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Toyota confirms it will develop electric vehicles

A team of four employees from across its businesses will work on creating an electric vehicle.

Toyota’s still adamant that it’s going to get the world hooked on hydrogen-powered cars in our (hopefully) green future. But in the meantime, it’s decided to dive head-first into building its first all-electric vehicle to take on Tesla. The carmaker has announced that it’s launching a “virtual” company to examine and develop EVs. The business will have four employees, each one from a different part of the Toyota Group’s various subsidiaries and suppliers.

This sort of startup-within-a-corporation model is often used by companies that are struggling to innovate. After all, big ideas can often be crushed by layers of middle management, budget concerns and a desire to protect the status quo. The four-person team will include a warm body from Toyota Motor, Aisin Seiki, Denso and Toyota Industries, with the instructions to develop an EV that’ll give Tesla nightmares.

The company is also admitting that it may be — slightly — swimming against the tide when it comes to promoting the fuel cell. In its release, the firm admits that hydrogen is the superior technology for range, refueling and convenience. But, it concedes that global “energy and infrastructure issues” as well as a governmental push for cleaner cars, means that it can’t wait around. So, it’ll develop and sell battery-powered vehicles that’ll work in markets where hydrogen’s a no go.

Nov 24th, 2016