October 4, 2022
Why Toyota – The World’s Largest Automaker – Isn’t Entirely On EVs

Roughly two decades ago, Toyota Motor became the carmaker of choice for American environmentalists and environmentally conscious consumers with its Prius Hybrid, an “electrified” vehicle that was among the cleanest and most fuel-efficient vehicles ever produced. was one of

Amid rising gas prices, demand for the vehicle increased and prompted other automakers to roll out a litany of hybrid models. Prius vehicles, including plug-in hybrid electric models, are among the most fuel-efficient, gas-powered cars in America.

But as the auto industry transitions to a battery-powered future, the Japanese automaker has fallen out of favor with some of its original proponents, ironically due to the Prius and Toyota’s hesitation to invest in all-electric vehicles.

Catherine Garcia, director of clean transportation for all of the Sierra Club campaign, wrote, “The fact is: a hybrid today is not green technology. The Prius hybrid runs on the pollution-emitting combustion engine found in any gas-powered car. ” Recent blog post.

Greenpeace last week Toyota is ranked at the bottom A study on the decarbonization efforts of 10 automakers cited slow progress in its supply chain and sales of zero-emissions vehicles such as EVs, which accounted for less than 1% of its total sales.

While automakers such as General Motors, Volkswagen AG and others have vowed to invest billions of dollars in recent years to develop all-electric vehicles that do not require gas-powered engines, such as the Prius, Toyota, Recently announced a similar investment. It also continues to invest in a portfolio of “electrified” vehicles – from traditional hybrids like the Prius to its recently launched, yet underwhelming, bZ4X electric crossover.

The strategy has pitted the world’s largest automaker in opposition to many of its rivals, and has raised questions about its commitment to a sustainable path for the industry, despite the company’s goal of going carbon-neutral by 2050.

Toyota is not alone in such plans. Stelantis, Ford and other Japanese automakers are similarly investing in electrified hybrid models. But in the hands of the patriarch of mainstream hybrid vehicles, a conservative approach to EVs is remarkable.

The rise and fall of the Toyota Prius

Toyota executives, while increasing investment in all-electric vehicles, argue that the company’s strategy is justified – all regions of the world will not adopt EVs at the same pace due to the high cost of vehicles as well as a lack of infrastructure. , they say.

Jack Hollis, executive vice president of sales at Toyota Motor North, said, “As much as people want to talk about EVs, the market isn’t mature enough and ready enough … at which stage we’ll need mass movement.” America, during a virtual Automotive Press Association meeting last month.

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