Japanese OEMs launch plans for HEV/EV/PHEV through 2014
Toyota and Honda will increase HEV lineups, primarily with small-sized cars
Below is a summary of HEVs (Hybrid electric vehicles), EVs (Electric vehicles) and PHEVs (Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) launched recently by Japanese OEMs and their launch plans from 2011 to 2014 (based on their press releases and media reports).
Toyota and Honda will enhance their HEV lineup primarily with small-sized cars while continuing their omnidirectional development of clean vehicles (eco-cars) such as EVs, PHEVs and FCEVs. Though the two companies will launch EVs and PHEVs in 2012 as their next-generation eco-cars, they plan to focus initially on PHEVs judging that the full market penetration of EVs is not likely to happen in the near future.
Toyota released the third-generation Prius in May 2009 with a starting price of 2.05 million yen while Honda released the Fit HEV in October 2010 with a starting price of 1.59 million yen. Both models are selling well. It is said Toyota is releasing a Vitz-size HEV toward the end of 2011 with 10-15 mode fuel efficiency in excess of 40km/L and a starting price of around 1.5 million yen. This suggests growing competition in terms of fuel efficiency and price.
Nissan plans to sell 1.5 million units of EVs, including those by Renault, in six years from fiscal 2011 to 2016. Nissan's one motor/two clutch HEV system, originally adopted on the Fuga in 2010, will be made available on the front-wheel drive mid-sized cars as well.
Mitsubishi Motors plans to release three EV and five PHEV models in five years from fiscal 2011 to 2015. The company has made available lower-priced grades characterized by a lower battery capacity with the i-MiEV and the MINICAB-MiEV slated for delivery starting in the fall of 2011.
Mazda will launch the Demio-based EV for fleet lease customers in the Japanese market in the spring of 2012, and release HEVs in 2013 after adopting technologies from Toyota.
Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) will release their HEV in 2013 and is expected to release their PHEV sometime in the mid-2010s.
Suzuki Motor has developed a Swift-based PHEV equipped with a 660cc engine for mini-cars.
Toyota, Honda and Nissan plan to start full scale production of FCEV (Fuel cell electric vehicle) in 2015 if all goes as planned.
HEV sales by Toyota and Honda in Japanese markets
|Toyota||Total sales in Japan
|Honda||Total sales in Japan
Source: Japan Automobile Dealers Association (Honda's total sales do not include mini-cars.)
Worldwide sales of HEV by Toyota
|Toyota||Overseas HEV sales
Worldwide HEV sales
Source: Toyota press release 2011.3.8