Japan automakers are accelerating the transition to electric vehicles

Electric Vehicles
Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles are taking center stage at the Japan Mobility Show, formerly known as the Tokyo Motor Show, as Japanese automakers unveil their next-generation concept cars.

The Japanese government has called for all new cars sold to be electric-powered by 2035. At the Tokyo event, which opened to the public on Saturday, battery-powered electric vehicles (EVs) have become the star as major Japanese carmakers have been ramping up their shift to EVs to try to catch up with global competitors.

An editorial in the Japanese newspaper Nikkei said that Japan started rather late in EV development, and it is also not in a leading position in software such as artificial intelligence. Companies must make those next-generation technologies practicable and catch up with the world in the EV segment.

At the show, Toyota Motor showcased a number of concept models for next-generation EVs, including the FT-Se electric sports car, the Land Cruiser Se, and the sedan type LF-ZC under its Lexus brand. Toyota’s next generation of EVs will use lithium-ion batteries with higher energy density and a driving range of up to 1,000 kilometers, according to the staff.

Toyota previously announced its plans to introduce 10 new electric models by 2026 and increase annual EV sales to 1.5 million units worldwide. To accelerate the development of EVs, Toyota is also developing several types of vehicle batteries.

Nissan Motor, in addition to displaying the Formula E race car, showcased its might in electrification by introducing the Hyper Force, Hyper Tourer, Hyper Punk, Hyper Adventure and Hyper Urban. Nissan announced in February that it will accelerate its electrification strategy and plans to launch 27 EVs by 2030.

One of the biggest attractions at the Honda booth is the eVTOL, which refers to electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft. Although people are used to calling it a “car”, the eVTOL is, in fact, closer to a helicopter in terms of appearance and function. This future mobile tool under development is expected to be widely used in urban mobility, sightseeing, disaster relief, first aid, logistics and other scenarios.

Meanwhile, other Japanese automakers are also trying to participate in the fast-expanding market of EVs. Subaru unveiled two concept models, the Subaru Air Mobility Concept and the Subaru Sport Mobility Concept, while Suzuki, which is good at making small cars, displayed the Swift Concept, a new-generation Swift with futuristic and unique styling.

The motor show, featuring a record 475 companies, runs through Nov. 5. The organizers are aiming to attract more than 1 million visitors this year.

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