Toyota’s CEO Says That A ‘Silent Majority’ Is Not Convinced On An EV-Only Future


Car manufacturers are making big claims about removing combustion engines and electrifying their portfolios. However, Toyota’s president is skeptical that automakers and consumers are ready for a complete transition to electric vehicles, citing growing disgruntlement with the trend.

Toyota President Akio Toyoda recently told reporters that the majority of the auto industry does not believe EVs are the only way ahead, even as rules prohibiting gasoline car sales and subsidizing EVs make an all-electric future appear inevitable.

“That silent majority is wondering whether EVs are really OK to have as a single option. But they think it’s the trend, so they can’t speak out loudly,” Toyoda said, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Toyota, a pioneer and industry leader in hybrid vehicles, has refrained from fully embracing electrification, unlike some of its greatest competitors. Instead, it has maintained that providing customers with a range of options, such as hybrids, plug-in hybrids, hydrogen-powered cars, and electric vehicles (EVs), is the greatest approach to cutting emissions.

Hybrids sold in large volumes can deliver meaningful short-term impact, and “it’s about what can be done now,” he argues.

Due to the high cost and inadequate charging infrastructure, the carmaker has said that not everyone is ready for an electric vehicle. As a result, Toyota aims to hold onto its hybrid roots, made famous by the Prius, for the time being, while also considering other options, such as hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

“Because the right answer is still unclear, we shouldn’t limit ourselves to just one option,” Toyoda said.

Environmentalists may object to Toyoda’s idea because hybrids only use a small percentage of the battery power and still spew tailpipe emissions like gas-powered cars, despite having about double the miles per gallon.

Nonetheless, Toyota evolves with the times. Last December, it announced plans to spend 4 trillion yen ($29 billion) on developing 30 battery-powered vehicles by 2030. By that time, it expects to sell at least 3.5 million EVs annually, accounting for over a third of total sales.


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