We thought that Toyota might have finally started to come around to electric cars, but it seems we were wrong. Even though there has been plenty of recent news pointing to electric cars coming from the Japanese giant, the feelings of their CEO is one of caution bordering on abject hostility.
It’s no secret that I, along with others in the EV community have been giving Toyota the side-eye the past few years. Toyota has been one of the most influential car brands in the world and has been a pioneer in the field of hybrid technology. So when fully electric powertrains came along, the logical evolution of hybrid systems, came around, many expected Toyota to once again be on the forefront. However, all we saw from Toyota was constant EV bashing and pushes towards their hybrids and hydrogen technology.
With the ever-increasing success of Tesla and an avalanche of electric cars being planned from every other automaker, we thought that Toyota had settled down and would move forward with EVs of their own. But it seems that they are doing it with gritted teeth.
Recent comments made by Toyota President Akio Toyoda, show that the brand is still not willing to fully commit to the path to electrification.
The Wall Street Journal reported on his comments made at a year-end news conference in his capacity as chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association. His comments presumably are directed towards news of the Japanese government possibly planning to ban the sale of gasoline cars by 2035. As such he stated that Japan would lose power in the summer if all the cars were using electricity. He also stated:
“When politicians are out there saying, ‘Let’s get rid of all cars using gasoline,’ do they understand this?”
Toyoda also went on to say that since most of the electricity in Japan is produced from coal, that, “The more EVs we build, the worse carbon dioxide gets.” Unless the nation of Japan plans to never upgrade their electric grid with more solar, wind, and wave power that is an extremely short-sighted comment.
Lastly, he worried that electric cars would be out of reach price-wise for the average consumer, which might be his only legitimate concern. However, prices have steadily been decreasing and many predict that EVs will reach cost parity with gasoline cars by the mid-2020s so it’s hard to imagine price being a huge problem in the mid-2030s.
We wish we knew what was going on with Toyota, and most other Japanese brands for that matter. I have said for a while now that their pride was hit after being the green car for so long and losing out that title to electric cars. But you would hope that a multi-billion corporation would be better than that and that there was something more going on. Toyota is nowhere close to meeting its end, people will continue to buy them for the next decade and more. But it will be interesting to see if there will be any consequences in ten years for them being so dismissive.
What do you guys think? Let us know down in the comments below.