You may have read that Toyota is about to establish a new electric vehicle sub-brand in China called Leahead that will focus on "cheap electric cars aimed at young and hip car buyers in China." This isn't 100 percent true, but the Japanese automaker is revving its electric motors for EVs in China, in a fashion. It makes sense for automakers to push for more EVs in China, given government support for the technology and the proven success of Tesla there. Low-speed EVs are popular, as well.

Indirectly, Toyota is going to sell electric vehicles to Chinese customers next year.

We've heard reports before that Toyota is interested in going electric in China, with a different Toyota JV and thus a different brand but now we have an official word on Toyota's future EV moves in China, direct from Jana Hartline, the environmental communications manager for Toyota Motor Sales, USA. Hartline told AutoblogGreen that Toyota just celebrated the 10-year anniversary of GAC Toyota Motor Co., Ltd (GTMC), its joint-venture manufacturing company in China. And it is GTMC, not Toyota directly, that is the company behind Leahead (called Ling Zhi in Chinese).

Leahead will begin selling EVs under the Ling Zhi brand starting in 2015. So, yes, indirectly, Toyota is going to sell electric vehicles to Chinese customers next year. There are rumors that the new EVs will be electric versions of the Corolla EX and/or the Yaris L, but we've got nothing confirmed on that front. We will be waiting for more new at the Shanghai Motor Show next April.

Toyota Information


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