Toyota shared plans for the future under the leadership of the company’s new president and CEO, Koji Sato. The Japanese automaker is developing the “next generation” of electric cars, which will be released under the Lexus brand in 2026. It’s not yet clear what exactly is meant by “next generation,” but Sato says Toyota is working on “everything from the batteries and the platform to how a car is built optimized for BEVs.”

Toyota is also looking to expand its lineup of electric cars. Let me remind you that the concern currently offers only fully electric Toyota bZ4X and Lexus RZ 450e SUVs. All other electrified models are hybrids. Sato noted that next-generation electric vehicles are a top business priority and that “the time is right” to develop electric cars under the leadership of the new team.

Toyota will release "next generation" electric cars under the Lexus brand

Toyota bZ4X

Such statements should inspire the company’s supporters because for many years Toyota has been criticized for its slow approach to the introduction of electric vehicles. The Japanese have created many efficient hybrid models, but they have also been distracted by the development of cars with hydrogen engines. Meanwhile, competitors continue to expand their target EV platforms.

Sato said Toyota will take a “multi-pathway approach”. It’s safe to assume the company will continue to keep its hybrid business relevant with models like the recently updated Prius. “We want to stay in tune with customers around the world and provide diverse options,” Sato said.