Toyota has announced that it will be launching Corolla and Levin plug-in Hybrid for the Chinese market in 2018. The company is planning to localize the development and production of hybrid SUVs in the world’s largest auto market, after introducing Corolla and Levin plug-in hybrid compact cars late last year.
Conventional hybrid versions of both models: Corolla and Levin were introduced in 2015, while the plug-in hybrids will go on sale in 2018. Regular Corolla and Levin models are featured a 1.6-litre Dual VVT-I or 1.8-litre Dual VVT-i engine, both are paired to a CVT-type automatic transmission.
Toyota did not reveal any specific features for the upcoming Corolla and Levin Plug-in Hybrid but it is very likely to be same as the recently launched in the US Toyota Prius Prime, whose 1.8-litre petrol engine is complemented by an 8.8 kwh lithium-ion battery, that giving it an electric-only driving range of slightly more than 50 km.
So far, the Corolla and Levin hybrids will hold their own without subsidies. Toyota has received orders for about 40,000 units. Its plants have not been able to keep up with that level of demand, building about 30,000 units since last year. Plug-in hybrid versions of the 2 models will begin selling in China from 2018.
If plug-in hybrid sales maximize significantly in the US, it may be because of the Chinese market places such a high premium on the latest technology. Once a company develops a plug-in car for a market, it makes it a more attractive proposition to offer it in other world markets as well.