Toyota is making efforts to shut the gap with industry leader Tesla in the electrical vehicle (EV) market. With a keen eye on the accelerating shift towards electric mobility, Toyota is offering a glimpse into its next-generation EV production line, incorporating cutting-edge technologies corresponding to Giga casting, self-propelled assembly lines, and advanced robotic systems for transporting finished vehicles.
The context of this development is the rapidly growing EV market, which has seen exponential growth in recent times. In keeping with data from CounterPoint Research, global EV sales are expected to exceed a staggering 14.5 million units by the tip of 2023, and the second quarter of that 12 months alone witnessed the sale of over 2.15 million EVs. Traditional automakers and startups alike are vying for a foothold on this latest era of electrical vehicles, with Tesla maintaining its leadership position by delivering 466,000 EVs within the second quarter. Meanwhile, China’s BYD has been rapidly closing in with 352,000 passenger EV sales. In contrast, Toyota, a worldwide automotive giant, sold only a small fraction, around 0.19%, of fully electric vehicles out of the 4.15 million vehicles it sold worldwide in the primary half of the 12 months.
Recognizing the urgency of the transition to electric mobility, Toyota, together with other legacy automakers like Honda and Nissan, has recently announced plans to speed up its electrification strategies. To this end, Toyota has offered automotive enthusiasts a glimpse of its forthcoming next-generation EV production line, shedding light on its modern technologies and methodologies.
Considered one of the standout features of Toyota’s EV production line is its Giga casting technology, a process pioneered by Tesla at its Fremont factory in 2020. Giga casting involves the production of larger aluminum parts, which not only simplifies manufacturing complexity but in addition conserves critical resources. This approach has enabled Tesla to scale back costs by roughly 30%. Toyota, leveraging its extensive experience in molds, has managed to develop a system for quick mold replacements, reducing the lead time for changing molds from 24 hours to only 20 minutes. Moreover, Toyota will employ proprietary evaluation technology to boost casting quality and minimize the variety of defective parts.
In a bid to streamline production further, Toyota has implemented self-propelled EV production lines. Drawing upon sensor technology utilized in autonomous driving, these self-propelled lines facilitate significant movement at low speeds, reducing the reliance on conveyor equipment, a cost-intensive aspect of producing. Toyota has also introduced a three-part modular structure for EV assembly, featuring front, center, and rear sections. This modular design not only enhances work efficiency but in addition contributes to reducing overall production complexity.
Along with these manufacturing innovations, Toyota has unveiled an ambitious EV battery roadmap. This roadmap includes plans to launch latest EVs with a remarkable range of nearly 500 miles (800 km) in 2026, a transparent indication of the corporate’s determination to compete on the forefront of the evolving EV landscape. Toyota’s commitment to innovation and its concentrate on sustainable mobility solutions position it as a formidable contender within the race to impress the automotive industry, aiming to bridge the gap with established leaders like Tesla.
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