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Toyota Mirai. Photo: Anadolu Agency

Toyota plans to unveil a new type of "personal electric vehicle" this week and will outline a broad electrification strategy heavily reliant on partnerships with Chinese manufacturers, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Despite its longtime lead in hybrids like the Prius, Toyota is seen as lagging on the industrywide shift to battery electric vehicles (BEVs), especially as China and Europe have moved to mandate more zero-emission vehicles.

What's new: On Friday in Japan, Toyota senior executives will share details of the company's electric vehicle pipeline and its future EV business model, according to a source with knowledge of the plan.

  • New products will include "personal EVs" and other battery-powered passenger cars.
  • The company also plans to discuss other aspects of its electrification effort, including collaboration with unnamed Chinese partners on batteries and future battery-powered vehicles.
  • The strategy is not being widely publicized in the U.S. because of sensitivity to strained U.S.-China trade relations.

Context: Toyota has favored hydrogen fuel cell vehicles like its Mirai sedan, but sales have been slow. The company is still committed to fuel cell technology long-term, but is pivoting toward trucks and other uses for now.

  • In April, Toyota said it would offer free access to its hybrid-vehicle patents through 2030, in part to extend hybrid technology and stave off the challenge from fully electric cars.
  • Toyota previously said that by the early 2020s it would have 10 BEV models that it plans to first sell in China and then gradually introduce to Japan, the U.S. and Europe.
  • By 2030, Toyota aims to hit annual electrified vehicle sales of 5.5 million units globally, including hybrids and more than 1 million zero-emission vehicles, with many fuel-cell-powered commercial trucks replacing diesel trucks in the 2030s, per Ward's Auto.  

Go deeper

49 mins ago - World

Blinken to visit Ukraine as Russia invasion threat looms

Blinken (R) with President Zelensky. Photo: Efrem Lukatsky/Pool via Getty

Secretary of State Antony Tony Blinken will travel to Ukraine on Tuesday as the country faces an ongoing threat of Russian invasion.

Driving the news: Blinken will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, as well as officials at the U.S. embassy in Kyiv to discuss contingency planning. He'll then travel to Berlin to meet German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and attend a meeting of the "Transatlantic Quad" — France, Germany, the U.K. and U.S.

Updated 55 mins ago - World

At least 3 dead after Tonga volcano eruption and tsunami

A satellite image of the explosive eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano on Saturday. Photo: UNICEF/NOAA

At least three people are confirmed to have died in Tonga following the undersea volcanic eruption that sent tsunami waves toward the island nation and across the Pacific over the weekend, officials said Tuesday.

The big picture: Officials reported major damage along the western coast of the main island of Tongatapu, where the capital, Nuku'alofa, was covered in ash and dust, including on the runway of the airport. Officials in Tonga confirmed three deaths in the country's first official statement since the crisis began.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Charted: GOP surged as Biden slumped

Expand chart
Reproduced from Gallup. (Independents were asked their party leaning.) Chart: Axios Visuals

Gallup polling found a huge shift in party preference over the course of 2021, from a 9-point Democratic advantage in the first quarter to a 5-point Republican edge in the fourth quarter.

Why it matters: It's the biggest swing in one calendar year for Gallup's 30 years of tracking.

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