People finally seeing the reality of EVs: Toyota chairman
Never a fan of EVs as the answer to tomorrow’s green motoring needs, Toyota’s petrol head chairman, Akio Toyoda has long maintained that electric vehicles are not the only way forward. And now that the segment’s growth is slowing, he says he told us so!
“People are finally seeing reality about electric car technology,” Toyoda, a great car enthusiast, pointed out at this week’s Tokyo Japan Mobility Show. “There are many ways to climb the mountain that is achieving carbon neutrality. The slowing growth of battery vehicle sales in the United States is now proving our resistance towards EVs as the only answer, to be correct.”
Toyoda’s comments come on the back of The Wall Street Journal reporting that EV sales growth has slumped from 63 percent in 2022, to 49% this year. VW has cut EV workforces, GM and Ford are considering slowing US electric pickup production, and even Mercedes is now reporting a slackening of EV interest at the top end, as EVs sit on the grass around the world.
Slow sales justify my resistance to EVs – Toyoda
“This slowdown proves that if regulations are created based on ideals, it is the regular users who are the ones who suffer most,” Toyoda elaborated. “These slowing sales only justify my resistance to EVs.”
Originally spurned by WHO fears fingering car emissions as a prime future killer, governments imposed dramatic sanctions on ICE cars. Then Tesla’s success stirred up investor confidence as the move towards EVs became frenzied. But Toyota was ranked third most resistant of all companies to government climate change regulations, behind ExxonMobil and Chevron.
Questions around Toyota’s slow adoption of EVs under Toyoda’s tenure as CEO prompted a leadership reshuffle earlier this year. Toyota stepped down from his role and moved on to become chairman, handing the CEO reins over to known EV advocate Koji Sato. Sato san made EVs a priority, culminating with another pair of new concepts in Tokyo this week.
“many ways to achieve carbon neutrality”
“Those notions around us being slow to change came about as a result of us taking our time to develop our Toyota EVs,” Akio Toyoda continued. “We thought hard about what was possible and worked with battery makers. Our strength in the EV era will come from our decades of experience, and our past experiences of failure.”
While it may have been slower to pick up on BEVs, Toyota’s hybrid vehicles have led the way for a quarter century. Its plug-in hybrids have also made huge inroads over recent years, and the company has worked tirelessly on hydrogen power, both as a combustion fuel, and with fuel cells among its many other projects towards a cleaner motoring future.
“People are finally seeing the limitations and realities of EVs,” Toyoda concluded. “There are many other ways to achieve carbon neutrality.”