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Bright spots of Auto China 2020: Japanese automakers highlight electrified models

Monika From Gasgoo| September 29 , 2020

Shanghai (Gasgoo)- Electrification is one of major themes conveyed by the ongoing Beijing International Automotive Exhibition (the Auto China 2020). Among 785 models exhibited on the motor show, over 160 are electrified models.

Regarding China as an important market to strengthen electrification onslaught, three major Japanese automakers—Toyota, Honda and Nissan—all showed off their key electrified products at the splendid auto exhibition. Particularly, both Honda and Nissan announced the unveiling of their most heavyweight all-electric models

Toyota exhibits rich electrified model lineup including BEV, HEVs, PHEVs, FCEVs

At the Auto China 2020, Toyota showcased such electrified models as the e-Palette, the C-HR EV/ IZOA EV—the first BEVs launched in China under the Toyota brand, and the MIRAI Concept FCEV.

Since the world's first HEV “Prius” initially offered in 1997, Toyota has so far sold over 16 million electrified vehicles worldwide, said the company.

In China, Toyota started its electrification deployment in 2001, and has to-day introduced 20 plus HEV models. As of mid-September 2020, the automaker saw its cumulative HEV sales exceed 1 million units in the country.

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(All-new Corolla HEV)

At this year's Auto China, Toyota exhibited six HEV models—the Avalon HEV, the Camry HEV, the Corolla HEV, the Levin HEV Sports, the RAV4 HEV and the Wildlander HEV.

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(From left to right: Corolla PHEV, IZOA EV)

Last year, Toyota introduced into China the PHEV versions of the Corolla and the Levin. Both of them have a combined range of up to 985km, greatly eliminating range anxiety for drivers. In EV-only mode, a 55-km range is sufficient for day-to-day commuting and shopping. They were also displayed at the show.

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At Toyota's booth, two production BEV models hitting the market in China in the first half of 2020—the C-HR EV/IZOA EV—were highlighted as well. Powered by a 54.3kWh battery pack, both of them achieve a NEDC cruising range of 400km and can zip from standstill to 50km/h within 3.4 seconds. By installing the battery pack at the lowermost part of the vehicle body, the BEVs' center of gravity is lowered without squeezing on the cockpit space, enabling a better stability for driving manipulation. 

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(MIRAI Concept)

The company also showed off the “MIRAI Concept”, a final-stage development model of the second-generation Mirai, which was unveiled at 2019 Tokyo Motor Show's "Future Expo".

According to Toyota, the Mirai Concept features a dynamic exterior design built on Toyota's latest TNGA platform, including low lines, elegant proportions, sleek, taut bodywork and large, 20-inch diameter wheels that together generate a powerful and distinctive look.

Launched in 2014, the first-generation Toyota Mirai proved the global potential of hydrogen to power clean and sustainable mobility with refueling time equivalent to conventional vehicles and zero emission.

The next-generation Mirai features a fully-redesigned fuel cell system, including its fuel cell stack, that targets a 30% increase in driving range over the current generation thanks to increased hydrogen storage capacity.

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(e-Palette; photo source: Toyota China)

Moreover, Toyota announced on spot that it is working with Coca Cola China, Intel China Ltd., China Unicom, Shougang Group and other companies to explore the application of the e-Palettes in offering mobility services at the 2022 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

First announced in 2018, e-Palette is Toyota's first vehicle developed specifically for autonomous mobility as a service ("Autono-MaaS*1") applications. It is a customizable multi-passenger, multifunctional vehicle that can be made into anything such as mobile offices, retail spaces, medical clinics, hotel rooms, and more.

Honda SUV e:concept portends future mass production of first Honda-branded BEV sold in China

The most eye-catching product Honda exhibited at the Auto China 2020 must be the Honda SUV e:concept, which was seen by the world for the first time.

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(Honda SUV e: concept)

Honda said the new model is a concept model indicating the volume production direction of Honda brand's first BEV to be introduced in China.

As Honda is striving to develop a production EV model that offers a value based on fresh and fun mobility experiences, the new EV model will be equipped with omnidirectional ADAS, the next-generation Honda SENSING safety and driver-assistive system with improved recognition, predication and decision-making performance, as well as the next-generation Honda CONNECT, which features an AI assistant interface, smartphone link and wireless updates made possible by advanced connectivity.

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The CR-V SPORT HYBRID e+, Honda's first PHEV model to be introduced in China, also made its world’s debut at the Auto China 2020. This model is scheduled to hit the market in January 2021.

According to Honda, the plug-in hybrid system for this model was developed based on SPORT HYBRID i-MMD, Honda’s original 2-motor hybrid system, with further improved efficiency of the battery and converter system.

Nissan unveils Ariya crossover EV bearing new badge

Nissan celebrated the China premiere for the all-new Ariya crossover EV at the Auto China 2020, signifying an important step forward for the Nissan NEXT transformation plan in the world's largest auto market.

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(Nissan Ariya)

According to Nissan, the Ariya embodies the company's strengths in both EVs and crossover SUVs, and represents the latest achievements in the integrated, cutting-edge Nissan Intelligent Mobility technologies. Built on Nissan's new electrified vehicle platform, the mass-produced BEV model features a range of up to 610km.

Notably, the Ariya bears the all-new logo Nissan launched in July to improve its brand image and revive sales performance.

The all-new full-electric model is set to hit the market in China next year and will be locally produced by Dongfeng Nissan from the third quarter of 2021. Together with Nissan's e-POWER models, it is aimed at helping Nissan usher in a new era of electrification in the country.

The automaker said it will deploy in China a total of nine models equipped with electrified powertrains (EV or e-POWER) by 2025.

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