New flexible platform E3 for e-cars, hybrids and plug-in hybrids replaces TNGA-C in Europe
Toyota could plan an electric version of its compact Corolla and C-HR models. This emerges from an interview by Automotive News Europe with Matt Harrison, the head of Toyota Motor Europe (TME).
Vehicles based on the pure electric platform e-TNGA (such as the Toyota bZ4X and the other planned vehicles in the bZ series) will then only be built in Japan. For Europe, Toyota wants to develop a new platform called E3 that can be equipped with hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric drives, according to the article.
In addition, the platform mixes elements of the pure electric platform e-TNGA with those of the combustion platform for the compact segment (TNGA-C). The E3 platform should make it possible to adapt the drive mix of Toyota’s core products to demand and the available charging infrastructure, according to TME boss Matt Harrison.
By the core products Harrison apparently means his compact vehicles based on TNGA-C, in particular the Corolla and the C-HR. These vehicles, which are built in the Toyota plants in Burnaston, UK, and Adapazari, Turkey, are to be converted to the E3 base in the future – starting in the second half of the decade.
Toyota Corolla: The next generation could also be an electric car
Toyota Corolla Cross: 4.46 meter long SUV does not change platform
The Corolla Cross, which will start in 2022 and presented a few days ago (a 4.46 meter long compact SUV) is still based on TNGA-C, according to the Toyota press release. According to Automotive News, the Corolla Cross will be built in Japan. The E3 platform should only carry the next generations of the normal Corolla and the C-HR. The Corolla Touring Sports station wagon is discontinued.
The current Corolla started in 2018, the C-HR in 2016. If the E3 platform does not start before 2026, the two models would have to hold out for another five years. The C-HR would then have been on the market for ten years – that is hardly feasible. The Toyota Cross may have to replace the only ten centimeters C-HR in the meantime.
"We are convinced that the journey to carbon neutrality will not be only electric, it will be eclectic – that is to say, it will embrace multiple technologies and fuels which all lead to the same destination." (TME boss Matt Harrison)
With the E3 platform, Toyota is obviously relying on flexibility: The path to CO2 neutrality will not be purely electric, but eclectic, says Harrison. That means that Toyota continues to rely on its hybrids, on hydrogen fuel cells and, more recently, on hydrogen combustion engines.
The Japanese apparently still do not really trust pure electric mobility. You are relying on a strategy similar to that of BMW. The Munich brand also builds combustion engines, plug-in hybrids and electric cars on the same platform, and even on the same production line. Depending on what and where the demand is going, you can choose the electricity quota to be higher or lower. Even with the new New Class platform, which will start in 2025, this principle is apparently not supposed to change.
In any case, we can expect that from 2026 there will be a Corolla with a purely electric drive and an electric C-HR. We will have to wait and see whether these models can hold their own against compact ones on a purely electric platform like the VW ID.3 and ID.4.
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