speed up the process, the Japanese will apparently partly use existing technology.
As reported by Automotive News Europe, citing Toyota’s European boss Matt Harrison, the new platform will combine elements from the GA-C compact architecture and the e-TNGA all-electric platform. With the platform designed for alternative powertrains, Toyota wants to create flexibility, the report says.
Only a few days ago, Toyota Motor Europe (TME) had presented its electrification roadmap for Europe. According to this roadmap, the sales share of ‘zero-emission vehicles’ (battery and fuel cell cars) should be 50 per cent by 2030 – but only in Western Europe. By 2035, the share is aimed to reach 100 per cent, which is in line with EU targets. At the time, however, Harrison added that a sufficient infrastructure for this and the expansion of renewable energies were prerequisites. On the way to these goals, however, Toyota wants to stick to the drive mix with hybrids.
The new E3 platform should also contribute to this. According to the reports, it is already certain that the next generation of the compact crossover C-HR will be the first model based on the E3. A year is not mentioned. The current generation has been offered since 2016, followed by a model update in 2020. Thus, a model change in 2023 or 2024 at the latest is likely.
For the European market, the C-HR has so far been built in Adapazarı, Turkey. This will probably continue to be the case in the future, with the E3 models apparently to be built at Toyota plants in the UK and Turkey. Together, the plants have a production capacity of 450,000 vehicles per year. If both plants are converted to the E3 in the near future, this also means that Toyota will then no longer produce pure combustion engines in Europe.
Further E3 models are not yet known. The current Corolla, the C-HR, the Prius and the Lexus UX are all based on the GA-C (or TNGA-C) compact platform. The report does not say whether the E3 platform is designed for the compact class or whether larger or smaller models are also possible.
With the production of the E3 vehicles in the two plants, Toyota has also decided not to build cars based on the e-TNGA platform in this country, according to Automobilwoche. These models – such as the recently introduced bZ4X electric SUV – will instead be imported from Japan.