TOKYO – Japanese carmaker Toyota Motor will open a new research and development (R&D) hub in Japan to accelerate the development of environmentally friendly models, a Toyota spokesperson said on Tuesday.
The company based in Aichi in central Japan is set to invest 300 billion yen ($2.8 billion) in the facility to be located in the town of Shimoyama in the same province, and whose construction is set to start in March.
Toyota has decided to set up the new facility as it feels the need to improve its R&D sector in the face of the drastic changes that the automotive business is currently experiencing.
The company said it plans to make the facility partially operational by April 2019, and fully functional by 2023.
The facilities will spread over around 650 hectares, and will be divided into three zones that will include offices and 11 test tracks comprising conventional roads, highways and mountainous roads.
It will be the company’s first R&D hub in Japan since 1984, when it set up test tracks in Shebetsu on the northern island of Hokkaido.
Toyota has designed a strategy to push environmentally friendly vehicles. It announced in 2017 an alliance with Mazda and the component manufacturer Denso to set up an electric car development company, which would include establishing a factory in Alabama in the United States.
The Japanese company aims that, by 2030, at least 50 percent of its vehicles sold will be electric vehicles, including hybrids and fuel cell vehicles.
It also aims to have more than 10 of these models on the global market at the beginning of the 2020s and to market more than 5.5 million units over the following 10 years.