TOKYO — Toyota’s new president Koji Sato has promised what he termed an aggressive shift on “electrification,” while acknowledging criticism that Japan’s top rated automaker has fallen guiding in actual volumes of electric motor vehicles offered in comparison to its rivals.

“We like to see that as folks cheering Toyota on,” to play catchup in electrical cars and trucks, Sato explained to reporters Friday at Toyota Motor Corp.’s Tokyo headquarters.

“If we glance at in useful terms of the condition currently, we have accomplished a terrific offer in lessening carbon emissions,” he reported, defending the automaker’s file on other gasoline-sipping systems.

Toyota is a leader in hybrids, which have both equally a gasoline engine and electric motor, and Sato pressured that diverse markets have varying powertrain requirements, with emerging marketplaces becoming slower to undertake pure electrical autos.

But he reported pure electric powered autos make it possible for for a lot more software program features for the reason that of their connectivity and other characteristics, stressing that Toyota’s electrical vehicles would emphasize “intelligence,” this sort of as providers and leisure.

Sato, who has managed the Lexus luxurious division, declined to outline details of such capabilities. But he stressed that long run EV types would be truly “Toyota-like,” pointing to a higher typical for high-quality and not just very affordable pricing.

The company’s complete manufacturing system will have to be revamped to make high-quality EVs befitting the Toyota or Lexus nameplates, he said. Toyota prides by itself on its “just in time” generation system, which runs like clockwork and is praised by producing authorities all around the entire world.

Toyota now offers the bZ4X electric compact crossover, packed with what is named the e-TNGA system. That stands for “Toyota New World-wide Architecture,” also used in its Prius and Lexus models.. The electric powered platform was created in collaboration with Subaru, a Toyota group business.

The bZ4X is out there in Japan, the U.S., and sections of Europe, these as Germany and Britain, as well as China and Thailand.

Toyota also just lately introduced a new electric powered automobile to be sold in China, known as bZ3. It will use engineering produced with Chinese EV maker BYD Co. in a collaboration that also features point out-owned Tianjin FAW and other companions.

Toyota and BYD established up a joint enterprise organization 3 yrs back to jointly investigate and develop battery electrical automobiles.

At the Shanghai automobile show this week, Toyota showed a couple of “bZ series” EVs in the operates for the Chinese industry, a modern crossover and a model called Flex Room Idea, billed as presenting a home-like setting in a motor vehicle for family members.

But total, the world’s EV sector has so considerably been dominated by the likes of Tesla, Japanese rival Nissan Motor Co., which would make the Leaf, and BYD. So Toyota has some catching up to do.

Sato lately replaced Akio Toyoda, a grandson of the company’s founder who had served as chief govt given that 2009, presiding more than some tricky years. They bundled the world-wide money disaster, as nicely as a huge recall scandal in the U.S., more than “unintended acceleration,” in 2010.

Sato stored referring to Toyoda as “Chairman Akio,” his new title. Although they both of those like cars and trucks, he mentioned his method was diverse as a president with an engineering qualifications. Toyoda has a enterprise background, whilst he is also a race vehicle driver.

Toyota’s new management lineup even now demands its shareholders’ approval at the general assembly, held every yr in June. Sato’s term officially began April 1.


Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter

By Tara