The Japanese carmaker used the Beijing Motor Show to announce that both cars would be on sale in China in 2019, and be capable of driving up to 50 kilometres on battery power alone.
Toyota plans to launch 10 new electrified vehicles in China by 2020, using local resources to build the electric motors, batteries, inverters and other core technologies that the vehicles will need. China will become the first country outside of Japan to build plug-in electric vehicles for the brand.
Both vehicles are built on top of the Toyota New Global Architecture, a drivetrain-agnostic platform that’s ready to accept everything from conventional petrol drivetrains to battery-electric or even hydrogen-fed fuel cell ones.
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In an indication of how many plug-in versions of its cars Toyota plans to sell in China, it announced that by 2020, battery production was expected to rise to 220,000 units by 2020. Last year, Toyota sold 140,000 hybrid-engined versions of the Corolla, which is also sold in China as the Levin.
Toyota has sold a plug-in hybrid version of the Toyota Prius on global markets, but the technology has always been ruled out for the Australian market because of its expense. The current-generation Prius PHV, sold in Japan, Europe and in the US as the Prius Prime, has an electric range of about 40km.
A new generation of the Corolla featuring a more powerful 2.0-litre engine for some variants, and a more efficient 1.8-litre version for others, arrives in Australia in August