Monday, May 27, 2024
NewsThe Toyota Highlander could go all-electric

The Toyota Highlander could go all-electric

  • More EVs will eventually join the North American fleet from Lexus and Toyota.

  • There will also be more PHEV options.


 

Toyota is currently playing catch-up in the industry’s electric niche. The Japanese giant, which launched the transition to electrified powertrains with the Prius in the late 90s, now has to contend with the growth of the electric car, even if it slowed down in recent weeks.

2023 Toyota Highlander | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

To rectify the situation, Toyota intends to launch several new electric models in North America, because currently, its first two EVs, the Toyota bZ4X and Lexus RZ, are not at the top of the continent’s sales charts. The lukewarm reception from the local consumers will therefore force the brand’s engineers to double their efforts to ensure that future models are better received by consumers in North America and even elsewhere in the world.

As Carbuzz.com learned earlier last week at the launch of the Toyota 4Runner, Tacoma, Land Cruiser, Camry and Crown Signia in San Diego, the automaker is preparing to multiply its electric offering here. The first model to be launched will be a compact crossover that could well be called bZ3X, while a similarly sized sedan could also be added to the North American line-up. As the CarBuzz article points out, the Lexus division should in theory be entitled to its own variant of this future bZ3X crossover.

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander 18 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

However, it seems that the “bZ” nomenclature (for Beyond Zero) does not meet with public approval. Perhaps the brand’s strategists have a more traditional idea for appealing to the local audience. Toyota would like to take the Highlander name and apply it to an all-electric model. In fact, the midsize crossover would go strictly electric. It would no longer be possible to buy a Highlander with a combustion engine under the hood.

On the other hand, the Grand Highlander, freshly introduced last year, would retain a choice of hybrid or plug-in hybrid powertrains.

In fact, to further extend Toyota’s electrification in the USA and Canada, the automaker intends to add other plug-in hybrid variants to models that have never benefited from this technology in the past. These include the brand’s two pickups and even the imposing Sequoia.

CarBuzz goes even further, stating that the group’s first limited edition model to be equipped with a solid-state battery will carry the Lexus badge when it is unveiled somewhere in 2027. We’ll have to wait and see whether Toyota succeeds in this feat, as the technology has yet to make a breakthrough, apart from a few prototypes from Chinese brands at present.

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