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Toyota Motor Corp. on Wednesday unveiled a prototype of its LF-ZC electric car at a Japan Mobility Show press preview; the firm plans to market the next-generation Lexus EV in 2024.
The LF-ZC is a concept car that showcases Toyota’s vision for the future of electric vehicles. The car features a sleek and aerodynamic design, with a large spindle grille and sharp LED headlights. The interior is spacious and comfortable, with a panoramic glass roof, a digital dashboard, and a touchpad controller.
The car also boasts advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence, biometric authentication, and wireless charging. The AI can learn the driver’s preferences and habits, and provide personalized assistance and suggestions. The biometric authentication can recognize the driver’s face and voice, and adjust the settings accordingly. The wireless charging can replenish the battery without plugging in a cable.
The LF-ZC is powered by a high-performance electric motor that delivers 400 kW of output and 700 Nm of torque. The car can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 3 seconds, and reach a top speed of 200 km/h. The car has a range of 600 km on a single charge, and can be recharged to 80% in 30 minutes using a fast charger.
Japan Mobility Show: A Platform for Innovation and Collaboration
The Japan Mobility Show is an annual event that showcases the latest trends and technologies in the mobility industry. The event is organized by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA), and co-sponsored by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT).
The theme of this year’s show is “Mobility for All: Creating New Value for Society”. The show aims to highlight the value of mobility as a means of enhancing people’s lives, solving social issues, and achieving sustainable development. The show also seeks to foster collaboration among various stakeholders, such as automakers, suppliers, startups, academia, government, and consumers.
The show features various exhibits, demonstrations, seminars, and test drives that cover topics such as electrification, autonomous driving, connectivity, mobility services, hydrogen energy, smart cities, and social inclusion. The show also hosts awards ceremonies that recognize excellence and innovation in the mobility field.
The show will run from October 28 to November 7 at Tokyo Big Sight. The show expects to attract about 800 exhibitors and 1.2 million visitors.
Toyota’s Strategy for Electrification
Toyota is one of the world’s leading automakers, with a global market share of about 10%. The company is known for its hybrid vehicles, such as the Prius and the Corolla, which combine an internal combustion engine with an electric motor. Toyota has sold more than 15 million hybrid vehicles worldwide since 1997.
However, Toyota has been lagging behind its rivals in the field of pure electric vehicles (EVs), which run solely on battery power. EVs are seen as a key technology for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating climate change. Many countries have announced plans to phase out sales of gasoline and diesel vehicles in the coming decades.
Toyota has been cautious about investing in EVs, citing concerns about cost, performance, infrastructure, and consumer demand. The company has focused more on developing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs), which generate electricity from hydrogen gas. Toyota launched its first FCV, the Mirai, in 2014.
However, Toyota has recently changed its strategy and increased its efforts to develop EVs. The company has announced that it aims to sell 5.5 million electrified vehicles (including hybrids, plug-in hybrids, EVs, and FCVs) by 2025, and 8 million by 2030. The company also plans to launch more than 70 electrified models by 2025, including 15 EVs.
One of the reasons for Toyota’s shift is the growing competition from other automakers, especially from China and Europe. China is the world’s largest market for EVs, accounting for about half of global sales. China has also become a major producer of EVs, with brands such as BYD, Nio, Xpeng, and Li Auto. Europe is also a fast-growing market for EVs, driven by strict environmental regulations and incentives. European brands such as Volkswagen, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance (RNMA), BMW Group (BMW), Daimler AG (DAI), Volvo Group (VOLVY), Hyundai Motor Group (HYMTF), Tesla Inc (TSLA), Ford Motor Company (F), General Motors Company (GM), Stellantis NV (STLA), Honda Motor Co Ltd (HMC), and Mazda Motor Corporation (MZDAF) are all competing for a share of the EV market.
Another reason for Toyota’s shift is the changing consumer preferences and expectations. Consumers are becoming more aware of the environmental and social impacts of their mobility choices, and are looking for more sustainable and convenient options. Consumers are also expecting more from their vehicles, such as connectivity, intelligence, and personalization.
Toyota’s LF-ZC prototype is a reflection of the company’s new direction and ambition in the EV field. The car is designed to appeal to both existing and potential Lexus customers, who value luxury, performance, and innovation. The car is also intended to showcase Toyota’s technological capabilities and leadership in the mobility industry.