Toyota will launch a new start-up company this December to develop electric vehicles (EVs).
This company, which is yet to be named, will begin work in two weeks' time with the aim of fast-tracking Toyota EV models to the market. It will be comprised of just four employees but will have access to the tools and information of Toyota's main brand.
No timescale for when the first Toyota EV would arrive has been revealed, but Japanese newspaper Nikkei claimed last week that Toyota would bring its first EV to market by 2020. It said the model, and following Toyota EVs, would be capable of travelling more than 186 miles on a single charge.
Toyota said today: "[The new company] will draw on the technological knowhow and resources of the Toyota group to develop EVs, leading to accelerated project progress and thus fast-to-market products". This suggests Toyota's EV models could be built upon existing vehicle architecture.
The Japanese manufacturer has previously said that hydrogen fuel cell power is its primary choice for zero-emission models, and its Mirai was the first vehicle of this type to go on sale in Britain.