FAKE NEWS: Toyoda-san suggested ambitious EV adoption rates are ‘media driven’ and are ‘going to take longer than the media would like us to believe’.What is green?
TOYOTA Motor Corporation CEO Akio Toyoda says it’s going to take longer than expected for the industry to fully transition to the wholesale production of electric vehicles.
Speaking last week at a Toyota function in Las Vegas, Toyoda-san suggested ambitious targets for EV adoption are “media driven” and “are just going to take longer than the media would like us to believe”.
“Ambitious targets for electric vehicle sales – in California or nationwide – will be hard to achieve by 2030 or 2035,” said Mr Toyoda.
In relation to California’s approaching new rule calling for a ban on the sale of petrol-burning vehicles by 2035, Mr Toyoda said: “Realistically speaking, it seems rather difficult to really achieve that,” adding that a potential national goal of 50 per cent zero-emission vehicles by 2030 would be “very difficult.”.
Because Toyota is a global car-maker serving 200 countries, the company must take into account the wide variety of conditions in those various markets, including the needs of the one-billion-plus people who don’t have reliable access to electricity, says a report in Automotive News.
Mr Toyoda cautioned that regulations, “tend to narrow the options available for solutions toward carbon neutrality”.
Longer term, he sees hydrogen combustion as a compelling offering an opinion shared with some other major global automotive manufacturers including Hyundai.
“In the short term, hybrids may provide the greatest good, he suggested, noting that Toyota can produce eight plug-in hybrids with 65km of electric range for every 515km battery-electric vehicle and save up to eight times the carbon emitted into the atmosphere.”
Mr Toyoda, in Las Vegas for Toyota’s annual dealer meeting, met with journalists to discuss carbon neutrality and the auto industry’s role in slowing global warming. He also took the opportunity to address the perception that Toyota is behind in the race to bring EVs to market says the Automotive News report.
Mr Toyoda told his dealers: “Electric vehicles are just going to take longer than the media would like us to believe,” pledging to offer the “widest possible array of powertrains to propel cars cleanly. That’s our strategy and we’re sticking to it”.
“Some are racing to a finish line of all-electric,” he said in the prepared remarks issued before his meeting with journalists.
According to Automotive News, Mr Toyoda is working in all markets and segments to reduce carbon emissions as rapidly as possible and “does not see a finish line until Toyota gets to carbon neutral”.
He said Toyota is “balancing the infrastructure we have today with the energy we need for tomorrow”.
Late last year, Toyota committed ¥8 trillion ($A110b) to electrify its line up by 2030, half of it to develop a battery EV line up, as it looks to tap a growing market for zero-emission vehicles.
Toyota expects its sales of full-electric cars to reach 3.5 million vehicles by the end of the decade, or just over a third of its current global volume says the Automotive News report.
The company plans to introduce 30 new EVs by 2030, but gauged against investment plans from competitors, Ford and GM, Toyota’s seem less grand.
In contrast to Toyota, the company’s luxury brand Lexus intends to have a full range of BEVs in all vehicle segments by 2030 and for BEVs make up 100 percent of its global sales in 2035 in Europe, North America, and China – totalling one million units globally.
Toyota has recently committed $A5.9 billion to build a factory in North Carolina to make batteries for EVs and hybrids.
In the Automotive News report, Mr Toyoda is quoted as saying a lack of sufficient infrastructure will hold back EV adoption rates, which is a factor in its decision not to go all in on electricity to the exclusion of hybrids or hydrogen-combustion or hydrogen fuel cells.
“Toyota is a department store of all sorts of powertrains,” he told journalists. “It’s not right for the department store to say, ‘this is the (only) product you should buy.’”